Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA – Biking through the Pandemic

It’s been a tough time for travel bloggers.  Can’t go anywhere, can’t do anything.  Luckily, we like to ride our bikes.  Now we are not crazy people who go 100 miles per day, but we try to get out and do 10-20 miles on the weekend if we can.  During the Summer of Covid, we have expanded our range a bit, and try to hit some new trails.  This week we went up to Erie, PA to ride a 15 mile loop around Presque Isle State Park.

A Nice 2-hr Bike Ride Around Presque Isle State Park

Erie ain’t close.  It’s about a 2.5 hr drive from our house straight up I-79.  We picked an absolute beautiful Indian Summer day, loaded up the bikes and off we went.  Erie is the fourth biggest city in the state behind Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Allentown.  It becomes the fifth largest on Saturdays in the fall when Penn State plays at home and State Colleges passes it by.  It sits on the only piece of actual coastline in the state, and tons of people flock there to fish for salmon and other lake fish.

Go North Young Man

Presque Isle is a spit of sand that extends from Erie out into the lake several miles, forming a sheltered bay.  They put a Coast Guard Station out there along with some lighthouses.  They also turned it into a very nice state park that is ideal for biking.  Ideal for us being not too far, paved dedicated bike trails,  and very flat.

So we will take you on a 15-mile loop of the park and show you some of the things you might not want to miss if you decide to go.

Biking Presque Isle

Entering the park, we parked at Swan Cove parking lot.  As it was a beautiful 80-deg day in October, the park was fairly crowded with walkers, joggers and other bikes, but as we rode further, the traffic thinned out.  Our first stop was the Presque Isle lighthouse, a very pretty white clapboard affair the keeps the lake traffic safe.

Presque Isle Lighthouse – Ain’t we cute?

From here, very nice beaches stretch along the lake shore.

Lake Erie beaches in the fall are quite pretty

The roads all have turtle crossing signs, and coming round a bend I saw this little guy trying to cross the road. A biker and me tried to move him, but he looked like he could easily take off a finger or two.

Snapping Turtle on His way somewhere

At the northern end of the peninsula, we took the road going out to the Coast Guard station, and the north pier.  Along the way we passed Thompson Bay with several floating houses.

Floating Houses in Thompson Bay. One way to get out of mowing the grass.

At the North Pier, we found a bunch of fishermen along with huge sand mounds.  The peninsula is made of sand, so I’m guessing it’s a pretty good business to be in.

The Great Sand Pyramids of Erie

A Little History

The last place we stopped was at the Perry Monument.  Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry was an American naval officer during the War of 1812.  He pretty much owned the British in Lake Erie where he caused the surrender of an entire British Fleet near Presque Isle.

When your parents give a middle name like Hazard, you’re probably going to be pretty bad-assed

So the good folks of Erie erected a monument to the guy

Perry Monument -Who Says us Pennsylvanians can’t have sea heroes?

A few miles more and we were back at the car.  We loaded up the bikes and drove back home.  In all, it was a very nice day with my lovely wife.  We got some exercise, we made the best use of a beautiful fall day, and we learned a bit about history.  I highly recommend a trip up to Presque Isle if you get a chance.


Daytripping with Rick via Bikes


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