Paddle Antrim Engages Youth with Kayaking Programs to Promote Water Safety

Paddle Antrim is dedicated to connecting youth with our waterways while emphasizing the importance of water safety. This week, Paddle Antrim had the pleasure of taking Ellsworth School middle schoolers and high schoolers kayaking on Ellsworth Lake. For some students, this was their first time experiencing the joy of being on the water. These sessions were designed to introduce the students to water safety, basic paddling strokes, and the joy… Read More »


Paddle Antrim’s 10-Year Journey to Preserve and Promote Northern Michigan’s Waterways

A decade ago, few organizers imagined that the creation of Paddle Antrim, a small non-profit, would become a catalyst for regional support to protect and promote Northern Michigan’s pristine 100-mile Chain of Lakes. As the paddling organization celebrates its 10th anniversary, Paddle Antrim’s collaborations with volunteer paddling enthusiasts, local businesses, and local governments across the region have resulted in: The first state-designated water trail in northern Michigan, a 100-mile route… Read More »


Paddling the Upper Chain: A Guide to Scenic Water Adventures

The Chain of Lakes Water Trail is a hidden gem, with an upper and lower chain divided by the picturesque Bellaire dam. While the lower chain boasts renowned lakes like Torch Lake and Elk Lake, the upper chain offers a quieter, off-the-beaten-path experience that’s well worth exploring. In this guide, we’ll unveil some enticing routes along the upper chain that are perfect for kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, and even… Read More »


Michigan’s Outdoor Recreation: A Thriving Economic Force Revealed

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has recently shed light on the immense economic impact of outdoor recreation in Michigan. As champions of connecting people to nature, we at Paddle Antrim are thrilled by these statistics that underscore the strength of the outdoor industry within our state. In the year 2022 alone, Michigan’s economy received a staggering $12.4 billion boost from outdoor recreation. Notably, this contributed to the creation… Read More »


Paddle Antrim Awards $2,000 to Benefit Northern Michigan Waterways through Mini Grant Program

Paddle Antrim is excited to announce the allocation of $2,000 to two projects that will positively impact Northern Michigan’s waterways through the Ripple Effect Mini Grant Program. The Ripple Effect Mini Grant Program by Paddle Antrim is entirely supported by the revenue generated from the nonprofit’s events, such as the Paddle Antrim Festival, alongside proceeds from paddling classes. Deana Jerdee, Executive Director of Paddle Antrim, highlighted, “A portion of the… Read More »


River: A Haibun

River: A Haibun Inspired by the Six Mile-St. Claire Greenway As we launch, I ask myself what remarkable thing will happen on this river, in this sprawling wetland spotted with low-growth shrubbery and ruined forest. It is the wrong question. First, we must launch.  The wet deck, a platform of treated lumber thrusts over the river like a sturdy hand, but that structure doesn’t make stepping down to river level… Read More »


Over 160 Paddlers Took to the Chain of Lakes Water Trail Northern Michigan’s Premier Paddling Festival

From September 14th to 16th, the 8th annual Paddle Antrim Festival brought together over 250 paddlers and volunteers in a spirited celebration. This dynamic event was marked by the participation of more than 160 paddlers who navigated the scenic expanse of the Chain of Lakes Water Trail over two invigorating days, with some accomplishing distances of up to 42 miles. The Paddle Antrim Festival, spanning three days, includes two days… Read More »


Paddle Antrim Welcomes Two New Members to its Board of Directors

Paddle Antrim, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting water protection and supporting paddling opportunities on the Chain of Lakes Water Trail, is pleased to announce the appointment of two esteemed individuals, Gary Buczkowski and Sue Haadsma-Svensson, to its board of directors. Both officially joined the board in June 2023, bringing with them a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to the organization’s mission. Haadsma-Svensson is a passionate outdoor… Read More »


Paddle Antrim Awards over $2,000 in Grants for Northern Michigan Waterway Projects

Paddle Antrim is thrilled to announce the recipients of its Ripple Effect Mini Grant Program. Three projects have been selected to receive a combined total of $2,118, contributing to the protection, education, and enhanced access to waterways in Northern Michigan. The following projects have been chosen as recipients of the grants: Michigan 4-H Foundation for Antrim County 4-H: Antrim County 4-H will organize two introductory kayaking trips from Bellaire to… Read More »


Premier Paddling Festival on the Chain of Lakes Water Trail

Paddle Antrim is excited to host the 8th Annual Paddle Antrim Festival, September 14-16. Registration is open for all and early bird discounts are available until July 13.  The Paddle Antrim Festival is a great way to experience the Chain of Lakes Water Trail and the charming lakeside communities that surround it. This fun, non-competitive event provides opportunities for all levels of paddlers to participate one or two days with… Read More »


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