Category: Blog


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.

Paddle Antrim Launches Chain of Lakes Water Trail and Challenge Grant Opportunity

Paddle Antrim is excited to launch the first phase of the Chain of Lakes Water Trail, a premier paddling opportunity for paddlers in Northern Michigan. This water trail will provide a wonderful way for both residents and visitors to connect to and enjoy the diverse lakes and rivers of the region.

A water trail, the aquatic equivalent of a hiking trail for non-motorized boats, provides information on available access sites and paddling experiences for everyone to enjoy all season long. By working with local jurisdictions and other supporters and champions, Paddle Antrim is leading efforts to create a premier water trail for all to enjoy. The first phase of implementation includes development of directional and informational signage for all access sites, coordination with access site owners, and planning of future infrastructure improvements.

The Chain of Lakes Water Trail highlights the wide-range of paddling opportunities for all levels of paddlers as well as the wonderful hospitality from the small and vibrant communities. With protected shorelines of natural areas, sunken ships, spectacular fishing, and crystal blue water, the Chain of Lakes has it all. Along the route, paddlers can explore the charming villages of Ellsworth, Central Lake, Bellaire, Alden, and Elk Rapids. These communities offer wonderful facilities for launching as well as provide other needs such as great restaurants, many places to stay and even places to rent equipment.

“Water Trails are a great way to promote stewardship of our resources while improving the economy of the local communities,” says Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim executive director. The upcoming Paddle Antrim Festival on September 15-16th highlights this where over 150 kayakers will paddle portions of the Chain of Lakes Water Trail and enjoy celebrations in the communities all weekend long.

Right now Paddle Antrim is launching the first phase of implementation of the water trail plan and is looking to raise $25,000. To help support Paddle Antrim and the water trail efforts, two generous donors are offering opportunities for donors to double their impact. New donors giving up to $500 will be matched by the Dole Family Foundation up to $1,500. All other donations will be matched by Short’s Brewing Company up to $2,500. Help us reach our take advantage of these wonderful opportunities to double your impact today.

For more information on the Chain of Lakes Water Trail, Paddle Antrim Festival or to double your donation, go to www.paddleantrim.com or contact them at 231-492-0171 or info@paddleantrim.com.

Paddle Antrim Festival offers great experience on the Chain of Lakes Water Trail

 

Paddling is becoming an even more popular recreational activity and Paddle Antrim is offering kayakers a great way to get out on the water with the third annual Paddle Antrim Festival. This Festival celebrates Northern Michigan’s waters and communities and highlights the diversity of the Chain of Lakes Water Trail.

This two day festival, September 15-16, is a fun, non-competitive kayak event where paddlers can enjoy being out on Antrim County’s Chain of Lakes. There are opportunities for all levels of paddlers, from beginners to advanced, to enjoy a great time both on and off the water. Kayakers can choose to paddle one or both days and choose the distance they want to travel. Those looking for a relaxed paddle may exit after 7 miles, while those looking for a challenge may continue up to 42 miles, with many exit points in between to make it the ideal paddle for anyone. This Festival includes live music, great food and drinks all weekend long for both 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 and Elk Lakes. Over the two days 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 event stress-free, meals and shuttle service can be added at the time of registration.

“We are excited to offer a paddling experience for all levels of kayakers to get out on the water”, says Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim executive director. “This is a great opportunity to highlight the different types of paddling the Chain of Lakes Water Trail offers and have the entire region come together to celebrate the remarkable waterways and region we live in.”

Beyond great paddling, the weekend is filled with great food and festivities.  Beginning Thursday night, each day there are local events with music and refreshments open to all. 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 Festival 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 also raises money to support Paddle Antrim’s mission to protect the waterway, focusing on stewardship, education, and increasing access for all to the waterways through development of the Chain of Lakes Water Trail. The water trail, the aquatic equivalent of a hiking trail for non-motorized boats, provides information on available access sites and paddling experiences for everyone to enjoy all season long. By working with local jurisdictions and other supporters and champions, Paddle Antrim is leading efforts to create a premier water trail for all to enjoy in Northern Michigan.

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

 

$3,000 in Ripple Effect Grants Awarded

Paddle Antrim recently awarded $3,000 to three projects that benefit Northern Michigan’s waterways through their Ripple Effect Mini-Grant Program.

“We are so excited to support these great projects. 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 $1,500 toward the initial planning to develop a non-motorized boat launch at Richardi Park.
  • Conservation Resource Alliance was awarded $1,000 for development of a new recreational access site on the Jordan River at Old State Road.
  • Three Lakes Association was awarded $500 for a water quality study on Torch Lake, Clam Lake, and Lake Bellaire.

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 November 2017. 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 Offers More Kayaking Classes

Paddle Antrim is excited to offer additional kayaking classes again this summer. They will offer an evening session of the Fundamentals of Kayaking on July 10th in Bellaire. This is a great class for beginners or for those who have been paddling for a while and want to learn basic safety skills and improve technique. Classes will include both land and water instruction. They will also offer a full day Level 1-2 Coastal Kayaking Class on July 11th in Ellsworth. This class will cover the fundamentals but also go into even more detail on paddling and rescue techniques.

“We had great success with the classes we offered in June and want to provide even more opportunities for people to learn how to be safe on the water,” says Deana Jerdee, executive director of Paddle Antrim.

Classes are American Canoe Association certified courses and will be led by Michael Gray of Uncommon Adventures who has almost 30 years of experience. If participants do not yet have a kayak, the instructor will be able to provide one. Class sizes are limited, with a maximum student to teacher ratio of 5 to 1, ensuring great interaction and instruction.  Registration ranges from $95-$155.

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