"Presque Isle State Park, Pennsylvania" Presque Isle State Park by Stephen-KarenConn

Presque Isle State Park Travel Guide: 23 reviews and 33 photos

In French presque isle means "almost an island," and Presque Isle State Park is certainly that, a long narrow sandy peninsula which arches 7 miles into Lake Erie near the city of Erie, Pennsylvania. Covering 3,200 acres, it is a beautiful day-use park that provides year-round recreational opportunities: swimming, boating, fishing, walking, bicycling picnicking and more.

Those not familiar with Lake Erie should know that it is not at all what one normally thinks of as a lake, but is rather a vast blue inland sea, bounded on the north by Ontario, Canada, and on the south by New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio in the United States. It is connected to the other 4 "Great Lakes," and also to the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The peninsula was not in the original land grant that became Pennsylvania, and at first the state had no shore frontage on Lake Erie. Recognizing the strategic importance of access to the new country's inland seas, Pennsylvania bought a 45-mile stretch of lake frontage immediately after the Revolutionary War. The purchase included Presque Isle, and all of the area that today comprises Erie County, Pennsylvania.

National Geographic lists Presque Isle as one of the top State Parks in America. I first visited the peninsula with some college friends when I was 19, in August, 1964. It was such a lovely place that I always thought I would return, but It took me 41 years to do so, this time with Karen. There is a lesson to be learned here. Always cherish your visit to a special place, because you never know how long, if ever, it will be before you have that opportunity again.

  • Last visit to Presque Isle State Park: Jun 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (15)

Comments (13)

  • PA2AKgirl's Profile Photo
    Oct 10, 2006 at 8:29 AM

    This is a great page! It's nice to see that one of PA's state parks is still doing very well. I went to 5 or so over the summer and a couple looked completely abandoned. No concessions, no lifeguards, bathrooms were closed...it's sad.

  • Sep 26, 2006 at 6:11 PM

    I was looking for something to do this weekend and thought of Presque Isle. Ethan's never been. GREAT tips, as usual!!

  • goingsolo's Profile Photo
    Oct 22, 2005 at 2:35 PM

    I like the way you wove the history in with the more scenic and recreational aspects of this park. Another excellent page and a great narrative on a lesser known place. :)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Aug 20, 2005 at 8:06 PM

    This trip looked very fun and relaxing. I hope you all had a great time! Thanks for sharing!

  • johanl's Profile Photo
    Jul 21, 2005 at 8:58 AM

    C'est presque parfait..... Great pictures and as usual to the point texts. Great job Stephen !!!

  • novsco61's Profile Photo
    Jul 20, 2005 at 11:50 PM

    Great page,Karen. A nice spot to spent some days to enjoy in the park.

  • Orkaena's Profile Photo
    Jul 14, 2005 at 4:13 PM

    I told you..." Your new pages of "Almost an Island" ;-) looks luring!"... and I was right... beautiful place, it worth more than one visit, I guess. Detailed and clear tips, like always you done my friend.

  • NC_Ziggy's Profile Photo
    Jul 14, 2005 at 1:46 PM

    Cool Place! I can see why it would be so congested as who wouldn't want to be there? A very nice presentation of a very nice place! Thanks for sharing!

  • Jonathan_C's Profile Photo
    Jul 14, 2005 at 3:43 AM

    What a great place! I think the state parks are vastly underrated as destinations and I'm glad to see you giving this one the attention it deserves -- especially the history. Thanks!

  • easyoar's Profile Photo
    Jul 13, 2005 at 1:31 PM

    Firstly Congratulations on your 4 years of marraige! The peanut butter concoction sounds delicious although I try to avoid it these days ;-) Looks a lovely spot!

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