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Boating at Presque Isle State Park

Non-powered craft and registered motorboats are permitted.

Internal combustion engines are prohibited in the interior lagoons, which are defined as the continuous body of water between Misery Bay and Marina Lake, excluding Graveyard Pond.

Beaching of boats along the Presque Isle shoreline is permitted 100 feet outside of designated guarded zone areas and at the Gull Point Natural Area between April 1 and November 30.

A slow minimum height swell speed must be observed within all park waters, which includes all waters within 500 feet of the shoreline.

Water Skiing

Water skiing is permitted in Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie.

Water skiing is prohibited within 500 feet of the shore except for the purpose of takeoff or approach.

Boat Launches

A total of four launching areas are available, which can accommodate various sizes of craft:

  • Vista Launch is only recommended for small watercraft and personal watercraft (jet skis)
  • Niagara Launch has two ramps and can accommodate small- to medium-sized craft
  • West Pier Launch area is the largest facility with four launching lanes and is recommended for larger watercraft
  • The Lagoon Launch area can accommodate small- to medium-sized craft

Fluctuations in lake levels may impact launching procedures.

Marina

Open May 1 through October 31, the Marina has nearly 500 slips that can accommodate boats up to 42 feet in length. Individuals wishing to moor their craft on a permanent or temporary basis need to contact the marina office or park office to determine slip availability because there are waiting lists for permanent assignments.

For additional information, call the Marina Office (seasonal) at 814-833-0176 or 814-833-7424.

A park concession in the marina has:

  • Gasoline and diesel fuel
  • Sewage pump-out station
  • Variety of food and refreshment items

Presque Isle Canoe and Boat Livery

On Graveyard Pond across from Misery Bay, a boat rental offers:

  • Canoes
  • Kayaks
  • Small motorboats
  • Pontoon boats

The boat livery is open from 8:00 A.M. - 8:00 P.M., from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and 10:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. on weekends during mid-April through mid-October. Contact the boat rental at 814-838-3938 for additional information.

Boating Safety

Water conditions can change dramatically in a very short period of time. Please heed all weather notices. For current boating conditions, listen to:

  • Marine channel 16 -- the Coast Guard Emergency Channel on a VHF radio
  • NOAA Weather Radio 162.400 MHZ

The Regional Science Consortium has real-time weather information.

Boat Registration

Motorboats must display a current boat registration.

Non-powered boats must display one of the following:

  • Boat registration
  • Launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania state parks -- available at most state park offices
  • Launching permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission regulations and laws apply.

Presque Isle Scenic Boat Tours

Departing from Perry Monument on Presque Isle State Park, experience the scenic beauty of the Peninsula and Erie waterfront while viewing three historic lighthouses on the 65-foot great lakes vessel, “Lady Kate.” The 14-mile, 90-minute tour ventures out onto the open waters of Lake Erie.

Tours view:

  • Presque Isle’s shores
  • Erie’s skyline
  • Lighthouses
  • Ships
  • Beaches
  • Gull Point Nature Preserve
  • Wildlife
  • Numerous other sights

Live narration takes place on each tour by knowledgeable guides that identify and describe points of interest while they supply enlightening information about the area’s:

  • Ecology
  • History
  • Development
  • Nature
  • And more

Tour departures vary seasonally:

  • Mid-May through Mid-June and after Labor day through September 30 -- Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00 A.M., 1:00 P.M., and 3:00 P.M.
  • Mid-June through Labor day -- seven days a week at 11:00 A.M., 1:00 P.M., 3:00 P.M., 5:00 P.M., and sunset cruises which depart one hour prior to sunset

Group tours may be booked for any day or time.

Call for reservations at 814-836-0201 or 800-988-5780.

Cruise schedules and prices are subject to change.

Any trip may be cancelled due to sever weather, mechanical difficulties, or fewer reservations than required.

Iceboating

Presque Isle Bay is popular for iceboating. Ice thickness in not monitored.

Be Safe on the Ice

  • Test ice thickness with an auger before recreating. Four inches of solid ice is the minimum recommended thickness for a single person. Seven inches of solid ice is the minimum recommended thickness for small group. Ice should be six inches thick for iceboating.
  • Always carry safety equipment and know how to use it.
  • Spread out. Crowds can put too much weight onto one area.
  • Be aware of changes in ice thickness across a body of water. Perimeter ice is weaker due to shifting, expansion and sunlight reflecting off of the bottom.
  • Avoid areas with protruding logs, brush, plants, and docks. These structures absorb heat, weakening the surrounding ice.
  • Avoid areas with multiple or intersecting cracks, and standing water over ice.
  • Venturing out on ice alone is not advisable. Take a friend along for fun and for safety.
  • Wear a PFD (life jacket).
  • Check the weather and plan accordingly. Several days with temperatures above freezing will weaken the ice.