Tom Ridge Environmental Center

Tom Ridge Environmental Center

Tom Ridge Environmental Center
4.5
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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About
The Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC) is an educational center dedicated to teaching visitors about the unique 3,200 acres of Presque Isle and the many different forms of life that inhabit the peninsula. TREC also serves as a center for research -- contributing to conservation efforts and promoting environmental awareness, helping to preserve the unparalleled beauty of Presque Isle, the site of Pennsylvania’s only seashore. While some facilities along the Great Lakes offer environmental education and others do research, none offer research, education, and visitor services in one place, making TREC a unique destination for learning, wonder, and fun. TREC is open year-round and offers free admission to its changing interactive exhibits, glass-enclosed tower, and orientation movie. Learn about the history of Presque Isle and how you can contribute to keeping it pristine and beautiful.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
484 reviews
Excellent
274
Very good
142
Average
56
Poor
9
Terrible
3

307leven
Stroudsburg, PA281 contributions
Aug 2022
Visited the last Saturday of August. The center is conveniently located at the entrance to Presque Isle. Visiting the center is free, but they do accept donations at several locations at the center. There was a 15 minute video of Presque Isle that I recommend to learn and understand more about the natural environment. I looked at the exhibits on both floors before visiting the gift shop. From what I saw, both children and adults found this facility to be enjoyable. I did not get to go up into the observation tower because I wanted to visit Presque Isle, but my visit lasted about 1 1/2 hours including the film and gift shop visit.
Written September 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AngelaMB12
Hanover, PA201 contributions
Jul 2022
This is the perfect place for young, old, couples, families, or individuals. Admission is free, but donation boxes are located inside and out. The displays were pretty and very informative about the park. The state park ranger station inside for your Presque Isle and/or Erie Bluffs passport stamps. The gift shop had beautiful things, many my local artisans. The elevator or stairs take you up three flights to the observation deck. You can see Lake Erie and the amusement park next door. Highly recommend stopping by for an hour or so.
Written July 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

tammys4224
Baldwinsville, NY186 contributions
Aug 2021 • Couples
Enjoyed our visit. We were greeted at the door and the center orgins were explained to us. He also told us to not miss any of the many displays to learn more about the enviornment and environmental changes to Presque Isle over the years. The 15 minute video does an excellent job explaining the seasons of Presque Isle. Displays were well cared for and all of them in each section build on the last display. Be sure to go out to the top of tower. It offers great views of Lake Erie, although the trees have now grown tall enough to block a little of the view in some areas. It was a hot day and the breeze out on the tower was welcomed. Lots of interactive displays for kids so definitely a family friendly stop. Restrooms were extremely clean.
Written August 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

hopeforthefuture3
Hadley, MA7 contributions
Aug 2021
Loved learning about the natural environment. There's lots of stuff for kids. Giant toy sculptures are really fun for adults, too. They have the requisite little movie theatre with an interesting film about the natural processes of Presque Isle.
Written October 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

karla d
1 contribution
Jun 2020
Don't waste your time unless you're addicted to posters ! What a waste of Goverenment money ! They seem to make their money off of the over priced gift shop ! I have been visiting this site for quite a few years hoping they would use this space to the capacity it has. This is nothing less than a place to dump money ! I can see why Tom Ridge changed his vote. The Democrats must have something on him too ! Don't waste your day ! Go to Sara's and get a cone or camp at Sara's campground for a memorable family experience ! Bypass this waste of space !
Written November 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Marilyn S
Erie, PA9 contributions
Sep 2021 • Family
We were so disappointed today on this visit. Still no films being shown on the Big Green Screen, broken elevator, many broken interactive displays, peeling posters in the stairwells to the top lookout, children’s area closed and also aquatic area closed. I understand that COVID protocols are probably an excuse for some of these things but many things can be repaired and offer visitors a better experience. I won’t be bringing or recommending TREC to friends and visitors to Erie while it is in this shape. I hope that someone in charge will really walk through and notice these things & bring it back to the luster that it has had in the past.
Written September 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

kdkPGH
Pittsburgh, PA179 contributions
Feb 2022 • Couples
Worth checking this out, if you are in the Erie area, with kids. There's exhibits & activities, along with an observation tower. The observation deck was closed, due to a high wind advisory / storm. But in better weather, I bet it would be spectacular.
Written March 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kellymeisch
Erie, PA54 contributions
Mar 2020 • Family
I took my children here for something to do on a rainy day. There is a children’s center with books and puzzles plus some other activities. Most of the nature exhibits were not working/broken or being repaired. Not a ton to do but it occupies my 2 and 4 year old for an hour or so. The tower is fun to go in and you get a nice view of the bay.
Written March 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

WaltFlanigan
Miami Beach, FL100 contributions
Nov 2014 • Family
Some learning is hands-on, some is audio visual, some is exploration, and some is instructor led by a friendly staff. Cafe and gift shop are well stocked. Take the stairs (or elevator) all the way to the top of the observation tower and enjoy the views of Lake Erie.
Written August 3, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Venture7204
Erie, PA1 contribution
The Center (TREC) is an educational adventure for the mind. Many interactive activities for all ages. Excellent cuisine in the Sunset Cafe. Make sure you take time to enjoy the large format theater "The Big Green Screen" that is showing "The Living Sea". You really feel you are among the sea creatures and the music is absolutely wonderful. THen stop in the Nature Shop for a wonderful momento or gift.
Written June 21, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Tom Ridge Environmental Center (Erie) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Tom Ridge Environmental Center

Tom Ridge Environmental Center is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM


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