May 2019

Paddle Antrim Festival offers great way to experience Northern Michigan’s Chain of Lakes Water Trail

Registration is now open for the 2019 Paddle Antrim Festival, September 12th-14th. Now in its fifth year, the Paddle Antrim Festival is the best way to experience the Chain of Lakes Water Trail and the quaint lakeside communities that surround it.  This fun, non-competitive event provides opportunities for all levels of paddlers to participate one or two days with many distance options available. In addition to two great days of paddling, there are three days of live music, great food and drinks for paddlers and the entire community. 

This event highlights the wide-range of paddling opportunities that Northern Michigan’s Chain of Lakes provides. The first day begins with a series of small calm lakes which is a must-see, perfect for all paddlers. The second day you can explore up to five lakes and two rivers including the tranquil Grass River Natural Area and the crystal blue waters of larger lakes such as Torch Lake. Paddlers will enjoy the charming communities of Ellsworth, Central Lake, Bellaire, Alden, and Elk Rapids as they make their way down the waterway. To make the weekend stress-free, meals and shuttle service can be added.

“We are excited to invite all levels of paddlers to grab their canoe, kayak or paddle board and experience the diversity of paddling available on our pristine waters”, says Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim executive director. “Over 150 paddlers come from all over the state and the country to experience the diversity of the pristine Chain of Lakes Water Trail and the wonderful hospitality each community has to offer.”

Beyond great paddling, the weekend kicks off Thursday night with live music and food available for the entire community. The Festival ends with a bang at the Final Bash Saturday night in Elk Rapids hosted by the Festival’s top sponsor, Short’s Brewing Company. This all-ages party is for paddlers and the entire community to come out and enjoy live music and great food and drinks. Short’s Brewing Company and sponsor Pearl’s New Orleans Kitchen, will be there serving up the most amazing food and finest brews for all to enjoy.

The Paddle Antrim Festival not only encourages folks to get out and enjoy the lakes and rivers but supports Paddle Antrim’s mission to protect the waterway by focusing on stewardship, education, and increasing access through development of the Chain of Lakes Water Trail.

For additional information on Paddle Antrim, the Chain of Lakes Water Trail or Paddle Antrim Festival, go online or contact Paddle Antrim at or 231-492-0171.