Lake Erie Parks & Beaches
The fourth largest of the Great Lakes, Erie borders New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Ohio, as well as Ontario Canada to the north. Named after the Erielhonan natives that once lived on its southern shore, it is 9,910 sq miles in surface area and is the shallowest of the lakes, averaging 62 ft deep (210 ft at its deepest point).
Parks, Preserves, and Beaches along Lake Erie
Detailed Guides for Lake Erie Access
From east to west the parks are listed, with some exceptions. As more are visited, more guides will be posted.
La Salle Park, Buffalo – Coming soon!
Buffalo’s largest waterfront park, located on the mouth of the Niagara River, parallels the break-wall and the Niagara Thruway from the Erie Basin Marina to the Navy Operational Support Center. The park features playing fields, a small concert venue, picnic facilities, a dog park, and a walkway along the shoreline.
Along the mouth of the Buffalo River to Lake Erie, this waterfront park wraps around a full-service marina and ends with a tower that has amazing views of the city and waterfront. There are historic markers, restaurants, ice cream, art displays, and beautiful gardens.
Not quite on Lake Erie, this beautiful Buffalo River-side park serves as a memorial to American wars. The Military Park is a museum for decommissioned vessels and includes a cruiser, submarine, and destroyer. It is located right next to Erie Basin Marina and Gardens.
This was US Coast Guard property, and for some time was not accessible to the public. In 2010, their station was reconfigured to allow for public access through a small path that runs along the station to the point where the restored 1833 lighthouse is open for tours. Several historic markers and nautical artifacts are also present.
Once an Irish shantytown where grain and port workers lived, it became a waste disposal site to store dredge waste from the canal and port. It was abandoned in the 1970s and was left to sit. Despite heavy contamination, nature has taken over. The preserve has hiking trails and excellent bird-watching opportunities.
Buffalo’s newest waterfront park used to be where they would store the ice boom cleared for winter shipping season. This 20 acre park on the Outer Harbor is beautifully landscaped and woven with paths and interesting art. It has a beach, but no swimming.
This large patch of the Outer Harbor has been turned into a beautiful green-space with beautiful meadows surrounding patches of trees. The Greenway Nature Trail wraps around the space, and has excellent unobstructed views of the lake. A large concert venue on the north end caters to some of the nation’s biggest bands.
A large public marina with over 1000 boat slips, a restaurant, general store, viewing pier, boat and personal watercraft launches. There’s no swimming, but the beach and the views are beautiful.
Woodlawn Beach State Park
This State Park, on the easternmost point of Lake Erie, is operated by the Town of Hamburg. It features a large sandy swimming beach with snack and cocktail bar, restaurant, nature center, trails, and children’s play area.
The Town of Hamburg operates this community park. Resident permits for parking and visitation are required. It features a sandy swimming beach, changing rooms, and a snack bar. A boat launch and fitness center are also available to town residents.
Located in the former Wanakah Water Company building in Hamburg, 12 miles south of Buffalo, it serves tourists with directions, and information about historical, cultural, environmental, scenic, and recreational resources along the western end of the Seaway Trail. This is an excellent spot for catching Lake Erie sunsets.
A beautiful Erie County park where Big Sister Creek reaches Lake Erie and has a large sandy swimming beach with large sand dunes. Features fishing, swimming, boating, picnic areas and playgrounds.
Evans Town Park
This community park has playing fields, ball courts, playgrounds, 10 shelters, and a 10 acre waterfront. The park is open to town residents and their guests only.
This is a new lakefront park with a large sandy swimming beach in the Town of Evans. It is open to the public and has one pavilion, restrooms, a playground, picnic area, and basketball courts.
This massive 733 acre lakefront park and beach in Brant, NY has a large sandy swimming beach, scenic picnic area that stretches along the beach, nature trails, playing fields, playgrounds, campgrounds, pavilions, and a wide variety of wildlife and habitats.
A DEC boat launch on the southern shore of Cattaraugus Creek at Sunset Bay has access to the pier along Lake Erie. Adjacent to the pier is the town’s public beach, a small sandy beach with a guarded swimming area, pavilion, playground, and picnic facilities.
Sheridan Bay Park
Reserve a campsite, or pay just $1 for a day pass to this private lakeside campground and beach. 3 Miles east of Dunkirk.
The City of Dunkirk hosts this park on Lake Erie. It features ball-fields, basketball courts, street hockey court, skate park, picnic facilities, shelters, and a sandy beach along Lake Erie.
Dunkirk City Pier and Memorial Park
The city pier, off of Central Ave., has public parking, boat launches, and fishing and sightseeing opportunities. Nearby Memorial Park is a beautiful lakeside park dedicated to the city’s veterans.
Built in 1875 on Gratiot Point, the light still serves as a navigational beacon to this day. It’s free to visit the grounds and explore the history, but tours will cost you.
Gratiot Point Park
This Dunkirk City park and beach has picnic facilities, playgrounds, a ball-field, and a sandy swimming beach.
Lake Erie State Park
Featuring a fully-equipped campground on a bluff overlooking Lake Erie, this State Park west of Dunkirk has hiking trails, picnic facilities, and a scenic beach. No swimming.
A small community park east of Barcelona. It has a pavilion and a walking path with views of the lake from the bluff.
Barcelona Harbor and Lighthouse
The Barcelona Pier is a great place to fish and view Lake Erie. Nearby is the 1828 Barcelona Lighthouse, which is on private property, but visible from various points around it.
Barcelona Lake access
A small parking lot off of Main St. in Barcelona leads to a sandy beach.