Tour the park
Whether by bike, boat or foot, there are several ways to tour the beautiful 3,200-acre sandy peninsula known as Presque Isle State Park. As Pennsylvania’s only “seashore,” Presque Isle offers its visitors a beautiful coastline and many recreational activities.
Tour by bike
What: Unguided tours on the Karl Boyes Multi-purpose National Recreation Trail
Where: 13.5 mile paved circuit beginning near entrance of the park
Rentals: Bicycles, four wheeled surreys, tricycles and roller blades available for rent from the Yellow Bike Company near Waterworks Pumphouse area.
When: The trail is open year-round for visitors. During the winter, the trail is plowed from the entrance to the park office for hikers. For cross-country skiers, the trail is left snow covered from the park office to Perry Monument. The bike rental is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends during May and September, weather permitting.
More info: Call 814-835-8900.
Tour by Segway
What: Guided Segway tours of the park on a Segway X-2
Where: Yellow Bike Rental near Waterworks
When: Summer season
More info: 814-833-SEGS (7347) or presqueisletouringcompany.com to reserve your tour
Tour by boat
What: Lagoons by Pontoon boat tours
Where: Dock near East Boat Livery
When: Daily May 27-Sept. 5. Sign up in person at 10 a.m. for rides at 11 a.m., 1 and 2 p.m.
More info: 814-833-7424
What: Evening Lagoons by Pontoon boat tours
Where: Dock near East Boat Livery
When: Wednesdays and Fridays June 1-Sept. 2; 7 p.m.; sign-up is a first-come, first served online reservation every Monday at 10 a.m. for that week.
Register at http://events.dcnr.pa.gov/
Tour by foot
What: Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC), dedicated to teaching visitors about Presque Isle and the many different forms of life that inhabit this unique peninsula
Where: Entrance to Presque Isle State Park, 301 Peninsula Drive
When: Seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cost: Free admission to the interactive exhibits and the 75-foot observation tower
More info: 814-833-7424 or trecpi.org
Eugene Ware is a local expert on all things Presque Isle. He is the author of three books, “A Walk on the Park,” “The Moods of Presque Isle” and “Whispers Across the Pond.” He is in the process of completing two more books, a pictorial history of Presque Isle and a narrative history of the peninsula. “A Walk on the Park” chronicles 20 different routes you can take to enjoy the vast resources the park has to offer. With Mr. Ware’s permission, we have reprinted brief descriptions of the 20 walks from his book and included them here. The actual book is more than 150 pages and includes in-depth information on wildlife, photography and other tips to fully enjoy your time at the park. The book can be purchased throughout the area, including at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center.
- Walk 1 – Bay and Old Lake Road Loop
- Walk 2 – Swan Cove and Waterworks Loop
- Walk 3 – Cranberry Loop
- Walk 4 – Graveyard Pond Trail
- Walk 5 – Long Pond Trail
- Walk 6 – Old Gas Well and Duck Pond Loop
- Walk 7 – Sunset Point, Pine Tree Trail, and Beach 10 Loop
- Walk 8 – Gull Point Walk
- Walk 9 – Thompson Circle, Pine Tree Trail and Dead Pond Trail Loop
- Walk 10 – North Pier and Houseboats
- Walk 11 – Presque Isle Lighthouse, Beach and Sunset Point Loop
- Walk 12 – Sidewalk Trail
- Walk 13 – Stull Center Beach Walk
- Walk 14 – Niagara Boat Launch, Lagoon, and Long Boat Pond
- Walk 15 – East Pier, Sidwalk Trail, and Fox Trail Loop
- Walk 16 – Perry Monument and Vistas
- Walk 17 – Thompson Bay Nature Walk
- Walk 18 – Sidewalk Trail and Lighthouse Beach Loop
- Walk 19 – Long Pond Bridge and Fox Trail Loop
- Walk 20 – Ridge Runner Walk