Author: paddleantrim


Paddle Antrim Lowers Registration

8894824250_87a021bb23_oPaddle Antrim announced they are lowing registration rates for their two-day non-competitive paddle event through Antrim County’s Chain of Lakes Water Trail on September 18th and 19th, recently named one of the top three water trails in Michigan.

“One of our goals is to have as many people as we can experience our amazing Chain of Lakes in a non-impactful way and build a personal connection with our precious resource,” stated Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim executive director.  “Due to donations and our wonderful sponsors including Short’s Brewing Company, Imperial Beverage, and Green Carbon, Inc, we are able to lower registration rates so more individuals can experience the Chain of Lakes.”

Registration for one day is now $45 and $72 for both days.  Registration includes entry into the event, a participant number, custom event t-shirt, event sticker, and beer token.  Friday paddlers will receive a free lunch in Central Lake and be welcomed to Bellaire with a relaxed block party featuring music and refreshments.  The Festival will conclude with a final bash for the arriving paddlers in downtown Elk Rapids with Short’s beer, great local food and live music by The Sleeping Gypsies.  Registration ends September 4th.

This two day paddle begins in Ellsworth and meanders 15 peaceful miles through many small lakes to Bellaire.  The second day begins in Bellaire and travels through the Lower Chain of Lakes including the picturesque Torch Lake to Elk Rapids, for an additional 27-miles.  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.

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.

Prizes:
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.

Paddling Bellaire to Elk Rapids – Day 2

June 1, 2015 – Today’s the day we were paddling from Bellaire to Elk Rapids, Day 2 of the Paddle Antrim Festival kayak event and I could not wait.  After paddling Day 1 two weeks earlier, I was eager to take on the new challenge of 27 miles, longer than I have ever paddled in the past.  The crew included Paddle Antrim president/COO of Short’s Brewing Company Matt Drake, other great folks from Short’s and another paddling friend, most who had done the route numerous times.  While in September there will be plenty of safety boats to point the way paddlers on the route, I was happy to have a crew of who knew the route well to keep us on track.

We met at the Ohio Street launch in Bellaire and were on the water by 8:30.  The sun was shining, it was a comfortable 60 degrees and as we set out for our adventure.  We quickly paddled through the Intermediate River and entered Lake Bellaire where a pair of loons greeted us by popping up right in front of our kayaks.  We stopped paddling for a moment and watched in wonder, having never been that close to a loon before.  They seemed completely unbothered by us as they went on their way.  We continued across the calm lake to the entrance of the Grass River Natural Area, a great place to hike and just as amazing in the water.  In Grass River, we watched as three deer pranced through the wetland and took a quick break near the mouth of Cold Creek to enjoy the tranquility.

The waters continued to be calm as we headed out into Clam Lake where we were greeted by swans this time.  After 7 miles and about 2 ½ hours, we decided to stretch our legs at the Clam Lake’s DNR boat launch.  By 11 am, we passed the Dockside Restaurant, Checkpoint #1, and entered Torch Lake.  The crystal waters were beautiful and only small waves lapped at our boats as we made our way down the shore.  At a little after 12 pm, we stopped in Alden, Checkpoint #2, for a needed rest and some lunch.  After 14 miles at a good pace, it was a great paddle so far.

After a great break, we were all refreshed and ready to continue down Torch Lake.  As the winds were picking up slightly, we put our spray skirts on to keep us dry from any small splashes.  We enjoyed the open waters of the southern portion of Torch Lake, Michigan’s second largest inland lake, ending in the shallow waters of the Torch Lake Sandbar.  At 2 pm, after another hour on the water, we passed the Torch River Bridge, Checkpoint #3, and the crystal waters continued into the Torch River.  The waters were calm as we chatted, enjoying the different docks and boats along the shore.  When we entered Lake Skegemog, we are once again alone in nature in the Lake Skegemog Wildlife Area.  We are careful to follow the boat channel as to not get stuck in the stumps as we made our way through.  We could feel the headwind picking up slightly as we make our way toward our last checkpoint.  As we did at every checkpoint, our group checked in to make sure we were all comfortable and ready for the next leg of the journey.  As an event to celebrate the water, our attitude is any day out on the water is an awesome day, whether you paddle 5 miles or 27 miles.  We were all still feeling good so at 3:30 we paused near the Chippewa Trail Extension boat launch, Checkpoint #4, to adjust our gear and stretch before the final six miles.  While we paused, we saw more amazing wildlife as a fawn peeked out through a tree and a swan with seven small cygnets swam by.

As we headed out onto Elk Lake, the winds and waves continued, making for a fun challenge.  We took our time and steadily make our way up the lake into Elk River.  At 6 pm, we make our way to the end in Elk Rapids.  As we stretched and loaded our boats in Elk Rapids, we are all tired but feeling good.  We talked about how each trip is such a different experience depending on conditions but every time amazing.  While tired, I was thrilled I was able to experience the entire route, each portion so different from the others.  Whether you are looking for a 5 mile or a 40 mile adventure, we look forward to sharing this amazing experience with you in September!

Deana, Executive Director

Paddling Ellsworth to Bellaire – Day 1

May 16, 2015 – As a kayaker who has spent the last five years doing short paddles with my two awesome future paddlers (ages 3 & 5), I was excited when we decided to “pre-paddle” the kayak event route for the Paddle Antrim Festival in September.  Today was the day to get out and do the 15+ miles of Day 1 which goes from Ellsworth to Bellaire.  Paddle Antrim’s president & COO of Short’s Brewing Company Matt Drake and I rounded up six other folks to join us.  It was a perfect mix of avid and recreational paddlers as well as friends and new faces.  We were all excited to enjoy a relaxing paddle as we headed out on our journey.

At just past 9:30, eight of us started our adventure on the sandy banks of River Park in Ellsworth.  I could already envision what the sea of colorful kayaks in September will look like as I got in my boat to begin.  The water was calm, temperatures in the 60s, and we all realized we were in for a perfect day of paddling.  We paddled slowly, enjoying the quiet waters and good company as we all got to know each other.  We meandered slowly the first 1 ½ miles through Ellsworth Lake in about 40 minutes as the clouds burned off leaving bright blue skies.  After passing under the bridge into Wilson Lake we passed a friendly fisherman but the only other company we had were some great blue herons fishing near the shore.

As we made our way through the narrow stretch between Wilson Lake and Ben-way we all quieted and enjoyed the wildlife around us.  On our left, we passed a goose perched on a large nest.  On our right, we paused from paddling to watch a beaver paddle around the shallow waters.  We counted thirteen turtles all sunning themselves on one small fallen log as we slowly passed by.

Paddling through the shallow narrow waters from Ben-way Lake into Hanley Lake, we carefully paddled around a swan who was swimming around in the water.  As we continued, we saw the first of many swans perched on nests, keeping eggs warm.  After two hours on the water, as we made our way into Hanley Lake, our pace quickened a bit in anticipation for our stop in Central Lake.

As we made our way into Central Lake, many friendly folks out enjoying the beautiful sunshine stopped and chatted with us from their docks.  After going under the Central Lake bridge, we paddled right and pulled our boats out on the sandy beach of Thurston Park to rest.  At almost the halfway point and after 3 hours in the water, it was a perfect spot to take a break and relax.  Still early in the day, we had plenty of time to enjoy the park.  With bathrooms and wonderful covered picnic pavilion, the park was a great spot to enjoy a nice snack and stretch before heading into Intermediate Lake.

As we headed into our last but longest lake of the day, we began to see a few motorboats out on the water but the water stayed calm as we picked up our pace energized from our rest.  Near the final turn before heading into the Intermediate River, the water shallowed and so clear we could see the fish swimming about.  Out in the middle of the narrow islands we saw more nesting swans enjoying the solitude.   As we headed into the Intermediate River, we knew our adventure was ending.  We slowed, enjoying the shallow waters and welcomed the current as it helped bring us to Bellaire’s Richardi Park in just under six hours.   And our day was only complete after we met  to enjoy a wonderful meal and beer at the Short’s Brewing Company pub.

As we talked, it was clear to me that this is the ideal day of kayaking for almost any paddler.  With smaller, calmer waters, a good length of time and distance on the water, and lots of beautiful nature, it is just about perfect.  As my husband and I drove home, he shared that 15 miles was a perfect paddle and he’d love to join me for the first half of the Paddle Antrim Festival Day 2 adventure.  As for myself, I was energized, and look forward to challenging myself to the full 27 miles of Day 2 from Bellaire to Elk Rapids.

Happy Paddling!
Deana, Executive Director

Paddle Antrim Festival Kayak Event Registration Opens

Paddle Antrim announced that registration is now open for the inaugural Paddle Antrim Festival kayak event which will be September 18 & 19, 2015.  This two-day, 40-mile kayak paddle through most of Antrim County’s Chain of Lakes, from Ellsworth to Elk Rapids, is a one-of-a-kind experience.

The first day meanders 16 peaceful miles through many small lakes from Ellsworth to Bellaire.  The second day is a more challenging 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.  Early registration for the two days will be $100 and one day registration for $65 per day will begin June 1st.

“We are very excited about the level of enthusiasm we have received from the local communities, sponsors, and paddlers for this unique paddling event,” said Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim executive director.  “We appreciate all of our sponsors and want to especially thank our main sponsor, 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 these pristine waters and enjoying a wonderful paddle and local hospitality.”

Local communities are hosting great events as well that weekend for everyone to enjoy.  Ellsworth will kick off the festival Friday and Saturday mornings with breakfast, while paddlers and visitors can stop in Central Lake’s Thurston Park Friday afternoon.  Bellaire welcomes all for Friday night festivities.  Saturday along the route the Dockside Restaurant, Alden and Torch River welcome folks as well.  The festival will conclude with a wonderful party for everyone in downtown Elk Rapids Saturday night.

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

Central Lake – A Paddle Antrim Festival Community

WELCOME! The Village of Central Lake is located in Antrim County, in the heart of Northwest Michigan’s “Chain Of  Lakes.” We have the beautiful waterways, friendly businesses, and a country life style offering a wide range of recreational activities. As a year-round vacation location, we welcome golfers, skiers, campers, hunters, snowmobilers, fishermen, and anyone looking for a peaceful get-a-way.

Summer events in Central Lake include art festivals, craft fairs, and the largest Fourth of July Parade for miles around. In addition to the parade, the Chamber sponsors music, a chicken barbecue, bazaar, and a strawberry shortcake extravaganza. Fireworks top off these activities making for a fun-filled family day.

Yes, Central Lake is a great place to vacation, to live, or to grow a business! We hope you will come see for yourself! It’s not always the destination, but the journey that matters. When you travel through our community, you will discover the beauty we have to offer. We have a framework blending our unique “Turn of the Century” charm for tourism and a place to call home.

Start your journey here…..in the beautiful Chain of Lakes..
Beware it’s a journey that could last a lifetime marked by people, places, and memories you choose to create here.

The Central Lake Area Chamber of Commerce office, a log cabin at the north end of the business district, is open from Memorial Day until Labor Day.

The Paddle Experience

Paddle Antrim Map 2015The first day begins on the sandy beaches at the Village of Ellsworth’s beautiful Ellsworth River Park.  In the first couple hours, paddlers cut through the calm waters of four small lakes before passing under the bridge into Intermediate Lake in the Village of Central Lake.  Thurston Park is a perfect spot to pull out and stretch with park amenities and restaurants and shops a quick walk up.  The paddle continues through the long, yet narrow, Intermediate Lake before passing under the picturesque pedestrian bridge as you enter Richardi Park in the Village of Bellaire.  The closeness of the shores throughout the paddle create a wonderful opportunity to really see the landscape and wildlife as you pass by.  In September, the trees are changing and the views are breathtaking.  Because this paddle is slightly shorter, 16 miles, and offers smaller lakes, it is also a great experience for paddlers looking for a calmer waters.

The second day begins at the Ohio Street boat launch in Bellaire on the Intermediate River before entering Lake Bellaire.  Paddlers continue through the scenic and incredibly important Grass River Natural Area  and Clam Lake before coming to the first checkpoint (9 miles) at the entrance to Torch Lake.  The crystal blue waters of Michigan’s second largest inland lake are amazing and paddlers may choose to stop halfway through in Alden at the second checkpoint (13 miles) where there are restaurants and supplies.  The final four miles of Torch Lake brings paddlers to the third checkpoint (17 miles) at the beginning of the Torch River.  Torch River flows into Lake Skegemog where paddlers enjoy the northern portion of the lake.  Paddlers will pass their fourth checkpoint (21 miles) before the final stretch through Elk Lake, ending at the Elk Rapids Chamber of Commerce kayak boat launch (26 miles).  This paddle is more technical and offers the open waters of the larger lakes, and yet is just as amazing as the upper portion of the Chain of Lakes.