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Driftwood on the shore of lake Erie at Erie Bluffs State Park

Established in 2004, Erie Bluffs State Park is one of Pennsylvania’s newest state parks.

Spread across 587-acres within Erie County, this scintillating landscape incorporates the largest undeveloped stretch of land that overlooks Lake Erie.

Featuring over a mile of shoreline, as well as impressive 90 foot bluffs that showcase incredible views of the lake, the park is known for being a world class spot to fish for steelhead.

Specifically designated as a day-use park, it also has a wonderful range of hiking trails. Although swimming is not allowed here, boating is permitted.

Unfortunately there is no camping available at all within this PA state park. However, it does lie within a 30 mile radius of several other public recreational spaces, where several options for RV and tent sites exist.

Activities

Day visitors to the park can partake in a varied selection of outdoor recreational activities during their time at Erie Bluffs.

Here are further details about what you can do there.

Boating at Erie Bluffs State Park

Whilst at the park, you can make use of a 24-hour boat launch.

Suitable for canoes, kayaks and small motorized watercraft, it is located at the Elk Creek Access and easily allows boaters, as well as anglers, to access Lake Erie.

Just be aware that fluctuations in stream and lake elevation could impact launching. Also, be mindful that all motorboats must display a current and valid boat registration.

Similarly, non-powered vessels need to display either their boat registration, or a relevant launch permit.

Swimming at Erie Bluffs State Park

Unfortunately, swimming is strictly prohibited at the park.

Fishing at Erie Bluffs State Park

Anglers from all over Pennsylvania, and many of the surrounding states, come to the park to revel in its excellent fishing opportunities.

This includes casting a line at the world-class shallow stream of Elk Creek for steelhead, which can be accessed 24 hours a day.

A type of rainbow trout, steelhead can exceed 30 inches and can also be found in Lake Erie’s cool waters.

If you do fish at the park, be mindful that the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws regulations do apply.

Hiking at Erie Bluffs State Park

If you are into hiking, the park accommodates over five miles of trails that showcase its incredible scenic beauty.

These trails include former farming roads that skirt the perimeter of wide open savannas and fields. There are also picturesque wooded paths that lead to look out points that showcase exceptional views of Lake Erie from a lofted position above a 90-foot high bluff wall.

Here are some of the most popular trails at Erie Bluffs State Park:

  • trail 1 – Whitetail Crossing Trail. Length: 0.6 mile Degree of Difficulty: easy
  • trail 2 – Timber Trail. Length: 0.97 miles Degree of Difficulty: easy
  • trail 3 – Transition Trail. Length: 1.1 miles Degree of Difficulty: challenging

Nature & Wildlife

Erie Bluffs State Park is renowned for the diverse range of mammals, birds, amphibians, fish, and insects that reside within it.

This includes the likes of white-tailed deer and both grey and red foxes, as well as bald eagles and a big colony of bank swallows that nest within the bluff face.

Overall there are more than 80 species of birds in the park including the Acadian flycatcher and hooded and cerulean warbler.

Wood frogs, fairy shrimp and red-spotted newts can also be seen in the vernal pools that are often present in the wetlands of the woodland as well.

Picnicking at Erie Bluffs State Park

The park is a lovely place to picnic during the summer months.

Throughout the park there are several picnic tables located in various scenic spots. You’ll also find a small pavilion at the Elk Creek Access, that is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you intend to picnic at the park, there is a rustic restroom, situated within close proximity of most of the tables, for your convenience.

Hunting at Erie Bluffs State Park

During the established season, there are more than 500 acres open within the park for hunting and trapping and dog training.

If you intend to perform any of these activities you must abide by the rules and regulations of the DCNR and the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

One of these rules states that hunting woodchucks (groundhogs) is strictly prohibited. Another is that dog training can only take place from Labor Day, through to the March 31, in specifically designated hunting areas.

Cross-Country Skiing and snowshoeing at Erie Bluffs State Park

During the winter, when the snow hits, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are very popular activities at the park.

As well as seeing its wonderful landscape under a blanket of white, you will be able to enjoy the tranquility, freshness and solitude of the area under these conditions.

Throughout the park, several ungroomed trails are situated along various hiking trails and service roads that run within it.

Pets at Erie Bluffs State Park

Pets are welcome in the park. However, dogs must remain on a leash at all times and be cleaned up afterwards.

Camping at Erie Bluffs State Park

For those who are looking for overnight accommodation, there are unfortunately no campsites of any sort at the park.

However, within 30 miles of it there are a number of state parks you can stay at.

These include Presque Isle State Park and Pymatuning State Park. Both of which are in Pennsylvania, as well as Pymatuning State Park and Geneva State Park, which are located in Ohio.

Between them, there are plenty of accommodation options for RVs and tents there, as well as lodges, cabins, yurts and group camping.

Park Location

Erie Bluffs State Park
11100 W Lake Rd
Lake City, PA 16423
Phone: 814.833.7424

Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Erie Bluffs State Park: