Interior Hiking Trails

Come prepared

Due to fluctuating lake levels, portions of trails may be seasonally flooded and impassable without appropriate footwear.

The nearly 11 miles of interior hiking trails on the park offer a view of sand dunes hundreds of years old, old growth forests, new and old ponds, sand plains, and wide expanses of pines. Significant trails are Dead Pond Trail, the Sidewalk Trail, Pine Tree Trail, and Gull Point Trail.

Bicycling and in-line skating are prohibited on hiking trails.


0.2 mile

This short trail connects Pine Tree Picnic Area to Dead Pond Trail and passes through a vernal pond. When the vernal pond fills with water in the spring, the trail is wet.


0.25 mile

This short trail connects Pine Tree Road to Dead Pond Trail and passes through a stand of pines.

Canoe Portage Trail

0.25 mile

This short walk between sand dunes and forest connects Pettinato Beach (Beach 8) to Marina Lake.

Dead Pond Trail

2 miles

This trail leads over several former dunes and through several distinct ecological zones. Hikers will pass through oak-maple forest, pines, and sand plains.

Duck Pond Trail

0.5 mile

This trail begins at Duck Pond and intersects the Canoe Portage Trail and connects with the Old Gas Well Trail.

Fox Trail

0.5 mile

This trail winds through wooded swamps and oak-maple forests. It is maintained as a cross-country ski trail in the winter.

Graveyard Pond Trail

0.75 mile

This trail follows the shoreline along Graveyard Pond, which legend says was the final resting place for many of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s men during the winter of 1812-1814. Two boat landings along the trail offer scenic views of the lagoons and Big Pond.

Gull Point Trail

1.5 miles

This trail begins at the kiosk at the east end of the Budny Beach (Beach 10) parking lot and winds its way through the Gull Point Natural Area. In this constantly evolving area, hikers usually see all phases of natural succession in the park and experience ever-changing trail conditions.

Much of the trail is sandy, but at times the trail can be muddy or wet due to changing lake elevations. Before hiking Gull Point Trail, visitors are encouraged to stop at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center to find out about trail conditions.

Visitors are reminded that during the closed period of the Gull Point Natural Area -- April 1 through November 30 -- visitor access is only permitted on the trail surface, to and from the observation platform.

Long Pond Trail

1 mile

This trail follows the shoreline of Long Pond, one of the ponds within the lagoon. About halfway along this trail is a boat landing, which is a popular fishing spot and offers a scenic view of the lagoon.

Marsh Trail

0.25 mile

This trail bisects Cranberry Pond, one of the many ponds on Presque Isle. The pond formed as water was trapped between two ridges.

North Pier Trail

0.7 mile

This trail follows the shoreline between North Pier and Beach 11 (Kohler), along one of the sand ridges. An old firing range used for training during World War II may be seen along this trail.

Old Gas Well Trail

0.5 mile

This trail follows a ridge between Beach 7 and the Marina. The trail passes a gas well that produces gas used at Presque Isle State Park.

Pine Tree Trail

0.7 mile

This trail follows the edge of a sand plain community and a stand of pines. Along this trail are the remains of the biology field lab that was used by Dr. O.E. Jennings to study plant succession on Presque Isle.

Ridge Trail

0.5 mile

This trail follows the edge of Cranberry Pond along a portion of ridge that was a beach dune 300 years ago.

Sidewalk Trail

1.25 miles

This historic trail was constructed by the U.S. Lighthouse Service as a path from the Presque Isle Lighthouse to the U.S. Lighthouse Service boathouse in Misery Bay. The trail was once a wooden boardwalk and was resurfaced with concrete in 1925.

Karl Boyes Multi-Purpose National Recreation Trail

13.5 miles

This activity or structure is ADA accessible.

The Multi-Purpose Trail and extension makes a 13.5-mile circuit in the park. This paved trail is designated as a National Recreation Trail. This ADA accessible trail is popular with bicyclists, in-line skaters, and joggers.

During the winter, the trail is plowed from the entrance to the Public Safety Building for hikers. For cross-country skiers, the trail is left snow covered from the Public Safety Building to Perry Monument.

The trail was renamed in 2003 for the late State Representative Karl Boyes. Without his vision and tireless efforts, the trail would not exist.

PA Seaway Trail

The Seaway Trail, which follows the Lake Erie Shoreline through Erie County from New York to Ohio and includes the Karl Boyes Multi-purpose Trail, is designated as a Pennsylvania Scenic Byway.