Paddle Antrim and The Village of Elk Rapids Partner to Improve Rotary Park

We are excited to announce that a partnership agreement with the Village of Elk Rapids has been signed to move forward with improvements to Elk Rapids Rotary Park. We have been working on design improvements with the village since 2016 and are pleased to be moving to this next phase. 

Elk Rapids is the gateway to the Chain of Lakes Water Trail, offering over 100 miles for paddlers to explore through 12 lakes and interconnected rivers. Rotary Park is the main trailhead for the Village of Elk Rapids on the water trail, providing access to the village amenities for paddlers. Our goal is to offer more water trail accessibility to paddlers with varying levels of mobility. The design improvements at Rotary Park will include an accessible launch that will connect to the existing universal kayak launch at Milton Township Waterfront Park, creating the first accessible route on the Chain of Lakes Water Trail. Additional improvements to the park will include plumbed restrooms, kayak racks, a kayak cleaning station to prevent aquatic invasive species, accessible picnic tables, and a paved parking area with a turnaround for trailers. 

To better understand the scope and history of the project, below is a timeline to-date:


Paddle Antrim completed an Access Site Assessment. In the assessment, Paddle Antrim met with Village of Elk Rapids staff and a primary site plan and recommendations for improvements to Rotary Park was completed. 


Improvements to Rotary Park were identified in the Village of Elk Rapids 2017 Recreation Survey. Suggested improvements included a universal kayak launch, restrooms, and running water. 


Paddle Antrim and the Village of Elk Rapids began working on a design concept thanks to generous support from the Elk Skegemog Lakes Association, the Grand Traverse Community Foundation FOCUS Fund of Antrim County, Elk Rapids Rotary Club, Village of Elk Rapids and in-kind support from the Gourdie-Frasier and Associates and the Disability Network of Northwest Michigan.


In July 2020 a design engineering concept was presented to the Village and made available for public input. 

March 2021

Based on the input received from the community during the July 2020 input session, a final design and engineering report was approved by the Elk Rapids Village Council.

August 2021

The EGLE Permit to complete work within Elk River was approved. 

November 2021

Paddle Antrim and the Village of Elk Rapids signed a partnership agreement to move forward with improvements to Elk Rapids Rotary Park. 

More information on the project and the schematic of the improvements can be found at