May 2016

2016 Paddle Antrim Registration Opens

Paddle Antrim is celebrating the amazing treasures of Northern Michigan’s Chain of Lakes.  This non-profit organization is hosting the second Paddle Antrim Festival September 16 & 17, 2016.  The event is highlighted by a two-day kayak paddle through Antrim County’s Chain of Lakes and its communities.

The two-day paddle begins on a beautiful sandy beach in the Village of Ellsworth.  From Ellsworth, paddlers meander 15 peaceful miles through four small lakes to the Village of Bellaire.  This portion is a must-see with waters calm enough for beginning kayakers to enjoy.  The second day is a 27-mile paddle from Bellaire through the turquoise water of Torch Lake to the Village of Elk Rapids.  As a non-competitive event, paddlers are encouraged to choose their own adventure, and they offer many paddling options anywhere from 7 to all 42 miles.  Individuals may select to paddle only one day or drop out at any of the checkpoints along the route either day. To make the event stress-free, shuttle service can be added at time of registration. In addition to the paddle event, the local communities come together to host events for the paddlers each day along the route.

Beyond great paddling, the weekend will be filled with great food and festivities.  Each day paddlers will receive a great lunch and the communities will host a great event with music and refreshments for the paddlers.  The Festival ends with a bang at the Final Bash Saturday night in Elk Rapids.  This great party is for paddlers and the entire community to come out and enjoy live music and great food and drinks.  Paddle Antrim’s top sponsors Short’s Brewing Company and Pearl’s New Orleans Kitchen will be there serving up the most amazing food and finest brews for all to enjoy.  Each paddler will even receive a complimentary dinner and beer at the Final Bash.

The Paddle Antrim Festival not only encourages folks to get out and celebrate but also raises money for the protection of the waterways and increasing accessibility for all.  Paddle Antrim is working with the local communities to develop a water trail for paddlers along the Chain of Lakes.  They are also dedicated to giving back a portion of the money raised by providing grants for projects focused on water resources education, stewardship, and increasing access to the water for everyone.

“We are so excited to build on the momentum from our inaugural event last year.  We are looking forward to another great time both on and off the water to celebrate these amazing waters with the paddlers and the communities.  We appreciate the great support we have the local communities, sponsors, and paddlers for our mission and this unique paddling event,” said Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim executive director.  “We especially thank Short’s Brewing Company and Pearl’s New Orleans Kitchen for all their support.  We look forward to celebrating the pristine waters and enjoying a wonderful paddle and local hospitality.”

Registration for one day is $55 and $88 for two days.  You can also join them for small hour-long paddles throughout the communities on the Chain of Lakes this summer.  For registration or additional information, please go online at, email or call 231-492-0171.