On Saturday, we took a day trip to Presque Isle State Park at Erie, PA. None of us are big fans of long car trips, and yes two hours can seem long to us, but we went for it anyway and were happy we did.
Presque Isle is a long, thin peninsula that sticks out into Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes. The whole length is drivable by car, but it also has a wide cycle-pedestrian path (which unfortunately often runs along the road). It is long and flat, so it makes a great spot for bikes. On the near side, it seems more marsh-like with a lot of waterplants, birds and presumably fish. The lake side is beach. The lake is huge. There weren't any waves and it wasn't particularly salty, which are the only clues that it isn't the sea. The water just stretches on and on 'til Canada, and we couldn't see that from the shore. It did our poor landlocked-in-Pittsburgh souls some good!
Bike rental is available on the isle, and for extra fun, you can rent a surrey. Guess what our first stop was?
Just so you know, surreys are hardly ergonomic in design. It was hard-going! Also, there is only one section of the path where surreys are allowed (boring!). We started the trail with parents up front, kids in the back. We turned around after 40 minutes or so. Parents were sweaty and tight-muscled, and the kids were bored silly. I got out to take a picture, and the girls moved up front. That was a game changer! Giggling like mad the entire way back, the surrey ride turned out to be a blast.
After that, we were ready for the beach. We got back into the car and drove further down the road, opting to stop at Beach 10 (there are 11 guarded swimming beaches). A quick change into suits, and the girls were off into the water and playing in the sand.
Only the prospect of being too exhausted to survive dinnertime made us pile back into the car. Even so, Stephanie only lasted about 3 minutes before falling asleep.
It was a great day and a very do-able day trip from Pittsburgh.