Presque Isle State Park
Presque Isle State Park is a 3,200-acre sandy peninsula that arches into Lake Erie. As Pennsylvania’s only “seashore,” Presque Isle offers its visitors a beautiful coastline and many recreational activities, including swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, bicycling, and in-line skating.
Presque Isle is a day-use park that provides year-round recreational opportunities. Overnight accommodations are available nearby.
The neck of the peninsula is attached to the mainland four miles west of downtown Erie. The park creates Presque Isle Bay, a wide and deep harbor for the city of Erie. The bay attracts many pleasure boats and worldwide freighters -- making Erie an important Great Lakes shipping port.
A National Natural Landmark, Presque Isle is a favorite spot for migrating birds. Because of the many unique habitats, Presque Isle contains a greater number of the state's endangered, threatened, and rare species than any other area of comparable size in Pennsylvania.
Whether you come to enjoy the sandy beaches, study ecological diversity, or learn about the historical significance of the peninsula, there is something for everyone at Presque Isle State Park.
Tom Ridge Environmental Center
The Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC) is the gateway to Presque Isle State Park, and the gateway to discovery.
This 65,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art, green-designed facility encourages visitors to experience the unique history and ever-changing, diverse ecosystems of Presque Isle State Park.
Built to symbolize the peninsula in its architectural design, the TREC opened during 2006 and is the first building in the Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks to earn a LEED silver certification rating. This multi-functional building houses the park office, laboratories, and many opportunities for visitors.
An educational center at heart, TREC is dedicated to teaching visitors about Presque Isle and the many different forms of life that inhabit this unique peninsula. TREC also serves as a center for research, contributing to conservation efforts and promoting environmental awareness, helping to preserve the unparalleled beauty of Presque Isle.
Large-format movies, guided tours, and other activities are available.
Admission is free to the interactive exhibits and the 75-foot observation tower.
Seasons and Hours
The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk.
The park office is open specific hours. The beaches and other areas are open specific seasons and hours. Contact the park office for facility seasons and hours.
Make online reservations or call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS (888-727-2757), from 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday to Saturday.
Presque Isle State Park and the Tom Ridge Environmental Center can be reached by PA 832 north. The park can also be reached by boat. The road system within the park forms a loop approximately 13 miles in length.
GPS DD: Lat. 42.10964 Long. -80.15384
Driving Directions: The Interactive GIS Map has turn-by-turn driving directions to the park office from the Park Information Window.
Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.
Special Event Guidelines for Presque Isle State Park
As a significant natural asset, additional guidelines have been adopted to protect the park’s archeological, historic, and natural resources during special events:
Presque Isle State Park Special Event Guidelines and Application (PDF)
Special Event Application Only (DOC)
Environmental Education and Interpretation
The park offers a wide variety of environmental education programs. Through hands-on activities, guided walks, and evening programs, participants gain appreciation, understanding, and develop a sense of stewardship toward natural and cultural resources.
The Presque Isle curriculum allows students of all ages to explore the resources of the park. The curriculum helps meet the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Environment and Ecology, Science and Technology, and others set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
During the summer, Presque Isle State Park offers DCNR's DiscoverE program. Young learners explore the outdoors through structured play, reinforced by stories, and crafts. Older youth participate in educational and recreational activities, and conduct special projects.
Environmental educators at Presque Isle offer educational and recreational programs throughout the year. There are programs on history, art, wildlife, plants, and outdoor recreation.
Pontoon boat rides through the interior of the peninsula provide opportunities to view abundant wildlife and scenic views. Kayaking the lagoons is very popular.
Presque Isle Boat Tours
A scenic tour of Lake Erie is offered at the park. A concession is located at the Perry Monument. Contact the park office for prices and a schedule.
Surfing is permitted at the following designated locations:
Beach 1 - 100 feet west of the westernmost swimming area on Beach 1
Beach 10 - 100 feet east of the swimming area on Beach 10
North Pierhead Light - 100 feet north of the North Pier and extends to 100 feet south of Beach 11 swimming area
Wearing of a U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD is not required in these designated areas.
Recreational scuba diving is permitted in designated waters of Presque Isle State Park. Divers must be certified and must register at the Public Safety Building to receive information on waters open for diving.
Snorkeling is prohibited in Presque Isle State Park waters.
Access for People with Disabilities
This activity or structure is ADA accessible.
ADA accessible restrooms, picnic tables, and parking spaces have been designated throughout the park.
The East Pier and West Pier areas feature spectacular views of Presque Isle Bay and the skyline of Erie and have ADA accessible:
The Tom Ridge Environmental Center and the Stull Center also are ADA accessible.
If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.
In an Emergency
Call 911 and contact an employee.
Directions to the nearest hospital are posted on bulletin boards and at the park office.
201 State Street
Erie, PA 16550