Category: Blog


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 www.paddleantrim.com

The original MDARD Press release can be found at https://www.michigan.gov/som/0,4669,7-192-47796-490701–,00.html

Chain of Lakes Water Trail first designated water trail in Northern Michigan

Paddle Antrim is pleased to announce the Chain of Lakes Water Trail is the first designated water trail in Northern Michigan. The State of Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources recently designated eight water trails as part of its newly developed statewide water trail program. Water trails, a designated route along a river or lake designed for non-motorized watercraft like kayaks and canoes, positively impact the local economy, encourage healthy lifestyles, provide a sense of community and place, and encourage preservation of waterways.

“Water trails are a wonderful way to connect local residents and visitors to the amazing waters of Northern Michigan,” said Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim Executive Director. “This water trail will not only have a significant positive impact on our local economy but will get people out and active on the water. We believe when people are engaged on the water, they will work to protect our water quality as well as our native plants and animals.”

The Chain of Lakes Water Trail, led by Paddle Antrim, is an extensive trail with over 80 miles of routes through 14 pristine lakes and rivers. This water trail is a regional effort, with 81 access sites owned/managed by 17 governmental jurisdictions and non-profit organizations that stretches through four counties in Northwest Michigan (Antrim, Charlevoix, Kalkaska, and Grand Traverse).

From the small upper lakes to Torch Lake, Michigan’s second largest inland lake, there is an incredible diversity of paddling opportunities, making it a destination for all paddlers. Paddler experiences include wildlife viewing, natural areas best explored paddle craft, sunken ships, island exploration, and great fishing opportunities. The communities of Ellsworth, Central Lake, Bellaire, Alden and Elk Rapids are located along the trail and make great destinations for launching, exiting, or just taking a break.

Paddle Antrim is dedicated to a quality experience for paddlers out on the water, providing more than just the logistics of the trail.  Whether it is information on where to stop for ice cream, how to remove invasive species from your boat, or what kind of gear should you have, all of those messages are important to have a positive experience. Paddle Antrim continues to work to improve the trail and was recently awarded a grant from Rotary Charities of Traverse City to continue this work.

During the paddling season, Paddle Antrim offers community paddle events and classes to get people active, out on the water, and improving their skills.  They also host the annual Paddle Antrim Festival, a two-day non-competitive paddle through the water trail and local events in each of the communities.  For more information on Paddle Antrim and the Chain of Lakes Water Trail go to www.paddleantrim.com

The original Michigan DNR Press Release (12/20/18) can be found at https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MIDNR/bulletins/223bbe4?fbclid=IwAR0I0NN0LT6M0lZxRyIGNv33JxbHjiR4vpPcr4fyu5vJxXaiu3Q-yAhqOf4

Ripple Effect Grant Applications Due October 19th

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.

Since 2015, Paddle Antrim has awarded over $19,000 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 October 19, 2018 to be considered. More information can be found online at www.paddleantrim.com/ripple-effect.

Experience Northern Michigan’s paddling routes and communities at the Paddle Antrim Festival

As the transition to fall begins, a local non-profit and four communities in Northern Michigan are gearing up for the 4th Annual Paddle Antrim Festival September 13-5th.  This premier event celebrates the Chain of Lakes and the great communities that surround it. With two days of great paddling and three days of community events with live music, outdoor activities, and food/drink, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Kayakers and canoeists are invited for a fun, non-competitive event exploring up to 14 different lakes and rivers, including the turquoise waters of Torch Lake. Paddlers can go up to 15 miles on Friday and up to 27 miles on Saturday. While there are those who are up for the challenge, the event offers opportunities for all levels of paddlers – allowing participants to paddle either or both days and select where they would like to exit along the route. With options to add shuttles and meals, all of the planning can happen with a click of the mouse during registration.

Paddlers, friends and the entire community is invited to local celebrations all weekend long. Thursday from 5:30-8, the Festival kicks off in the Village of Ellsworth (6625 Bridge St) with live music from Kellerville and great food from the Cantina Food Truck. After the first day of paddling on Friday, the celebration continues in Bellaire at Richardi Park (100 E. Antrim St) from 2-5pm with live music from Kenny T.  The Festival ends with a bang Saturday at Short’s Brewing Company’s Production Facility (211 Industrial Park, Elk Rapids). Short’s will be pouring their finest brews and Pearl’s New Orleans Kitchen will be serving delicious food. There will be fun outdoor games for all ages and live music from The Pistil Whips and The Sleeping Gypsies to keep the party going.  All events are all ages and celebrations in Ellsworth and Bellaire are free. The Final Bash is $5 per person but free for paddlers, volunteers, and those 12 and under.

For additional information on the Paddle Antrim Festival, go online http://www.paddleantrim.com or contact Paddle Antrim at info@paddleantrim.com or 231-492-0171.

About Paddle Antrim

Paddle Antrim is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization whose mission is to protect our water resources by using paddle sports to connect people to our waterways.  Through stewardship, education, improved water trail access, and promotion of our waterways we will increase water resources protection and enhance the economic vitality of the region.

 

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 info@paddleantrim.com.

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 www.paddleantrim.com/ripple-effect.

Ripple Effect Mini-Grant Awards

Paddle Antrim announced it will award $3,000 to two projects that benefit Northern Michigan’s Chain of Lakes region through education, water resources protection, and increasing access to the water.

“Our Ripple Effect grant program provides a wonderful way for us to expand our impact by funding projects that support our mission of protecting our waterways and connecting people to these amazing waters through paddling” says Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim’s Executive Director. The awards are for the following projects:

  • The Village of Bellaire was awarded $2,000 toward the development a non-motorized boat launch at Richardi Park.
  • Antrim Conservation District was awarded $1,000 toward improving the Spencer Creek Rain Garden in Alden, which captures storm water runoff in Spencer Creek before flowing into Torch Lake.

“The Spencer Creek Rain Garden is a great project in the heart of Alden to showcase how rain gardens are beneficial to water quality protection,” says Jerdee.  “It’s a great example for residents who are looking for ideas on how they can help improve water quality.”

Paddle Antrim’s Ripple Effect Mini-Grant Program awards grant to local non-profit and governmental organizations whose projects align with their mission to protect the water resources and enhance the economic vitality of the region through stewardship, education, improved water trail access and promotion of the waterways.  The next round of funding will be in April 2018. To learn more about Paddle Antrim, the Ripple Effect grant program or the Chain of Lakes Water Trail, please visit www.paddleantrim.com.

Paddle Antrim awarded grant for Chain of Lakes Water Trail

Paddle Antrim recently received a Charlevoix County Community Foundation grant to develop wayfinding signs for the upper portion of the Chain of Lakes Water Trail during their 2017 fall grant cycle.

The Chain of Lakes Water Trail is a vast waterway which includes 15 connected lakes and rivers in Antrim, Charlevoix, Kalkaska and Grand Traverse counties. It is designed for people using small, non-motorized watercraft like kayaks and canoes. There are over sixty miles of identified routes with choices for all levels of paddlers to enjoy. While the routes and access sites have been identified, this grant provides the next step to improve the trail by developing wayfinding signs to install so people can have a quality experience while using the trail.

Development of the water trail is one of Paddle Antrim’s program areas whose mission is to protect the water resources by using paddle sports to connect people to the waterways.  “By developing and installing signs, we can engage more people while out on the water,” says Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim executive director. “When people have fun and positive experiences on the water, they fall in love with a place. It’s this sense of care that leads to a curiosity about what makes a place special and nurtures an instinct to protect it.”

Paddle Antrim is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization who through stewardship, education, improved water trail access, and promotion of the waterways will increase water resources protection and enhance the economic vitality of the region.  More information on Paddle Antrim and the Chain of Lakes Water Trail can be found at www.paddleantrim.com or by calling 231-492-0171.

The Charlevoix County Community Foundation is a local charitable organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all citizens of Charlevoix County by building a permanent endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership resources to serve the community. More information about the Charlevoix County Community Foundation may be found at www.c3f.org or by calling 231-536-2440.

Your end of year support means so much

Recently, I met a woman who shared her excitement about watching minks play along the shore near Central Lake. When I asked where else on the Chain of Lakes she has visited, she admitted that while she was born here, she has not explored beyond her home and Village parks because she wasn’t sure where to go.

We need your support to help us improve access to and protect the water quality of our lakes and rivers.

By improving access, we can engage more people out on the water. When people have fun and positive experiences on the water, they fall in love with a place. It’s this sense of care that leads to a curiosity about what makes a place special and nurtures an instinct to protect it.

In the coming year, we are committed to improving access by creating the Chain of Lakes Water Trail. Our goals for the next two years are real and tangible: by the end of 2019, we will have designed and installed signs for every water trail access site where we have approved agreements with site owners. We need your support to make the vision of an accessible and well-marked water trail connecting villages, parks, and natural areas through the Chain of Lakes a reality.

Help us open the trail and protect the lakes and rivers you love. Please consider supporting all the work we do with a year-end 100% tax deductible donation.

Warmest Regards,
Deana Jerdee
Executive Director

PS. Paddle Antrim relies on donors just like you for supporting our operational expenses so we can focus on implementing the water trail program, outreach/safety events and other great programs.

(Photo Credit: Matthew Malpass)

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 $12,000. Past projects include site assessment for a kayak launch at Richardi Park, installation of a kayak slide in Alden, and water quality studies and testing equipment. 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 November 10, 2017 to be considered. More information can be found online at www.paddleantrim.com/ripple-effect.