the dyrt
Tent Sites
Fires Unknown
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About Presque Isle State Park
Features
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ADA Accessible
Drinking Water
Electric Hookups
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Reservable
Toilets
Trash Available
No WiFi
Location
Presque Isle State Park is located in Pennsylvania
Latitude
42.11 N
Longitude
-80.154 W
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12 Reviews of Presque Isle State Park
By far my favorite PA state Park

Beaches are clean, water is clear. Lighthouse is a must see for some great views. Beautiful sunsets! Nice little lagoons for kayaking.

Beautiful lake!

We were pleasantly surprised with this park! Dogs are allowed on a certain area of the beach- which holds special sentimental value for me because my oldest dog loved the water and this was the last vacation we took with her before she passed away. There were 2 other beaches we went swimming at- a bit crowded, but that is to be expected. There was a lovely monument to see and an informative boat ride which wasn't too expensive. We also did the lagoon by pontoon ride; this is free, but limited seating and first come first served. We felt lucky to get seats because the woman who signed in after us said she had been trying for months to go.

Lake anyone?

Beautiful drive to this state park. Amazing views clear water pretty walks quiet.

Gorgeous place for a day trip of cycling, walking, and paddling!

Presque Isle State Park is a green and sandy oasis right across the small bay from Erie, Pennsylvania. With biking trails and miles of pristine beaches right on Lake Erie, you feel miles away from the downtown hustle. It’s obvious from the two days we spent hanging out here that the locals do not take this place for granted. It appears integrated into their daily routines of exercise, dog walking, cycling and jogging. 

With miles of level run/walk/bike paths, 11 different beaches, reservable picnic shelters, beach volleyball courts, bike and boat rentals, a 500-slip boat marina, and a large Environmental Education center this state park offers the perfect family getaway for the day, as the park is closed at night. 

Bathroom facilities are simple but clean and conveniently spaced around the park. Camping and food are closely located just outside the park. The area is cute but a little crowded and has all the earmarks of being a popular spot during the high season of summer. The nearby amusement park also attracts traffic to the area. This park is a gem of a place and I was so glad to see that as some of the best real estate in the area it remains open to the public and completely free.

We used this area as a day base camp for our adventures on the water and on the path. We even grabbed a quick, but icy cold shower at the changing room. When you live like we, never turn down a free shower!

Downtown Erie is also a cute, smallish city with lots of good eateries and breweries. While we were there they were hosting a Rib festival downtown with lots of live music and a lot of roasted meat -- not exactly what two vegetarians are looking for but it was a cool scene.

beautiful beaches

the beaches are very clean fishinh is great but there is no camping on presque isle except for sarahs

Beautiful state park in northwestern PA

Unfortunately, Presque Isle itself does not have any official camping options, so while visiting we stayed at the nearby Erie KOA Holiday and I have provided a separate review of the campground. I also wanted to provide some photos and a review of the state park and related Tom Ridge Environmental Center as we really enjoyed both during our long holiday weekend. The park itself is LARGE, and there is easily enough to do for a full day or weekend trip, especially if you have a kayak or boat.

We stopped at the Tom Ridge environmental center prior to heading into the park, which gave us a lot of context and info about the area including the history of the role that Presque Isle / Lake Erie played in the War of 1812. There are a lot of newer exhibits including a strong focus on the different animals and birds that can be found in the area, and even a small gallery upstairs with local artwork that can be purchased. The observation tower was also neat and offered a cool view of Lake Erie and some of the rides in nearby Waldameer Park (which was closed during our visit).

The kids really enjoyed playing in the water at one of the main beaches (I believe it was No. 6) and we all had a good time looking for crabs, bugs, cool rocks, etc along the shoreline. We put our inflatable kayaks in near the canoe and boat rental place near Graveyard Pond, which is well known for its crazy number (and variety) of turtles. Check out the photos and video - there were a TON of them! There is an observation deck if you don't have a kayak / canoe, but the best experience is definitely from the water - just don't be the jerk that scares them away from their log perches. Although we didn't catch any fish on the kayaks, we saw a lot of different kinds of birds along with the massive amount of turtles, including both a green heron and a blue heron.

The walk to Perry Monument was great as it provided additional information about the history of Misery Bay. The monument was a cool photo op, but the really awesome thing that we noticed after hanging out in the area is that the shallow pool surrounding the monument is apparently a breeding ground for frogs native to the area. The pool was full of tadpoles and there were mini frogs all over the brick walkway and along the edge of the monument. If you're visiting in mid- to late August or early September, you should definitely check to see if they're there.

We definitely underestimated the size of this park and the activities available, and did not get a chance to visit the lighthouse, walk out to the observation platform at gull point, visit any of the other beaches, do any of the hiking trails, etc - there is a LOT to do here!! We are definitely looking forward to our next visit.

Awesome island park, but NO CAMPING

Absolutely beautiful park along the little strip of PA on Lake Erie. There is a lot of wildlife among the ponds and marshes with great trails throughout. Swimming and boating on the lake. There are overnight campground options nearby if you do want to spend a few days here. Close to 90 for convenience but far enough from everything to feel like an island getaway.

Presque Island on the Great Lake

Very popular campground with a very well-deserved reputation. The park is out on a little series of islands with beaches, boating, canoeing, biking, and BEAUTY, plus some extras like an oldie diner. There was something to do for everyone in our family, ages 6 to 78, but it’s still very natural and not like a resort at all. We only got a camping spot once out of the three times we’ve visited since there are no reservations, so get there really early. Everything was pretty clean given the amount of traffic through the bathrooms and showers. Definitely recommended, a really special place in this part of the country.

West Haven RV Park

Well-kept, full hookups and mostly all RVs with about 12+ tent sites in a field with no hookups, but spacious open sites. Dog friendly. The ownership is VERY accommodating and helpful. Really kind people. Pool, playground, fishing pond and hiking trails. Very near fishing rivers of the area and a straight drive down the road into the state park and all its amazing beaches, kayaking and lake biking about 15 mins away. A great many seasonal residents are here. Showers are quarter (you get it back) operated, and well kept, but there are only 2 bathroom stalls as most residents have their own bath accommodations.

Sara's Campground

Great location: you can bike right out of your site onto the bike path of the state park, which is one of the best in the area. Also, it's mostly RVs but does have a few tent camping sites. Most importantly it's first come first serve, so early arrival is paramount. It's the fullest campground in the area. Walk to the state park, Waldemeer water and amusement park and Sara's diner, a legendary 50s style hot dog stand and ice cream joint.