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Pennsylvania State Parks

USA Parks
Northwest Region
Presque Isle State Park
Presque Isle State Park © John Lauffer
301 Peninsula Drive, Suite 1
Erie, Pennsylvania   16505

Phone: 814-833-7424
Toll Free: 888-727-2757
Reservations: 888-727-2757
Presque Isle is a recurving sand spit jutting into Lake Erie and has the only surf beach in the Commonwealth. Its geological and biological diversity, and its historical significance will spark your interest. The location of the park on Lake Erie makes it a favorite spot for bird migration.

Presque Isle State Park is a 3,200-acre sandy peninsula that arches lakeward into Lake Erie. The park is reached by PA Route 832 or by boat. The road system within the park forms a loop approximately 13 miles in length.

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.

Presque Isle is a National Natural Landmark. 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.

Presque Isle is a major recreational landmark for about four million visitors each year. 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.

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.
A marina with nearly 500 slips that can accommodate boats up to 42 feet in length is open May 1 through October 31. 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 as waiting lists exist for permanent assignments.

For more information call the Marina Office (seasonal) at 814-833-0176 or 814-833-8981.

A park concession, located in the marina, has gasoline and diesel fuel, a sewage pump-out station, and a variety of food and refreshment items.
The sandy beaches, washed by the clear waters of Lake Erie, provide visitors with the only surf swimming within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Beaches are open daily from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day unless otherwise posted. The regular hours are 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. For more information call Lifeguard Headquarters (seasonal) 814-833-0526.

Beach 1: This long stretch of sand is located near the park entrance and has a beach house (without concessions).

Barracks Beach: Near Beach 1, this beach has modern restrooms and three first-come, first-served picnic pavilions.

Beach 6: This large beach has sand volleyball courts, a beach house with changing areas, restrooms, and a food and beverage concession.

Beach 7 (Waterworks Beach): In addition to modern restrooms, this beach features a ramp that provides ADA access to the water's edge and is adjacent to picnic areas, including playground equipment and pavilions.

Beach 8 (Pettinato Beach): (Pettinato Beach): This wide expanse of sandy beach has a beach house with changing areas, restrooms, and food and beverage concession.

Mill Road Beaches: (Stone Jetty, Short Jetty, Saw Mill, Ainsworth, Goddard) These beaches allow visitors to enjoy unspoiled, relatively quiet beaches. Restrooms are located at Short Jetty and Saw Mill. The Mill Road beaches incorporate swimming areas with shaded picnic facilities.

Beach 9 (Pine Tree): This beach has picnic facilities, a picnic pavilion and a restroom.

Beach 10 (Budny Beach): Equipped with a beach house with changing areas, restrooms, and food and beverage concession, this beach lies between the Sunset Point area (popular with kite flyers and wind surfers) and Gull Point.

Beach 11: This is the most sheltered beach and features shallow water, a large sandy beach, and a beach house with changing areas, restrooms, and a food and beverage concession and is adjacent to picnic areas, including playground equipment and a picnic pavilion.
Both 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 Bay, excluding Grave Yard Pond. A boat rental concession is located in the Grave Yard Pond area and provides a variety of powered and non-powered craft. Beaching of boats along Presque Isle shoreline is permitted except at the Gull Point Natural Area between April 1 and November 30, and within 100 feet of designated swimming areas. A slow minimum height swell speed must be observed within all park waters which includes all waters within 500 feet of the shoreline.

Water conditions can change dramatically in a very short period of time. Please heed all weather notices. Listen to marine channel 16, the Coast Guard Emergency Channel on a VHF radio, or NOAA Weather Radio 162.400 MHZ, for current boating conditions.

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.

Picnic facilities with tables, grills and charcoal disposals are available throughout the park. Refer to the map for locations.

Picnic Pavilions: A number of picnic pavilions are available for rental, accommodating from 30 to 200 people. Please make advance reservations by calling 888-PA-PARKS. Pavilions that are not reserved are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis.

Picnic Shelters: There are three enclosed day use picnic shelters in the Waterworks Area. Shelters include electricity, water, picnic tables and a fireplace. Advanced reservations must be made by calling 888-PA-PARKS.
Nature Programs
You may want to experience the natural or historic wonders of Presque Isle by participating in an environmental education or interpretive program. A variety of programs are provided for the community, scouts, civic organizations and school groups. Programs focus on historical, natural and environmental issues.

Free pontoon boat programs through the interior lagoons are available at scheduled times from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Concession operated scenic boat tours are available seasonally from the Perry Monument. These tours provide informative tours of Presque Isle and Lake Erie.

For more information on the environmental education and interpretive program at Presque Isle, or for program schedules, contact the Stull Interpretive Center.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 3 Gem by Holly M
Presque Isle is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth. The forest & especially the beaches. It is the gem of lake Erie! The state needs to work hard to protect the serenity of the beaches by not allowing boaters to park close to shore, though. Their music, grills ,and sheer volume- 4 boats inside the stone markers at the lighthouse beach forced us to move- the natural beauty of such a wonderful place was marred.
November 21 Boyhood memories by Ed Hinspeter Jr.
Second submission due to email address typo. I grew up in Erie, and I am now living in Denver Colorado. But I still call Erie home. Just before asking my wife to marry me, I knew I had to bring her home to meet the family and visit the peninsula where I spent many summer days. I have great memories of family reunions, picnics, as a teen I?d, bring dates to ?Eddie?s Hideaway? (actually a few spots along the peninsula). It was almost as if that piece of land would talk to me. Being a nature lover I realized that this awesome stretch of land and water did? sort or talk to me. The peninsula knew that dates of my youth were not the right ones. I remember sitting watching the water, sand, people, sunsets, and pondering the day that I?d be able to bring the true woman who?d steal my heart back here one day. All the times that I would sit and reflect on life and the peace of this bit of land and water, one woman of my dreams became true as she and I visited early in our relationship and then again with our son who experienced his very first joy of playing in waves as they crashed around is little legs. Paula (my wife) loves Erie and the peninsula as much as I do. I hope it is open and free to us for many more years and I hope our son will be able to bring his kids to that same beach where he first experience waves, beaches and fun in the waters of Lake Erie.
October 9 qwer5 by qwert
Let your mind wander on the sandy beaches....as the gentle waves wash the world away.....if only for a while. Written by Dsl1717 29-Apr-2008

Area Campgrounds
Hills Family Campground
6300 Sterrettania Road
Erie, PA
Sara's Beachcomber Campground
50 Peninsula Drive
Erie, PA
Folly'End Campground
8600 Avonia Road
Girard, PA
Sparrow Pond Family Campground
11103 Route 19 North
Waterford, PA
Area Fishing Related Businesses
Lake Erie Ultimate Angler
2400 W 8th St
Erie, PA
(814) 456-3035
Smith Bait Stand
34 State St
Erie, PA
(814) 459-4259
Bac Bait & Tackle
4858 W Lake Rd
Erie, PA
(814) 835-0581
Sons Sons of Lake Erie Fishing
PO Box 3605
Erie, PA
(814) 453-2270
Lawrence Park Fishing Club
3702 E Lake Rd
Erie, PA
(814) 898-3477
Hansen's Bait Stand
83 Peninsula Dr
Erie, PA
(814) 838-1642
Area Cabins and Lodges
Fairfield Inn
2082 Interchange Rd
Erie, PA
(814) 868-0985
Residence Inn-Erie
8061 Peach St
Erie, PA
(814) 864-2500
7792 Peach St
Erie, PA
(814) 860-8300
Lodge on Sass
202 W 9th St
Erie, PA
(814) 452-3600


Pennsylvania State Parks