Summer is the season to get outside and enjoy the best weather our area has to offer, and there’s no place better to do that than at any one of Erie County’s parks, beaches, natural habitats, or golf courses. When you want to get back to nature, Erie County offers 10,000 acres of great outdoors to explore and enjoy now and throughout the year.
Whether you are the type of outdoor enthusiast who prefers sports and activities, or the type who prefers hiking and exploring the woods, Erie County parks have much to offer. If you are looking for exercise, Chestnut Ridge Park offers twelve newly-refurbished tennis courts, an eighteen-hole pro-level disc golf course, and enough playgrounds to tire out even the most energetic children. Other opportunities for exercise and outdoor fun are available all year long and are as close as a visit to Como Lake Park, Emery, Ellicott Creek, Sprague Brook or your closest Erie County park. Don’t forget, Erie County’s two dog parks welcome your four-legged friends at Black Rock Canal and Ellicott Creek Park as well.
No summer would be complete without a day at the beach, and Erie County offers two unique beach experiences that are sure to please. Bennett Beach in Angola and Wendt Beach in Evans provide beautiful views and cool lake breezes along with picnic areas and updated facilities. While swimming is permitted only at Bennett, both beaches deliver a great setting for family fun, or just relaxing at the lake shore.
Did you know that the Parks system also includes many natural habitats and forested areas that we are protecting for future generations? These areas are intended for more passive use than their bigger, bustling counterparts but are critical components of our healthy parks system nonetheless. If you like hiking, birdwatching, and gorgeous natural scenery you’ll be surprised at what Erie County has to offer. There are natural habitat parks nestled all around Erie County and waiting to be explored, including spots in Buffalo, Sardinia, Eden and North Collins, and South Wales. Find out more at the parks department website at www.erie.gov/parks.
Improvements to our Parks are also ongoing throughout 2015 and include Phase II at Black Rock Canal Park, which will continue the renaissance happening there by adding new parking, boat launches, and an iconic “Black Rock” at the site. Elsewhere, improvements at Elma Meadows golf course include a new drainage system and other updates, while at our other parks shelters are being renovated, parking lots and roads are being improved, and amenities updated to accommodate the thousands of visitors we see every year. My administration has invested millions of dollars across our parks system since 2012 to restore, maintain, and enhance these beautiful natural spaces, so I hope residents will come out and enjoy a day at their nearest park to see it for themselves. Even reserving a shelter is easier now, and can be done online by visiting the parks website.