November 18, 2020
Thousands of anglers venture each fall, winter and spring to Erie, Pennsylvania to pursue Great Lakes steelhead. Anglers descending on these world-class tributaries have many to choose from, yet are confronted with limited access. Elk Creek is regarded as one of the best, and most scenic tributaries with it’s emerald waters, plunge pools, steep ravine cliff faces, and trophy steelhead. Recently, a new section of Elk Creek, known as the Gilmore Farm in Girard Township, Erie County, has opened to the public and anglers offering over a mile of new water and new challenges to the hardy steelheader looking to get off the beaten path.
The Lake Erie Region Conservancy (LERC) with assistance from the Pennsylvania Sea Grant acquired this property through grants totaling over $900,000 from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) and the Community Conservation Partnership Program run by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR). The collaboration between the PFBC and DCNR is a great example of the ongoing protection of the Elk Creek watershed for the public to enjoy.
According to the PFBC, a parking access area on Beckman Rd. near I-90 accommodates up to 25 vehicles. Plans are in place to add gravel to the lot in the coming weeks. From the parking access area a well-defined trail leads upstream. The trail isn’t short, nor easy and can be steep, be prepared for difficult terrain and a long day on the water. This newly acquired area offers 6,325 feet of pristine water, 179.8 acres of forested floodplains, wetlands, farm fields, and a 100 foot gorge for the adventurous angler or hiker.
For more information regarding this acquisition and access, contact the PFBC (fishandboat.com), or visit the LERC site (lakeerieregionconservancy.org) for a map of the Gilmore Farm area.