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Finding life’s little treasures on Presque Isle

Finding life’s little treasures on Presque Isle

This morning the day dawned with a beautiful Presque Isle sunrise. Some say that the “sunsets” are among the world’s best on our little piece of heaven called Presque Isle.

I disagree! The sunrises coming out of the eastern horizon over Presque Isle Bay usually triumph over the beauty of sunsets to a considerable extent. Why is that? Part of that is pollution. The sun’s rays filtering through the pollution gives a brighter and more vivid color. In the main, it is because 90% of the people who might see a sunrise are usually still in bed or watching the morning news. It also might be the fact that in the evening, they are enjoying one of life’s little treasures by stopping for an orange and vanilla twist at Sara’s before they head to the beach for that sunset.

Presque Isle has a host of little treasures to tickle our fancy. How about the morning chirping of the birds as a warm breeze ruffles their feathers. Have you ever viewed a Bald Eagle swoop onto the water and capture a fish?

The Presque Isle Lighthouse is a historical gem right here on the park. Have you ever toured the lighthouse and its fantastic gift shop? Also, have you visited the lagoons and rented or borrowed a canoe or kayak and paddle through this fantastic natural waterway.?

It is spring, and the wildflowers are just getting in full swing for the year. Within a week or so, the butterflies and dragonflies will be making their presence known all over the park. Have you ever tasted a thunderstorm blowing in from over Lake Erie? Yes, there is a distinctive taste.

Have you been out to Horseshoe Pond? There are 24 houseboats on the pond. The spaces for these houses floating on the water have been there since the early 1950s. While there, watch for the Great Blue Herons that fish the pond by wading in the shallow water near the shoreline.

After you have seen Horseshoe Pond, check out the North Pier. It is straight ahead. Have any of you readers have ever been out to North Pier with its little Lighthouse? Once out there, just walk out the pier to take a close look at this little piece of history.

While doing this, stop and talk to a few of our bucket fishermen who are always on the pier. If you are lucky, you might even see a few of the Minks that fish the waters of the channel to Lake Erie and may also try to steal some of the fishermen’s bait. This is also a wonderful place to watch the boats travel from the Presque Isle Bay into Lake Erie. The boats come in all styles and sizes.

While you are on North Pier, keep your eye out for Harry Heron. Once spring arrives, Harry takes control of begging for treats from the fishermen and women on the pier. He is rather smart. He watches until he sees a bent pole and races down the pier to see if he can persuade the fisherman to give him the little fish they catch.

During these days of Covid-19, the Multi-purpose Trail feels like a wandering dog show. Visitors are walking every class and size of a dog on the park. They are taking themselves and their dogs for a walk on the park. This is sort of fun in that you get to see all the different breeds of dogs up close.

Then there are the multitudes of bicycles that visit the park each day now. Bikes have always been popular on Presque Isle, but now you can see and avoid tons of them due to the high attendance to the park because of the Covid-19 safe distancing rules. The bikes run from junkyard style and condition to the $1,000 plus variety.

If you like turkeys, this is the time of year that the male turkey gobbler is looking for a mate. You can tell which he is because he is the one parading around with his huge tail fanned out in front of two or three female turkeys. Stay back, because sometimes a second male decides to give the females a choice and a fight might break out.

The fish are biting in Presque Isle Bay, Misery Bay, the Waterworks Ponds, and the lagoons, so an array of every type of boat, canoe, and kayak are on these waters with an excited group of fishermen and women. For a different view of the Waterworks area, take a walk onto its floating platform near the Rotary Pavilion.

I like to watch people whenever I am on the park. Yes, you see just about every type and style, person, and their outrageous and sometimes crazy outfits. I think some wear the wildest looking hats I have ever seen. One older gentleman had on what I would call a Lincoln style top-hat on as he walked. He seemed to love it, and he stopped and told a few people he bought it in Los Vegas just for fun.

When you are walking on the park, choose a picnic table near the Multipurpose Trail and simply sit and watch the parade. Bask in the warmth of the sun and enjoy the breeze. Make sure you watch for the many various birds, and butterflies that call Presque Isle home this time of year. Listen to the birds sing you a new song and try to figure out what kind of bird is entertaining you.

The little choices and treasures of Presque Isle await your visit. Nature is an unending circle that can reach into every one of our lives. When out on the park, let the park and nature help you focus on the positive things during these awful and sometimes unexplainable periods we are experiencing today. Just concentrate on the good things you see, hear, and let the bad just slip quietly out of your mind for a little while.

See you on the Park!!

Gene Ware is a published author of 9 books and is on the board of the Presque Isle Light Station, and past Chairman of the board of the Tom Ridge Center Foundation, and the Presque Isle Partnership.  He is also a contributing writer.  Send questions and comments to

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