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Erie Bluffs State Park
IUCN Category V (Protected Landscape/Seascape)
Erie Bluffs State Park Lake Erie 1.jpg
Lake Erie
Location Erie, Pennsylvania, United States
Area 587 acres (238 ha)
Elevation 636 ft (194 m)
Established June 4, 2004
Named for The bluffs overlooking Lake Erie
Governing body Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Erie Bluffs State Park is a 587-acre (238 ha) Pennsylvania state park in Girard and Springfield Townships, Erie County, Pennsylvania in the United States. The park is the largest undeveloped stretch of land overlooking Lake Erie in Pennsylvania. Erie Bluffs State Park is just north of Pennsylvania Route 5 near Lake City and 12 miles (19 km) west of Erie. It is one of Pennsylvania's newest state parks.

Ecology

Most of the Lake Erie coastline in Pennsylvania is highly developed. Erie Bluffs State Park is the largest undeveloped stretch of coastline in Pennsylvania. It is therefore highly prized as an example of the wild nature that once stretched up and down the coast of Lake Erie. This 1 mile (1.6 km) stretch of coastline is at an elevation of 636 feet (194 m). It features bluffs approximately 90 feet (27 m) tall, patches of old-growth forest, rare, endangered and threatened plant species, a "world-class" steelhead fishery, a savanna ecosystem, wetlands and several archaeological sites.

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in cooperation with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy conducted a biological survey in the summer of 2004 at Erie Bluffs State Park. Their goal was to survey the forests, streams, and beaches of the park for every species of wild bird, fish, reptile, mammal, amphibian, plant, and insect that they could find. Biologists from Carnegie Museum, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, Gannon University, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection took part in the survey and found:

History

Erie Bluffs State Park
An Erie Bluffs State Park entrance sign

Erie Bluffs State Park was officially established as a Pennsylvania State Park on June 4, 2004. It became Pennsylvania's 117th state park. Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell stated, at the opening of the park,

This acquisition fulfills a decades-long vision to make this distinctive tract a state park to be enjoyed by Pennsylvania citizens and visitors to this region. With its spectacular scenic vistas over Lake Erie and an adjacent world-class shallow stream steelhead fishery, Erie Bluffs will prove to be a unique eco-tourism destination. Add Erie Bluffs to Presque Isle State Park and the Tom Ridge Center and you have a trifecta – a winning combination of recreational and educational experiences that will be an economic engine for this region. A visit to Erie will not be complete without a stop at all three locations.

The land on which Erie Bluffs State Park is located was acquired in 2004 by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy from Reliant Energy. The conservancy then turned over ownership of the parklands to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to be managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Nearby state parks

The following state parks are within 30 miles (48 km) of Erie Bluffs State Park:

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