13 Things To Do Outside This Spring in Erie, PA
With Erie weather finally warming up and Earth Day around the corner, it is time to get back outside and enjoy the spring season of 2022 with all of the fun activities that are available to everyone who visits Erie! To maximize your enjoyment of the springtime weather in Erie:
1. Enjoy the view at Erie Bluffs State Park
Take a trip out to Western Erie County and check out the 587-acre Erie Bluffs State Park that lies along the Lake Erie shoreline, only twelve miles west of the city of Erie. The park has much to discover including one mile of shoreline, 90-foot bluffs overlooking Lake Erie, and Elk Creek — a shallow-stream steelhead fishery location — with its own access point.
2. Spend time in nature at Presque Isle State Park
Visiting Presque Isle is an absolute must if you are looking to spend time outdoors in Erie. You can:
- walk/run along the beaches or pedestrian walkways
- swim at designated beaches, in season
- camp out at Sara’s Campground
- hike some of the popular trails
- go bird watching (over 300 different species)
- bike or rollerblade along the 13 mile parkway
- and so much more!
The 13-mile-long peninsula has endless options for you to spend your time outside. If you start to get hungry, don't worry: head over to New York Lunch just up the hill on Peninsula Drive, and check out their extensive menu with many dishes to offer. End your day on Presque Isle with the iconic Sara’s Restaurant orange and vanilla twist ice cream cone, and you can't go wrong!
3. Walk along the Bayfront Connector Trail
Springtime is perfect for taking walks! Check out the Bayfront Connector Trail and walk or bike across all of Erie. The route offers paved sidewalks the entire way, making your walk stress free. Although Erie does not have a traditional boardwalk, this bayside trail offers amazing bay views that can make you feel like you are on one. For the long version of the trail which is about 9 miles, start out at the East end of Erie by Penn State Behrend and walk down the Bayfront connector all the way to Frontier Park. The short and most scenic option for this walk goes from the Bicentennial Tower to Frontier Park, which is about 2.2 miles.
4. Rent a kayak and paddle Presque Isle’s lagoons
Kayaking on the bay is the perfect way to spend a sunny day in Erie. Whether you have your own kayak or need to rent one, this is the perfect springtime activity to do while in Erie. Kayaks and canoes are available to rent at the lagoon access point. Check out the 2-mile loop from the kayak rental through the lagoons to the overpass, or take the 6-mile loop starting at the kayak rental, through the lagoons, out to Marine Bay, and by the East Pier. This takes you into Presque Isle Bay and back into Misery Bay. Some popular sites to see while kayaking here are Perry’s Monument, the Horseshoe Pond houseboats, and the downtown Erie skyline.
image source: http://www.presqueisleboatrental.com/images/PhotoGallery/index.html
5. Watch the sunset from Walnut Creek Access
Erie is known for its sunsets, which are beautiful from wherever you can get the chance to watch them. The Walnut Creek Access, just east of the Kearsarge exit 41 on Interstate 90, is a popular location to watch the magical Erie sunset. Pro tip: during the fall, this beautiful area is normally filled with trout fisherman, so check it during the spring when Erie sunsets are at their peak.
6. Take a Sunset Sail on the Bay
Spend your perfect spring day in a sailboat on the waters of Lake Erie this spring! Your Sailing Adventure has a four-hour relaxation charter that includes gourmet meat, cheese, wine, and a great time! Bring your closest five friends and experience a great on the bay that you will remember forever.
7. Explore the Erie Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Take a trip around the world by visiting the Erie Zoo, which is perfect for the whole family and has a large variety of animals that are indigenous to jungles, savannas, and deserts across the globe. Not only do the animals start to come out during the springtime, but the gardens around the zoo are also in full bloom. The zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from April - October.
8. Bring your kids to Frontier Park and check out the Lake Erie Arboretum
For more of a relaxed springtime activity, check out the Lake Erie Arboretum located in Frontier Park on West 8th Street. Some of the popular outdoor attractions that are located in the park include tennis courts, the labyrinth maze, the green roof, and willow art structures including living fences, arbors, tunnels, and domes. There are also many unique-looking trees that have mostly been planted by the LEAF program. Finally, Frontier Park has a fun jungle gym and slides built into the side of a hill, perfect for kids to play on.
9. Ride the Ravine Flyer II at Waldameer Park & Waterworld
With over 30 rides, rollercoasters, and water attractions, Waldameer is the perfect place to spend with your entire family. Located on Peninsula Drive, right at the entrance to Presque Isle, Waldameer is an amusement park that has attractions for the whole family. If you're a rollercoaster lover, you have to make sure you ride the Ravine Flyer II which is ranked 7th best wooden rollercoaster in the world.
10. Hike through Wintergreen Gorge
Love to hike? Check out Wintergreen Gorge located off of Cooper Road between Station and Shannon Roads in Harborcreek Township. The Gorge has a hiking or biking trail with a beautiful scenic route to follow, as well as a creek and seasonal swimming access point. After a long day of hiking, head up to the Ice Cream Shoppe at the top of the hill and grab yourself a Smith’s hot dog or ox roast sandwich and an ice cream cone to finish off the day.
11. Walk your dogs around the trails at Asbury Woods
Asbury Woods is a great place to get out and explore. There are over 216 acres of land, 5 miles of trails, a playground, tennis courts, and a nature center, available for anyone to discover year-round. With big fields and long trails, this pet-friendly park offers activities and events for the whole family.
12. Rent a fishing pole from the library and cast a line near the Bicentennial Tower
The Erie Blasco Library is located on the Bayfront and has fishing poles for rent. maintained by the SONS of Lake Erie. You and your friends can rent a fishing pole for the day and head over near the Bicentennial Tower to try and catch some fish. No fishing license? No problem. There are two upcoming fish-for-free days in PA: Sunday, May 29, and Sunday, June 3, allowing residents or non-residents to fish on PA waterways. For more information about fishing pole rentals, email the Blasco Library Reference Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
13. Check out the downtown Erie Sculpture Walk and other new downtown features
Erie Arts & Culture has recently created The Downtown Erie Sculpture Walk. This self-guided tour includes 15 walkable sculptures throughout downtown Erie and the Bayfront District. It has amazing views of the bay and takes you through many iconic Erie spots. While you are downtown, the newly opened Flagship City Food Hall is the perfect place to recharge and grab a bite to eat. And to commemorate your trip to Erie, check out tons of local products at www.gonelocalerie.com, and pick up your order at Andora’s Bubble Tea Shop, located directly next to the Flagship City Food Hall.
image source: https://www.erieartsandculture.org/programs-and-services/placemaking/downtown-erie-sculpture-walk/