Jutting into Lake Erie from downtown Erie’s west end, Presque Isle State Park is Pennsylvania’s most-visited state park, welcoming more than 4 million guests each year. In addition to its 11 sandy beaches, boat tours, and hiking trails, the park is home to the Karl Boyes Multi-Purpose National Recreation Trail. This flat, 13.6-mile asphalt circuit of the peninsula is a relaxing way to enjoy the park.
Visitors can find ample parking, restrooms, and picnic areas. Bike rentals are available from the Waterworks Pumphouse.
In addition to the miles of beaches and wildlife-watching spots, a popular destination on this ride is the Perry Monument, which overlooks Misery Bay. Built in 1926, it commemorates the War of 1812 victory of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry in the Battle of Lake Erie.
Bird lovers will want to stop at the Gull Point Observation Deck, although they should check first to make sure it’s open; seasonal closures ensure a safe environment for breeding wildlife.