Over 280 paddlers and volunteers came out September 15 – 17 to celebrate the 7th annual Paddle Antrim Festival. This event was highlighted by over 200 paddlers taking to the Chain of Lakes Water Trail over two days – some completing as many as 42 miles. 

The Paddle Antrim Festival is a three-day event with two days of paddling. Paddlers start in Ellsworth and go anywhere from 7 – 42 miles over the two days. Community Events are hosted during all three days of the Festival, including the Final Bash which is hosted by top sponsor Short’s Brewing Company at their Pull Barn in Elk Rapids.  

“This year we had 204 paddlers registered for the Paddle Antrim Festival from all over Michigan, the Midwest and beyond.” said Deana Jerdee Paddle Antrim Executive Director, “We were excited to have a record number of paddlers this year and also excited to see the diversity in paddle crafts – we had our first stand up paddle boarder completing the entire 42-mile route over two days.” Day 1 was an impressive sight as 165 boats launched from Ellsworth River Park. The second day 137 boats launched from Bellaire, with 45 paddlers making it the entire 42-mile route. 

Critical to the success of the event are the over 30 sponsors and 80 volunteers who keep the event running smoothly and help keep the paddlers safe out on the water. “We are grateful for our sponsors and donors who make this event a success,” said Deana Jerdee.  

The 2023 Paddle Antrim Festival dates are September 14-16. To learn more about Paddle Antrim go to www.paddleantrim.com.