Presque Isle State Park is a beautiful, 3,200 acre peninsula with a rich history just outside of Erie, Pennsylvania. It has always been one of my grandfather's favorite places to visit so when we were on the East coast last month, Jason and I took the dogs there to explore. The unguarded beaches and all of the trails there are leashed-dog friendly. We only had time for a day trip to Presque Isle and since most of my childhood memories of the park are of the lovely, sandy beaches, we spent most of our time next to the crashing waves of Lake Erie. I wish we had made some more time to explore some of the winding forest trails and see some of the parks many ponds as well.
I guess being from Cascadia, I am always attracted to lighthouses. We stopped at both of Presque Isle's historic lighthouses, the first was the North Pier Light. I don't think the dogs cared much about the lighthouse, but I do think they enjoyed strolling the pier sniffing around a place that were built before Washington was even a state. It was overcast and breezy but the rain had finally let up so their were great smells and good fun to be had.
The beach next to the North Pier Light was too small and rocky for much more beach fun than a little bit of wave chasing so we moved on the the Presque Isle Lighthouse. The leashed dog friendly beach there went on and on. And, best of all, the sun came out. I guess it's just my opinion that the sunshine was the best part of the day. Wilhelm would probably say the best part of his day was the dead fish he dug up and rolled in while Jason and I tried to eat lunch. There were definitely a lot more dead fish on the shore of Lake Erie than we get at any beaches in Cascadia. At least it isn't likely that these dead fish are going to kill the dogs like Pacific salmon can. But certainly drinking the water can be dangerous so we didn't do much wading. There was plenty of (non-dead fish) digging and rolling though so (after Wilhelm was thoroughly grooming wiped) we had a very nice time.
We trotted briefly on the Sidewalk Trail, across the road from the Presque Isle Lighthouse exhibit. The dogs were definitely exited about the change of pace. I was glad to have them shake off some of the sand before getting back into the van to return to New York. There were "tick area" warning signs at the trail head and the flying bugs were also quite numerous along this trail. If you go do visit Presque Isle State Park (which I highly recommend) come prepared. Ticks, bugs, rain, wind or shine, this park is unique and special and I was so glad to make memories there with the dogs.