on May 23, 2009
Presque Isle State Park is a great place for a cheap date or a romantic getaway, whether you're young or old. It's a relaxing place that offers a variety of activities, all of which lend themselves to a leisurely pace and a get-away-from-it-all feeling.The more "strenuous" activities include canoeing, kayaking, cycling, or rollerblading. But you won't find any whitewater and the paved multi-purpose trail that winds around and through the park won't offer any challenges to the serious cyclist.Kayaks, canoes and bicycles can all be rented in the park -- although the bright yellow bicycles are about as nerdy as they get.If you think Lake Erie doesn't sound like a place where you'd find nice beaches, then you may be surprised. You can walk a long way on wide, sandy beaches. There are also a wide variety of hiking trails, all of which, again, are pretty flat.Bring a picnic lunch and eat on the beach or cook on one of the many grills found throughout the park.You can also learn some important American history at Presque Isle. There's a large monument in the park to Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, who defeated the British in the naval Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. It's actually a moving experience to read about the suffering of Perry's men during the winters of 1812-1814 and to contemplate the brave souls who died for our country and were buried in nearby Graveyard Pond.Perry's monument is a good place to park and begin your bike ride if you've brought your own bicycles. Or cross the road and take a walk on scenic Graveyard Pond Trail.If you decide to stay overnight or spend the weekend in the Erie area, there are numerous wineries to visit in nearby Northeast, PA. Also go to the foot of State Street in downtown Erie, walk along the pier, and have a meal with a view of the lake at Smuggler's Wharf. Specialties include langostino-crab cakes and yellow pike. A cold glass of white wine usually tastes good too!
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