The Perry Monument was built in honor of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry who fought in the War of 1812 against Great Britain. During the war, Perry commanded the US Navy in Lake Erie. His own ship, the Lawrence, was destroyed, but on September 10, 1813, he took his new ship, the Niagara, and successfully defeated the British, preventing them from...more
The Tom Ridge Environmental Center is an interesting building of exhibits that display the history, culture, and wildlife of Lake Erie and Presque Isle. When you enter, it is best to watch the 15 minute video that will tell you and show you Presque Isle. After that, the other exhibits focus mainly on the widlife and plant life that you will find on...more
The Presque Isle Lighthouse was built in 1872, and actually began being used on July 12, 1873. The lighthouse is often disappointing to tourists, because you cannot actually enter the lighthouse. This is because it is someone's residence. The lighthouse is best viewed from the beach, and even though you cannot enter the lighthouse or take a tour,...more
On the beautiful summer day that we visited Misery Bay it looked idyllic - anything but miserable. It was to this spot, once called Little Bay, that Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry and his ships and men returned after their victorious Battle of Lake Erie. They came here to repair their fleet, and to seek medical treatment for the wounded. Perry and...more
During the War of 1812, Little Bay was the temporary home of the fleet of ships commanded by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. The sheltered waters of Presque Isle offered protection to the fleet during construction. The Perry Monument on Crystal Point, was built in 1926 to commemorate the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813, when Perry and his...more
"The Lady Kate," a 65-foot, 110 passenger vessel, provides visitors with an opportunity to take a 14-mile, 90-minute tour around Presque Isle Bay and onto the open waters of Lake Erie. Tours operate from May through September. Karen and I decided to save this for our next visit to Presque Isle, since we were limited in time. For more details on the...more
There are no restaurants in Presque Isle State Park, although you can find plenty of them in nearby Erie, PA, and there are concessions at some of the beaches. But if you want to eat in the park your best bet will is to bring your own picnic and take advantage of one of the many waterfront picnic areas, including charcoal grills, scattered about the peninsula. Karen and I came prepared with a cooler full of drinks and a basket of snacks and sandwich fixings.
Favorite Dish: My lunch at Presque Isle was a new creation - my first ever peanut butter, raspberry jam and banana sandwich, on nine-grain bread. I thought the ripe sliced banana between the peanut butter and jam was an absolutely delicious addition to the old standby. In fact, I liked it so much that I had the same thing for lunch again the following day.
Travel on I-79 North and turn onto Exit 183-B. Then go West onto 12th Street. When you reach Peninsula Drive, turn right. You should see Waldameer Park and Water World on the left and the Tom Ridge Environmental Center on the right. Peninsula Drive will take you to Presque Isle State Park.
This very nice interpretive center and nature shop is operated by the non-profit Presque Isle Partnership, and proceeds benefit environmental programs and projects at Presque Isle. Karen and I bought postcards, a refrigerator magnet, and lighthouse Christmas tree ornaments.
Spring and Fall: Thurs-Sun, 10 am - 4 pm
Memorial Day - Labor Day: Daily 10 am - 5 pm
What to buy: Bird Books
Children's Nature Items
Presque Isle Tour Tapes
Prints and Notecards by Local Artists
Local Lighthouse Replicas
Presque Isle Patches
Presque Isle T-Shirts
Located at Misery Bay, an inlet of Presque Isle Bay, in Presque Isle State Park. Dedicated to those who died in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. Viewing
daily, 8 am to sunset.
Just a few days before our trip I read an article which listed Presque Isle State Park, Pennsylvania, as one of the 25 worst tourist destinations in America for traffic bottlenecks due to summer vacation travel. We were expecting the worst, and were pleasantly surprised. Karen and I arrived at Presque Isle at about noon on Sunday, July 3, and although traffic was steady we were not unduly delayed. However the parking lots at most of the beaches were packed. Maybe most of the vacationers were already there. We stayed for the remainder of the day and had no serious problem finding places to park or picnic.
Just across Presque Isle Bay from the state park is historic Erie, Pennsylvania. This very interesting small city has much to offer the visitor and is definitely worth a visit in its own right. Points of interest include:Erie Land LighthouseNiagara US BrigBicentennial TowerExpERIEnce Children MuseumFire Fighter History MuseumMarx Toy MuseumErie Art...more
Directly across the bay from Presque Isle State Park, in Dunn Park, stands one of the oldest Great Lakes lighthouses, the Erie Land Lighthouse. It was established in 1819, and the current structure was built with large blocks of sandstone in 1867, on the sandy lakeshore at Erie, PA. Although the lighthouse has not been in operation since 1890, it...more
The more energetic visitor to Presque Isle should consider trekking the paved Multipurpose National Recreational Trail, a 10-mile long paved surface that is popularwith bicyclists, in-line skaters, joggers and walkers of all speeds and styles. This trail,which conforms to Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility standards,encompasses the...more
The sandy beaches of Presque Isle, washed by the sparkling clear waters of Lake Erie, provide the only opportunity for surf swimming in the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Of the five great lakes, all of which are known for their cold waters, Lake Erie is the warmest. However, even on the hot July day that we took a dip there, it was still...more
Presque Isle is not the kind of place one would go to find a wilderness hiking experience, but for the casual day-hiker it offers wonderful opportunities. There are 15 short trails, each with its unique interest, ranging in length from 0.2 to 2 miles, and totaling 11 miles. These lead to points of historic interest, and also through all of the six...more
Fishing is a very popular activity at Presque Isle, and we saw many people fishing both from the shore and aboard boats. Common species are perch, bass, walleye, trout and steelhead in Lake Erie. Panfish, perch, bass, muskellunge, walleye, northern pike, crappies, smelt and steelhead are caught in Presque Isle Bay. We saw this fisherman reel in his...more
Two phrases which have found a permanent place in the American verancular originated on the waters of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. "We have met the enemy and they are ours," was part of a message sent by Commodore Oliver Hazzard Perry in Sept, 1813, back to General William Henry Harrison on the mainland. "Don't Give Up the Ship" was an order...more
Great sunset over Lake Erie from the beaches at Presque Isle State Park. On a clear night in the summer it can be fantastic. The beaches were clean, the water warm and the facilities were very good. I enjoyed relaxing in the shade looking out over the beach and water on a beautiful sunny day.more
Birder's World magazine has rated Presque Isle State Park as one of the top birding spots in America. The peninsula's unique location on the Atlantic Flyway makes it a favorable spot for birds to feed either before or after their migration across the broad expanse of Lake Erie.Our visit did not coincide with the migration season, but we still...more