Presque Isle State Park (The Point)
DESCRIPTION: Presque Isle State Park at Erie is a narrow-necked, low-lying sandspit extending about seven miles northeastward into Lake Erie, anchored to the mainland about four miles west of the center of the city of Erie. The Peninsula varies in width from a few hundred yards at the neck to more than a mile in width near the center. This is one of the few places in the East where, within a half-hour walk, one can observe 600 years of plant succession, from lake-side sandy beaches, to dunes with beach grasses and cottonwoods, thickets, mixed sub-climax forest, and finally to the remaining oak-maple climax forest, all interspersed with marshes and lagoons. The eastern half of the park has been formed by centuries of sand and gravel deposited by prevailing westerly winds and waves. East-west sand ridges mark historical shorelines and former edges of beach lagoons. Sand plains are characterized chiefly by grasses, bayberry, cottonwoods, and willows. The newest section, the eastern tip at Gull Point, is in constant change, sands continually being deposited and washed away. It is precisely this transience and fluidity which sustain the Peninsula's geological character. The Peninsula has long been a living model for study by naturalists and geologists. Since each plant association tends to attract its own related species of birds, Presque Isle's list of 324 species of birds is impressive. Erie Bay extends, north to south, for about two miles. It is relatively shallow, connected to Lake Erie at its eastern end by a deep channel, and protected along its north shore by Presque Isle. The best vantage points on the Peninsula to look for gulls and waterfowl on Erie Bay are from the parking lots near the Park Entrance, from West Fisher Drive and East Fisher Drive, and from the North Pier at the end of Coast Guard Road. Beach 11 offers a good view of Thompson Bay and the lake. The lake itself can be reached at many locations along the lake-side road. The interior of Presque Isle has been set aside as an Ecological Reservation. It consists of modified climax and sub-climax forest, marshes and lagoons, and a series of old east-west sand ridges accessible by way of many established hiking trails. A paved all-purpose trail now extends along the bayside from the Park Entrance to Crystal Point.

DIRECTIONS: Located at the northern terminus of Route 832 (Peninsula Drive) accessible from Routes 1-90, 20, and 5.


Maps - other than Google (Click on map for larger view)


Lily Pond
Sidewalk Trail
Fry's Landing
Thompson Circle
Pine Tree Trail
Gull Point
Sunset Point
Coast Guard Jetty
Beach 11


Posted: 2009-10-24 00:00:00