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GPS: Parking area off of Rt 5: N 42.53597 / W 79.22306
Directions: From Buffalo (north): Take the Buffalo Skyway (Rt 5) south through Lackawana and along Lake Erie for 33 miles. The pullover will be on your right, 2.5 miles past the village of Silver Creek. If you pass the retirement home, you have gone too far.
From Erie/Dunkirk (south): You can follow Rt 5 (Lakeshore Rd.) east 3 miles outside of Dunkirk. The pullover will be on the left just past the retirement home.
Use Google Directions.
Parking: A roadside dirt lot, with enough room for about 10 cars, is right off of Rt 5 westbound. It’s easy to miss.
Best time to visit: Spring through fall.
Time: A few minutes to check out the lake.
Handicap accessibility: No.
Pets: Allowed if kept on a leash, which is the county law. Bring bags to clean up after. Pet waste is a significant contributor to lake bacteria levels.
Swimming: Not allowed, and certainly not advised.
Boat launch: None. Use the boat launch at Sunset Bay.
Accommodations: Fishing; scenic views.
NYS DEC – Region 9 – Great Lakes
Phone: (716) 851-7130
The Eagle Bay Pullover is a little-known publicly accessible beach along State Route 5 just west of Silver Creek. Unmarked and barely visible from the bustling road, it is known as a nice relatively private place to beachcomb and fish. Despite being a relatively undeveloped span of beach, and a Smallmouth Bass hotspot, we found it to be in bad shape in the summer of 2013; choked with algae and smelling of sewage. Despite a few others stopped to rest from a long drive, or out of curiosity, and our own interest in the variety of lakeshore plants that that have taken root in the sandy beach, we couldn’t stay long as the smell coming off the lake was barely tolerable.
Although 2013 has been a very bad year for Great Lakes health overall, this bay was particularly bad. This is due to several factors. Overloaded water treatment facilities along the Great Lakes have been literally flooded with record high rainfall, which leads to flood-soaked sewer systems to overflow into streams or directly into the lake. Natural inlets, such as Eagle Bay serve as safe harbors from lake currents, allowing the natural flow of the Great Lakes to pass right by. The polluted water collects here and concentrates. But by far the most suspect contributor at Eagle Bay is the large retirement home on the western flank. It has its own small sewage treatment facility on the shore, which may be overloaded, and not processing waste properly. If lake conditions can improve, and communities within the watershed can get their treatment facilities upgraded, Eagle Bay, as well as several other beaches along the shore would certainly shine, but until then, unless you are in serious need of driftwood, this is one beach you can skip.
Distance: Just a few feet from the parking area to the beach. About 1500 ft of beach property can be walked.
Description: From the parking area, a small dirt ravine leads down to the beach. At times it may be muddy. Once on the beach, walk left or right. Be careful not to enter private property.
Map: Check out our interactive map.
View Eagle Bay – Lake Erie in a larger map
On the west of the bay is Fletcher Point, home to the Saint Columban’s on the Lake Retirement Home, a beautiful facility built in 1926 by the Columban Fathers of Silver Creek. It first opened as a junior seminary to prepare area boys for priesthood, but enrollment had declined by the late 1960s and the seminary closed. Ownership was transferred to the Columban Sisters, who opened it as a retirement home on May 1, 1970.
The English Tudor/Gothic building has over 50 rooms with a large residents’ lounge, formerly the chapel, and the “Chinese room” which now serves as a living room. The Chinese Room was originally a study furnished and decorated in 1926 with items brought back from Columban Father missions in China. The organization was originally founded in December, 1917 as the Maynooth Mission to China, in an effort to spread the word of the Gospel and help fight poverty in China.
Flooding in the 1960s threatened the land at the point, as well as the water treatment building on the shore. The state DEC, under the 1946 Flood Control Act, built cement octagonal structures and piled large stones along the shore in May of 1970, to prevent further erosion. They are visible from the beach on the west (private property) and from satellite.
New York State Route 5
Beginning at the Pennsylvania state line in the Town of Ripley, State Route 5 spans 370 miles west to east across New York, passing through Buffalo, Syracuse, Utica, and Schenectady, ending up in Albany. Along the way it overlaps with State Route 20, leading to the common name of both routes as simply “5 & 20.” Several small towns and cities, as well as countless curiosities, eateries, and historic sites can be experienced along its path.
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