March 2018

Paddle Antrim Festival Updates

We are excited to host the 4th annual Paddle Antrim Festival this September 13-15th.  This is going to be a great year as we took this awesome event and made changes to incorporate even more paddlers while keeping paddler safety our top priority.

This year all types of kayaks and canoes will be able to participate on Day 1, which goes from Ellsworth to Bellaire – up to 15 miles through 5 different lakes. All kayaks and canoes will also be able to participate on Day 2 up to the first checkpoint, Dockside Restaurant Beach.  This is a great 9-mile paddle through Lake Bellaire, the Grass River Natural Area, and Clam Lake.

Past this checkpoint, are Torch Lake, Lake Skegemog, and Elk Lake. These lakes are larger and the course is further from the shore. We have added more stringent requirements to crafts past this point, allowing longer kayaks that have the capability of a deep-water self-rescue to proceed.

The Festival will continue to have great celebrations each day beginning Thursday night in Ellsworth. We are moving the Kick-Off Party to where check-in occurs so after dropping off your boat, you can relax and enjoy time with other paddlers while listening to great live music and enjoy delicious food. Friday will continue with a great time at Bellaire’s Block Party and we will end with a bang at our Final Bash. We are excited to have our top sponsor, Short’s Brewing Company host us for live music, brews, and delicious food to end the weekend right.  We look forward to seeing even more paddlers out on the water this year! You can find the complete updated rules online. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us – 231-492-0171 or

Applications Being Accepted for Paddle Antrim’s Ripple Effect Mini Grant Program

Paddle Antrim is accepting applications for their bi-annual Ripple Effect Mini Grant Program. This competitive grant program funds projects that protect the waterways and connect people to them. Potential projects must focus on stewardship, education, or increasing accessibility to the lakes and rivers.

In the past three years, Paddle Antrim has awarded over $15,000 from income earned through their events.  Projects must be focused on the Elk River Chain of Lakes watershed or adjacent watersheds which impact Antrim County. Eligible applicants include Michigan-based non-profit organizations or governmental entities.

Applications must be submitted by 5:00 pm on Friday April 20, 2018 to be considered. More information can be found online at