Paddle Antrim receives funding for the Chain of Lakes Water Trail to promote regional tourism

Paddle Antrim is pleased to announce the Chain of Lakes Water Trail received a grant for $70,500 from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development toward development of the Chain of Lakes Water Trail. This grant includes funding for installation of signage, development of a paddler’s guide, and marketing for the water trail to improve the experience for paddlers while out on the water.

“This water trail is truly a regional effort that will have a significant positive impact on our local economy” says Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim executive director. “It brings together four counties and many small communities to promote the area together as one regional voice.”

The Chain of Lakes Water Trail is an extensive trail system, providing over 80 miles of routes through 14 pristine lakes and rivers in Antrim, Charlevoix, Kalkaska, and Grand Traverse counties. From the small upper lakes to Torch Lake, Michigan’s second largest inland lake, there is an incredible diversity of routes, making it a destination for all levels of paddlers. Paddler experiences include encounters with wildlife, natural areas best explored on paddle crafts, sunken ships, island exploration, and great fishing opportunities. The four quaint lakeside villages provide great destinations for paddlers with the amenities they are looking for.

“This is a significant project for our region as trails bring dollars into places they serve,” says Caroline Kennedy, assistant village manager/clerk for the Village of Elk Rapids. “Trails like this attract visitors from near and far – who contribute to job growth in tourism-related opportunities such as our local restaurants, stores and lodging.”

Water trails are an important part of trails in the State of Michigan and the Chain of Lakes Water Trail is one of eight water trails recently designated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance’s executive director Bob Wilson supports the investment in trails by the State of Michigan.

“Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance congratulates Paddle Antrim on this significant grant to help support their efforts to continue to be a leader in water trails in Michigan, “says Bob Wilson. “This is just another important sign of the growing awareness of the benefits water trails can provide to all Michiganders.”

For more information on the Chain of Lakes Water Trail or paddling events/classes on the water trail, contact Paddle Antrim at 231-492-0171 or

The original MDARD Press release can be found at,4669,7-192-47796-490701–,00.html