Erie Bluffs State Park

The 587-acre Erie Bluffs State Park lies along the Lake Erie shoreline in western Erie County, twelve miles west of the city of Erie.

The park has one-mile of shoreline, 90-foot bluffs overlooking Lake Erie, Elk Creek - a shallow stream steelhead fishery, several plant species of conservation concern, uncommon black oak woodland/savannah, Great Lakes region sand barren ecosystems, and forested wetlands. The only developed areas in the park are the Elk Creek Access area and the Main Entrance parking lot.

Erie Bluffs State Park is designated as a day-use park, with the exception of fishing and boating. Swimming is not permitted at the park.

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Hiking   -  Picnicking   -  Fishing   -  Hunting   -  Boating   -  Geocaching   -  Education   -  Cross-country Skiing

Seasons and Hours: The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk. Contact the Presque Isle State Park office for facility seasons and hours.

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.Picnicking: Several picnic tables and a small pavilion are available on a first come-first served, non-reservable basis at the Elk Creek Access. A rustic restroom is open year round.

Boating: A 24-hour boat launch suitable for small motorized watercraft, kayaks, and canoes is available at the Elk Creek Access allowing boaters and fishermen to access Lake Erie. Fluctuations in lake and stream elevation may impact launching.

Motorboats must display a current boat registration. Non-powered boats must display one of the following: boat registration; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks, available at most state park offices; launching permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Complete information on boating rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.

Fishing: Anglers can enjoy fishing for steelhead in Elk Creek and the mouth of Elk Creek as it enters Lake Erie. The Elk Creek Access is open 24 hours for use by anglers. Elk Creek is a world-class shallow stream steelhead fishery with steelhead runs from late fall to early spring. Steelhead, a type of rainbow trout, reach 30 inches or longer and inhabit the cool waters of Lake Erie and seek rivers for spawning.

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.Hunting and Firearms: Over 500 acres are open to hunting, trapping, and the training of dogs from the day after Labor Day through March 31. Common game species are deer, turkey, and small game.

Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply. Contact the park office for ADA accessible hunting information.

Use extreme caution with firearms at all times. Other visitors use the park during hunting seasons. Firearms and archery equipment used for hunting may be uncased and ready for use only in authorized hunting areas during hunting seasons. In areas not open to hunting or during non-hunting seasons, firearms and archery equipment shall be kept in the owner’s vehicle or enclosed trailer. Exceptions include: law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms are authorized to carry a firearm concealed on their person while they are within a state park.

Complete information on hunting rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Game Commission Web site.

Geocaching: Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The goal is to locate outdoor hidden containers, called geocaches, and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people of all ages. A list of caches at the park can be found at

Hiking: 5.16 miles of trails
A variety of trails allow visitors to explore much of the park with ease. Former farming roads circle vast open fields and savannas. Wooded paths lead to vistas with scenic views of Lake Erie from atop the 90-foot bluff wall. Visitors are encouraged to stay on existing trails when possible, and travel on durable surfaces to prevent vegetation damage and erosion. All of the trails at the park are designated for hiking only. Horseback riding, mountain biking, and ATV use are not permitted.

Black Oak Savanna Trail: 0.3 mile, easiest hiking
Where you are walking was once the shoreline of Lake Erie. As the lake receded, it left behind a relict dune that is unique to the area and home to black oak trees. This trail connects to the trails on the western part of the park.

Bluffs Edge Trail: 0.39 mile, easiest hiking
The name says it all. This trail takes you along the bluffs edge with wonderful views of Lake Erie 75 to 90 feet below. On clear days the Conneaut Harbor Lighthouse can be seen off to the west.

A hiker enjoys the forest of Erie Bluffs State Park, Pennsylvania.Duck Run Trail: 0.69 mile, easiest hiking
This trail was once a dirt road leading to a boat launch near the mouth of Duck Run. An old growth forest with a thick understory of spicebush grows on the west side of the trail. The remains of a small building used to store commercial fishing nets can be seen along the trail.

Fishermans Footpath: 0.13 mile, more difficult hikig
The scenic trail along the western bluff of Elk Creek leads you to the mouth of the creek and provides a bird’s eye view along its western shore. As you approach the mouth, you will notice the remains of a stone foundation from a former Boy Scout camp.

Lookout Trail: 0.22 mile, easiest hiking
As you walk through the old growth forest, take notice of the large oaks, cottonwood, and black cherry trees in the area. The trail winds through the forest toward a scenic lookout over Lake Erie. As you stand at the bluffs edge you are about 90 feet above the lake.

Timber Trail: 0.97 mile, easiest hiking
This interior trail through the heart of Erie Bluffs travels through some of the oldest trees in the region. Part of the trail is an old logging road and very large stumps left from logging many years ago can be seen. This trail is great for birding and wildlife viewing and features many types of plants.

Transition Trail: 1.1 miles, easiest hiking
As you walk this trail you will be on the edge of various ecosystems providing the opportunity for great wildlife viewing. This trail offers a loop around the eastern portion of the park.

West Overlook Trail: 0.57 mile, more difficult hiking
The eastern side of Duck Run features many eastern hemlocks and an open forest understory. The trail meanders along the edge of the stream to the bluff’s edge where it is a steep walk down to the Lake Erie shoreline.

Whitetail Crossing Trail: 0.6 mile, easiest hiking
To the north of the trail is an old farm field, which has been restored as a native plant meadow. This is a great wildlife viewing area for deer and many bird species. Eagles and hawks are seen regularly as they search the open fields for prey.

Wildflower Way: 0.19 mile, more difficult hiking
This winding trail climbs the hill and is lined on both sides by many wildflowers, especially in the spring.

Winter Activities

Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths.

Cross-country Skiing: There is a certain peace and tranquility in Erie Bluffs State Park during the winter; and the view can be breathtaking. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are great ways to enjoy the park in winter, especially with a lot of snow on the ground. Ungroomed cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails are located on hiking trails and service roads throughout the park.

Environmental Education and Interpretation

Erie Bluffs State Park offers a wide variety of environmental education, interpretive and recreational programs. Through hands-on educational activities, guided walks and evening programs, participants gain appreciation, understanding and a sense of stewardship toward natural and cultural resources.

Programs are offered year round. Contact the Presque Isle park office for more detailed information.

Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of upcoming events.

Exlore environmental education and interpretation for more information.

Access for People with Disabilities

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.