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Presque Isle State Park beaches place first in national competition
The beaches of Presque Isle State Park, Pennsylvania’s most heavily visited state park on the shore of Lake Erie, placed first in the “Best Freshwater Beach” category of nationwide, online voting in a travel award contest sponsored by USA TODAY, DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced recently.

“Though certainly no stranger to the almost 4 million visitors who frequent this Erie-based landmark, Presque Isle State Park has earned a strong vote of confidence from both local supporters and voters from across the nation,” Dunn said. “The first-place finish acknowledges the beauty and unique qualities found at ‘Pennsylvania’s only seahore,’ as well as the park’s staff who work so hard to introduce visitors to it all.”

Presque Isle finished first among 10 nominated sites in USA TODAY’s 10Best Readers' Choice travel award contest. Online voting continued for four weeks, ending in late February, and results were announced March 18.

Nominees for “Best Freshwater Beach” and other categories are chosen by a panel of relevant experts, including a combination of editors from USA TODAY; editors from 10Best.com; travel expert contributors; and sources for both these media and other Gannett properties. The nomination panel for each award category is displayed on its associated contest page. All voting is digital and the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest is accessible on the 10Best.com website.

Voters ranked the top 10 "Best Freshwater Beach" winners as follows:

  1. Presque Isle State Park
  2. Grand Haven State Park, Grand Haven, Mich.
  3. Park Point Beach, Duluth, Minn.
  4. North Beach, Racine, Wis.
  5. West Beach, Indiana Dunes, Chesterton, Ind.
  6. Oak Street Beach, Chicago, Ill.
  7. Huntington Beach, Cleveland, Ohio
  8. Bradford Beach, Milwaukee, Wis.
  9. Lake Michigan Beach Park, Empire, Mich.
  10. Sand Point Beach, Munising, Mich.

Presque Isle State Park is a 3,200-acre sandy peninsula arching into Lake Erie. It offers visitors a striking coastline and recreational activities that include swimming, hunting, boating, fishing, hiking, bicycling and in-line skating. A National Natural Landmark, Presque Isle offers refuge to a wide variety of migrating birds, and its many unique habitats contain a greater number of the state's endangered, threatened and rare species than any other comparable size area in Pennsylvania.

The gateway to Presque Isle is the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC), an educational facility dedicated to teaching visitors about the park and the many different forms of life inhabiting the unique peninsula. TREC also serves as a center for research, contributing to conservation efforts, promoting environmental awareness, and helping preserve the unparalleled beauty of Presque Isle. There is free admission to the interactive exhibits and the 75-foot observation tower.

Visit DCNR’s website for more information on Presque Isle and Pennsylvania’s other 120 state parks.


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March 30, 2016

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