Family Cottage on Lake Erie
in Pennsylvania

This is an old family cottage and is nothing at all fancy, but we like it and so have many others.  It is directly on Lake Erie, with a private beach for swimming and sunning, and a back yard with an old-fashioned swing.  It is near the town of North East in the grape country of the Pennsylvania panhandle, less than a mile from the New York line.

In addition to swimming, sunning, and beachcombing, the cottage has great facilities for doing nothing much, and if you are more energetic, there is a new marina with a very nice restaurant within half a mile - you can walk to it.  You can rent a boat there, or launch your own and rent a temporary slip, if you have brought it, for fishing, water skiing, sailing or whatever you want.

There are various other things to do and see in the area.  About 5 miles away is North East, a quaint old farming village with a large Welch's grape juice plant, and in the summer the whole town doesn't smell like grapes, but it does in the fall when the harvest comes in.  It used to be all these Concord grapes, but now many of the farmers have converted to wine grapes, and nearby are several wineries that offer tours and tastings.

It is about 18 miles to Erie, a large town whose historic waterfront has recently been redone, with a wonderful new library and some good restaurants.  This is the home port of the US Brig "Niagara", Admiral Perry's flagship from the War of 1812 (restored).  She sails, as they say, and if she is in home port you can tour her or sometimes take a short cruise - it depends on her schedule because she goes to a lot of Tall Ships parades.  Further out, on the west side of Erie, is the Presque Isle State Park, on a peninsula which extends for several miles out into the lake and has lots of beaches, picnic facilities, an amusement park, and other tourist things.

Twenty miles or so in the other direction is Westfield, New York, a town that is noted for its dozens of antique shops.  Further in that direction, about 100 miles altogether, is Niagara Falls, which makes a good day trip if you or your children have not been there.

At the entrance
Back view of the cottage; you can see the lake in the background.

View of the cottage from the beach.
Part of the front yard, right above the lake;
there is a propane grill here too.
My nephew supplied some more and better pictures so I am adding them here:
Front view of the cottage.

The Porch
The Kitchen

Table by the window, with view of the lake.
The Living room

Dates and Rates:

The Season runs from June 15 through Labor Day.  During the season the rate is $525 per week; weeks normally run from Sunday to Sunday but this may be negotiable.

During the off-seasons, June 1 -15, and after Labor Day to October 15, the rate is $420 per week.
Details: Two bedrooms with double beds, sleeps four but you can add one or two kids if they can use cots or sleeping bags.  Fully equipped kitchenette, stove, microwave, refrigerator, coffeemaker, all utensils (but no dishwasher).  Bath was completely redone last year.  There is a full screened porch overlooking the lake.  No air conditioning, you don't need it - there is almost always a lake breeze during the day and a land breeze at night. There is a natural-gas "wall furnace" in case that breeze gets too cold.  There is a telephone, and TV, VCR and CD player,  but no cable.

A few other things you need to know

You need to bring your own bed linens and towels. 

As you can see from the picture, there is a rather long, though not steep, flight of steps to the beach.  I realize this could be a problem for some people.  It is possible to get there without the steps but you have to walk some distance over what is often rather rough ground.

The water is from a well.  It has tested as safe but it sometimes tastes and smells of sulfur.  This has improved with changes made in connection with the new bathroom, but you may prefer to use jug water for drinking and cooking.

Lake Erie is about 40 miles wide at this point; you cannot see the other side although on a very clear night you can sometimes see the light at Long Point in Canada, which is directly across.  Lake Erie famously can be perfectly calm and flat at one moment and very rough and dangerous the next; children swimming must be watched closely, and boaters not accustomed to these kinds of changes must be alert.

The beach itself is not the fine white sand of many ocean beaches.  Depending on recent conditions, it may be mostly sand, gravel, or beach pebbles, usually some combination of all three.  You will probably want sandals or flip-flops rather than bare feet for walking.

For an interesting article about Fall fishing for Steelheads in Lake Erie and its tributaries near North East, click here.

For more information or if you have questions, or for dates available, please contact Mary Shumaker.
This page updated 4 Oct 2004,  - jaf