Presque Isle State Park, Erie, Pennsylvania, is a more than 3,000-acre park on a sandy peninsula that juts into Lake Erie. The peninsula is constantly reshaped by waves and wind and has numerous sandy beaches for swimming, miles of paved trails for walkers, cyclists and in-line skaters, and - according to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources - more endangeredm threatened and rare species of birds than any other area if comparable size in the Keystone State. At the entrance is the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, named for the former governor and dedicated to teaching visitors about Presque Isle.
A park highlight is the Perry Monument on Crystal Point overlooking Misery Bay, which was the the temporary home of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's fleet during the War of 1812. After the battle, which took place at Put-in-Bay near Sandusky, Ohio, Perry and his men returned to Erie. During the winter, many of the men contracted smallpox and were quarantined, hence (together with the awful winter weather) the name Misery Bay. His flagship U.S. Brig Niagara, which sank in Misery Bay, has been rebuilt and is docked in downtown Erie at the Erie Maritime Museum.
Also in the park are two lighthouses: Erie Pierhead, the first American lighthouse built on Lake Erie (1818), and Presque Isle, the second oldest (first lit in 1873). The latter, which includes a house, is open to the public on a limited basis.
Categories & Keywords
Category:Travel and Places
Subcategory Detail:United States of America
Keywords:Isle, Monument, Pennsylvania, Perry, Presque, environment, lighthouses, park, state, trails