Presque Isle Poker Paddle

Pokerpaddle Welcome

Greetings paddling enthusiasts! This information is intended for the 280 pre-registered participants. Please note that due to safety and accountability, we will not be accepting any day-of registrations. The event is SOLD OUT.

Thank you for your participation in the 2nd Annual Presque Isle Poker Paddle! This is a rain or shine event but the weather looks good for Saturday; 70 degrees and sunny! We are looking forward to an awesome day on the water and a cheerful time at the Millcreek Brewing Company for the after party (4102 W Lake Rd, Erie, PA 16505).


  • SAFETY IS OUR #1 PRIORITY Although it is not required to wear your life jacket during the boating season we're now in, you are required by law to have one with you. Please have it easily accessible at all times. 8 boating deaths have already occurred in PA this year - in many of those cases, a life jacket was not being worn.
  • ARRIVE AT THE LAGOONS BOAT LAUNCH located near the Turtle Observation Deck over the bridge from the Perry Monument. All you need to check in is your driver’s license or valid ID.
  • Look for the blue Partnership tent.
  • Participants must arrive to the check-in area at least 45 minutes prior to their selected launch time.
  • If you are renting a boat, please arrive to the Lagoons Boat Launch at least 1 hour prior to your selected launch time.
  • Upon arrival and before checking in, quickly off-load your boat and any bulky gear. You must unload the "big stuff" as quickly as possible so that other participants can pull in and do the same thing. The area is small so it's imperative that you move fast, but safely!
  • WAIT! DON”T CHECK-IN YET! Once your gear is unloaded, have members of your group watch over your stuff while you park your car at Beach 11 which is less than a mile down the road. All vehicles must park at Beach 11 and ride the shuttle back to the launch area - shuttle is compliments of the “e”... Be sure to thank your driver!
  • Remember to bring some cash to purchase your bonus donation card for $5. We’ll also have a 50/50 raffle going on throughout the day.
  • OK! NOW YOU CAN CHECK-IN! Visit the Big Blue Tent. There you will receive your Paddle Packet and Boat Sticker. Place the sticker on the port-bow aka "front-left" of your kayak/canoe/SUP.
  • TIME TO LAUNCH! Jim Butts, Event Director, will be giving a brief orientation prior to each wave of paddlers. Please listen closely to Jim. Jim means business. Jim is your friend. Jim cares about your safety!
  • Direction of travel will alternate with each wave of paddlers, i.e. 10:00AM will travel clockwise (towards Misery Bay); 10:10AM will travel counterclockwise (into the Lagoons) and so on and so forth. If you do not wish to navigate Presque Isle Bay, you can turn around and go back through the lagoons to reach the other checkpoints. The loop is 6.25 miles which should take around 2 hours at a leisurely pace.
  • As you approach these CHECKPOINTS, follow these steps:
  1. Present your score card
  2. Draw a random poker card 
  3. Allow a volunteer to hole-punch your score card 
  4. Be on your way to the next stop 

NOTE: If you draw the same card more than once, you must draw another card.

  • When you go through the Marina channel at the East/West Pier, head towards the "Presque Isle Partnership" 12 ft. feather flag and stay close to the East Pier so you do not have to cross the channel. Wave action can get a little funky in there so it’s best you hug the East wall for everyone’s safety. Larger boats going through the channel can't maneuver as quickly as you so be extra cautious. Be mindful of the fishermen, too. They're also out enjoying the park.
  • You will have the opportunity to donate $5 to get a bonus card at the beginning or at the end. Also, once you have completed the paddle, if you dispose of your trash and any you pick up along the way, you will get to draw a free “garbage” card if you desire to better your hand. Donation cards CANNOT be purchased at the Millcreek Brewing Company After-Party.
  • At the finish marker (same location as where you started), be sure to record your poker hand on the banner before you leave for the Millcreek Brewing Company. You will have the ability to draw a total of 7 cards throughout the day but you can only use 5 cards to determine your best hand. If you need assistance determining your hand, check with your friends, Jim, or another representative. $300 will go to the best hand and $150 to the worst! If there is a tie, the winnings can be split if both parties agree or there will be a draw-off for the highest card for best hand / lowest card for the worst hand.
  • Upon completion of the course, the same shuttle will transport you back to your vehicle at Beach 11 to pick up your car. Again, all vehicles must park at Beach 11 and ride the shuttle. The shuttle will be running from 9am-2pm. If you do not finish by 2pm, come to the blue Partnership tent to get a ride.
  • Pack up your gear and head up to Millcreek Brewing Company for admission to the after-party from 1-5pm; REMEMBER to bring your score card with you to gain access to appetizers and a craft brew! Food will be served at the Millcreek Brewing Company from 1pm-5pm. There will also be two bands performing; 2pm-4pm & 5pm-7pm for your enjoyment.
  • Each participant will automatically be entered to win one of the many door prizes donated by the Millcreek Brewing Company, Field & Stream, and the Presque Isle Partnership. Total value of the door prizes is over $400! We will also be selling 50/50 tickets -- $5 for one foot or $10 for three feet! All drawings will be held at the Millcreek Brewing Company at 4:00PM and you do not need to be present to win!


  • Nearly everyone you will encounter at the event is a volunteer donating their time to help us, you, and especially Presque Isle. Please be patient, respectful and kind to them!
  • Please do not harass the wildlife. Take pictures from a distance and use your zoom.
  • It is not necessary to have your boat registered for this event.
  • All participants must abide by Pennsylvania Boating Laws
  • Each person must possess a whistle and PFD in their boat at all times and is strongly encouraged to wear the PFD during the paddle
  • No alcohol is permitted on Presque Isle
  • Bring plenty of drinks and snacks
  • Wear good water shoes
  • Leave a change of clothes in your car
  • Bring your waterproof camera
  • Pets are not permitted
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, and bug spray may come in handy
  • Presque Isle is a State Park and all participants must abide by all DCNR & PA Fish and Boat Commission laws which can be found at: and
  • Lastly... HAVE A BLAST and DON'T BE STUPID - if you've had too much to drink at the after-party, please find a sober ride home.

If any of your questions were not answered above, please feel free to contact our event director, Jim Butts: 

814-838-5144 ext.102 / M-F 8-4

Thanks again for helping us achieve our mission to enhance the visitor experience at Presque Isle State Park by developing, funding, and implementing projects and programs on the Park while protecting the natural environment. All the energy of the Partnership is focused on making Presque Isle State Park the best park it can be, to make your experience at Presque Isle the most enjoyable.

-Presque Isle Partnership Staff, Board & Volunteer


Thanks again to our Sponsors & Volunteers!