Principal Investigator: 
Alan Graefe (
The Pennsylvania State University

Presque Isle State Park has long been recognized as one of Pennsylvania State Parks’ crown jewels. It attracts over 4.2 million visitors annually from the local region, the United States, and abroad. Over the past decades, however, Presque Isle State Park has become increasingly popular among recreationists with growth in not only land-based outdoor recreation, but water-based outdoor recreation as well. These trends and their management implications, however, rely primarily on internal records and anecdotal information. Through a simultaneous inventory of park use patterns as well as a comprehensive on-site survey of current park visitors, this study aims to conduct a social carrying capacity analysis comparing current use levels with various experiential quality indicators. Proactive management is needed to sustain high quality recreation opportunities and respond to the increasing and dynamic demand for recreation resources in this area. Proactive management requires a systematic and comprehensive system of measurements that gathers information on visitors’ opinions about existing recreation services and an understanding of the effects of use levels and patterns on the quality of the recreation experience. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to conduct research on the recreational carrying capacity of Presque Isle State Park. The study will provide management guidance for issues related to facility needs, allowable recreational uses, and allocation of use among recreation activities. 

Research Year: 
Funding Amount: 
Current or Past research?: 
Current Research

Main Office: Tom Ridge Environmental Center 301 Peninsula Dr., Suite 3 Erie, PA 16505 814-217-9011