July 2015

Paddle Antrim Ready to Kick Off First Festival

Paddle Antrim is quickly gaining recognition for bringing awareness to the amazing treasures of Antrim County’s Chain of Lakes and the wonderful communities along the water trail.  This non-profit organization is hosting the first Paddle Antrim Festival September 18 & 19, 2015.  The event is highlighted by a two-day kayak paddle through Antrim County’s Chain of Lakes and five communities.

The two day paddle includes most of the Upper Chain of Lakes, beginning in Ellsworth.  The first day meanders 15 peaceful miles through many small lakes from Ellsworth to Bellaire, a must-see with waters calm enough for beginning kayakers to enjoy.  The second day is a 27 mile paddle from Bellaire through the Lower Chain of Lakes including the picturesque Torch Lake to Elk Rapids.  As a non-competitive event, paddlers are encouraged to choose their own adventure, and may select to paddle only one day or drop out at any of the checkpoints along the route either day.  Registration, which ends August 30th, for the two days is $120 and one day registration is $75.

“The communities along the Chain of Lakes are very excited and honored to be able to showcase their many amenities and attractions for participants and their guests of the Paddle Antrim event,” says Mary Faculak, East Jordan Area Chamber of Commerce President.  Each community along the route will roll out the red carpet for the event’s paddlers.  Friday paddlers will have breakfast in Ellsworth, followed by lunch in Central Lake’s Thurston Park.  Later in the day, paddlers will be welcomed to Bellaire with a relaxed block party featuring music and refreshments.  Saturday night will conclude with a final bash for the arriving paddlers in downtown Elk Rapids.  That evening Paddle Antrim’s two top sponsors, Short’s Brewing Company and Imperial Beverage, will serve  beer, while paddlers and friends can enjoy great local food and live music by The Sleeping Gypsies.

The Paddle Antrim Festival fundraiser will not only celebrate the waterways but also raise money for these communities.  Paddle Antrim is dedicated to giving back by providing funding for projects focused on water resources education, stewardship, and increasing access to the water for everyone.

“We are so excited about the level of enthusiasm we have received from the local communities, sponsors, and paddlers for our mission and this unique paddling event,” said Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim executive director.  “We appreciate all of our sponsors and want to especially thank Short’s Brewing Company for all their support as we carry on a tradition they began with their Short’s to Short’s Paddle.  We look forward to celebrating the pristine waters and enjoying a wonderful paddle and local hospitality.”

For five years, Short’s Brewing Company hosted a paddle from their pub in Bellaire to their production plant in Elk Rapids, which was called the Short’s to Short’s Paddle.  That event had a goal of raising awareness about the precious water resources located in Antrim County, where all Short’s beer is produced.  “We’re excited that Paddle Antrim has taken our idea to the next level.  The Paddle Antrim Festival is going to be a fun and adventurous way to celebrate the unique beauty of our region while also giving back to all of our communities.  We look forward to participating and are proud to be the event’s major sponsor,” stated Short’s COO Matt Drake.

For registration or additional information, go online http://www.paddleantrim.com, email info@paddleantrim.com or call 231-492-0171.



Paddle Antrim Raffling off Kayak & Paddle Board

Win yourself a new kayak or paddle board!  We teamed up with Bellaire Rotary for a Kayak Raffle to raise money for our communities and precious waters here in Northern Michigan.

1st- 12′ Daggar Axis kayak with paddle and car accessories

2nd – 10′ Pelican paddle board and paddle

3rd – $250 cash

4th-10th – $50

We want to especially thank Backcountry North of Traverse City & Alden Marine & Sport for your support with the prizes.

Raffle tickets are available now at: Edward Jones (Bellaire), Paddles & Pedals (Bellaire) or Bellaire Chamber (Bellaire), Alden State Bank locations (Alden, Bellaire, Central Lake & Elk Rapids), Alden Outfitters (Alden & Bellaire) and more locations to come.

Paddle Antrim Offers Intro Kayaking Classes

Ever wanted to learn to kayak?  Maybe you have been out a few times in a kayak but want to feel more comfortable out on the water?

Paddle Antrim is offering half-day Introduction to Kayaking classes on August 16th, 17th, and 18th throughout Antrim County.  Participants will learn the basics to get them out on the water and off to the right start.  The class will go over the equipment, the fundamentals of moving these long boats around, and capsize recovery techniques.  This class is on the water so students will learn and practice basic paddling strokes, rescue techniques, and deep-water re-entry. This ACA-certified course is designed for beginning kayakers looking to get into the sport and give it a try.  Class sizes are limited to just five participants to ensure great interaction and instruction.


For registration or additional information, go online http://www.paddleantrim.com/registrations , email info@paddleantrim.com or call 231-492-0171.


Elk Rapids – A Paddle Antrim Festival Community

elk rapids rotary parkEmbraced by East Grand Traverse Bay to the west, Elk Lake to the east and Bass Lake to the north, Elk Rapids is one of the most charming of all the harbor towns in Northwest Lower Michigan. Comprised of one square mile, everything is within walking distance: public beaches, unique dining, quaint shops and an abundance of access points for boaters navigating the waters of Lake Michigan, Grand Traverse Bay and Antrim Chain of Lakes. The centerpiece of this unparalleled level of access is our municipal harbor; one of the finest in the Great Lakes.

We’re a classic small Northern Michigan town, and we believe our fate is intrinsically tied to the earthly beauty of water and rural landscape that surrounds our community. Our style is simple and eclectic as we inject our simple cottage life with worldly influence brought about through visitors and sojourns. We are a bright, creative, outdoorsy, active, friendly, conscientious, courteous and beautiful town – and we can hardly wait to act as the final stopping point in the Paddle Antrim Festival. We look forward to celebrating the paddle with you.