Explore the Outdoors
Whether your adventurous spirit enjoys swimming, skiing, biking, running, fishing, camping, horseback riding, golfing or simply laying on the beach, we’ve got the place for you! Erie was recently named the “Best Destination for Sports with Natural Venues” by SportsEvents Magazine. Hike our nature trails, delve into Lake Erie waters, creeks, streams and tributaries or sleep under the stars.
Recently awarded the “#1 Freshwater Beach in the Country” designation by USA Today Reader’s Choice, Erie’s Presque Isle State Park is a National Natural Landmark nestled between the shores of Lake Erie and beautiful Presque Isle Bay. The Park is Erie’s largest outdoor playground, welcoming over 4 million visitors each year. Miles of sandy surf beaches are waiting for you to stretch out on, fly a kite, build a sandcastle or just soak in some rays. Open year-round and free to the public, Presque Isle offers swimming, surfing, hiking, biking, roller blading, boating, kayaking, segways, surreys, ice-kiting, cross country skiing, canoeing, birding, fishing and more. Seven miles of sandy beaches and world-class sunsets await you. Recreation equipment rentals are available outside and inside the Park. Presque Isle is part of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, an America’s Byway™, a 518-mile scenic driving route that follows the shores of Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River in New York and Pennsylvania.
Explore Asbury Woods Nature Center’s 250-acre property with well-kept trails perfect for exploring on foot, bike or even snow shoes! Asbury Woods offers a variety of nature programs that are specifically designed for children along with a variety of programs that are fun for the whole family to enjoy together. Bundle up for Pennsylvania’s coolest ride and go snowmobiling on various trails throughout Erie County as designated by the Pennsylvania State Snowmobiling Association or test your skills at downhill skiing and tubing at Mount Pleasant of Edinboro. Cross country ski or snow shoe at Presque Isle State Park, Asbury Woods or Erie Bluffs State Park.
Not too far down the road, Peek’n Peak Ski Resort is a destination designed specifically for the outdoor enthusiast. Try your hand at one of two golf courses, take a Segway tour or relax at their spa. The Peek’s Aerial Adventure Course provides the best thrill seeker “fix” offering 69 obstacles in 8 separate courses of varying difficulties with giant zip lines, ultimate bungee, rope bridges, tight ropes and more! Winter activities at the Peek include downhill skiing, tubing and cross country skiing.
Walking Tours: Download the FREE Hello Erie mobile app and check out two NEW GPS-based walking tours: Gems of The City, a walking tour of historic (lower) Downtown Erie (Dickson House, Hamot House, Captain John Richard’s House, St. Patrick’s Church and more) and the West Bayfront Walking Tour which includes the Bicentennial Tower, Dobbins Landing, West Canal Basin and more. Also, foodies can eat their way through downtown Erie on the Erie Food Tour which includes stops and tastings and a bite of history at some of Erie’s most popular restaurants.
Additional outdoor recreation includes: Camping, birding, ice fishing, geocaching plus Double DAB Riding Stables, Erie Zoo & Botanical Gardens, Goodell Gardens & Homestead, Lake Effect Sailing, Lake Erie Outfitters, Pennsylvania’s Scenic Route 6, and Presque Isle Touring Company.
Tour On Your Own!
Grab your family or friends and set out for a do-it-yourself outdoor adventure! Here are our suggestions for fun outdoor tours:
- Let’s Move Outside!
The Let’s Move Outside! Erie County Recreational Passport is a collaborative program of Erie Yesterday, Erie County Department of Health and VisitErie. It’s an innovative program promoting healthy living and physical activity through the use of public art, local history and outdoor recreation. Download a PDF of the new, pocket-sized Let’s Move Outside! Erie County Recreational Passport. Click here for more information.
- Don’t Give Up the Drip
Don’t Give Up the Drip Community Rain Barrel Art Project is simultaneously showcasing Erie’s local art talent while educating the community about the benefits of harvesting rainwater. Take a cool “green” tour throughout Erie County of of 52 locally designed and created rain barrels commissioned by the Erie County Conservation District and Environment Erie. Perfect for those interested in environmental/nature sites. For more information, click here.
GOLF, FISH, GO!
Twenty-eight golf courses are ready to challenge your skills in the Erie region. For a challenging game play 18 at Whispering Woods Golf Club, ranked 9th Best Public Golf Course in Pennsylvania by PGA.com, featuring five sets of tees, chiseled fairways, 50 bunkers and creatively shaped greens, all designed by late golf course architect John Exleyor. Enjoy Erie Golf Club and be pleasantly surprised at how close the courses are to the city. Designed by A.W. Tillinghast, EGC is a tough yet rewarding course with rolling fairways, hilly terrain, challenging greens and 30+ bunkers. Peek ‘N Peak’s combined 36 holes on two courses (upper and lower) feature unique terrains and natural qualities with panoramic rolling hills, great elevation changes, bent-grass fairways, deep sand ponds and mature woods. Crab Apple Ridge Golf Course is one of the best golf courses in the tri-state area with 125+ acres of gently rolling terrain sprinkled with apple trees, generous fairways, large greens, and multiple tee boxes to accommodate golfers of all skill levels. Harbor Ridge Golf Club is a challenging 9-hole golf course that is family friendly and open to the public with bent grass tees, fairways and greens from four sets of regulation tees and a family tee that has a USGA slope/rating. Bring the family or a group of friends to enjoy mini golf, bayside at Harborview Miniature Golf nestled in Erie’s picturesque Bayfront.
A true “hidden gem” in the Erie County area is North Hills Golf Course in neighboring Corry PA. North Hills offers large greens, tree-lined fairways, and multiple tee boxes to provide an outstanding golf experience. The layout, designed by noted architect Ed Ault, provides gentle rolling hills and scenic views that make for an unforgettable round of golf. The 34 sand bunkers and numerous water hazards will keep you challenged. Lake View Country Club is a private golf club located 20 miles from Erie in North East, Pa, ½ mile south of I-90 at Exit 41. The Championship course is maintained to a very high standard and offers spectacular views. The par 72 layout measures 6854 from the back tees. Five sets of tees allow the course to be enjoyable for all players.
Download or request a hard copy of the 2016 Hello Erie! Golf Packages brochure. Plan your golf getaway today with brand new overnight golf packages! The full-color guide contains general course information on the following golf courses:
- Whispering Woods Golf Club
- Peek ‘n Peak Resort
- Crab Apple Ridge Golf Course
- Lake View Country Club
- North Hills Municipal Golf Course
- Erie Golf Club
Overnight lodging packages provided by: Scott Enterprises Hotels, Cobblestone Inn & Suites, Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel, Courtyard Bayfront Marriott, Holiday Inn Express & Suites (North East, PA), Wingate by Wyndham, Clarion Lake Erie Hotel, and Comfort Inn Presque Isle. Copies of the “Hello Erie Golf Packages” brochure can be obtained via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 814-454-1000/toll-free 800-524-3743.
Fish from shore or stream, bring your boat or hire a charter (we suggest Bassin’ on the Bay). Marinas, boat launches and bait and tackle concessions dot Erie’s Bayfront. Northwest Pennsylvania is one of the country’s greatest angling destinations and Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay and the surrounding creeks, streams, tributaries and ponds are the places to land your big catch! Cast your line for diverse game fish species including steelhead, trout, muskies, walleye, pan fish, pike, bluegill, smallmouth and largemouth bass, salmon, catfish, perch and crappies.
Fish Bits: Fishing enthusiasts are presented with a variety of options in the spring. Steelhead is plentiful from late September to early May in Lake Erie tributaries and creeks. In April, pan fish and bass are found in smaller ponds, while pike and muskies are seen in Presque Isle Bay depending on the ice melt. April also brings the arrival of trout season plus the appearance of bass and walleye in Lake Erie. All of the above mentioned fish species are available in May with the exception of Steelhead. Smallmouth bass travel to Presque Isle Bay in May to spawn and June is heavy with trout, bluegill and inland pike.
Great Lakes Seaway Trail - An America's Byway™Route 5 and Presque Isle
Erie, PA 16505
Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park (LEAF)1501 West 6th Street
Erie, PA 16505
Pennsylvania International Academy (PIA)8155 Oliver Road
Erie, PA 16501
Presque Isle Aquabus/Water Taxi3 pick up locations along Presque Isle Bay
Erie, PA 16507
Presque Isle Canoe & Boat LiveryPresque Isle State Park/Lagoon Boat Launch
Erie, PA 16505
Scallywags Pirate Adventures2 State Street
Erie, PA 16507
Victorian Princess CruisesFoot of State Street/Dobbins Landing
Erie, PA 16507
Yellow Bike Rental CompanyPresque Isle State Park / Waterworks Area
Erie, PA 16505
Lake View Country ClubPrivate club. Limited availability, 8351 Route 89
North East, PA 16428
North Hills Municipal Golf Course1450 North Center Street
Corry, PA 16407