Design of Improvements for Elk Rapids Rotary Park

Elk Rapids Rotary Park is a key trailhead on the Chain of Lakes Water Trail, an over 100-mile water trail stretching through 12 lakes and interconnected rivers in Antrim, Charlevoix, Grand Traverse and Kalkaska Counties. The Chain of Lakes Water Trail is one of nine state-designated water trails in Michigan and is a collaborative effort between twenty different governmental jurisdictions and non-profit organizations.  

In collaboration with the Village of Elk Rapids, we are creating a universally accessible kayak/canoe launch at Rotary Park on US-31 along the western shore of Elk Lake. This critical infrastructure includes restrooms, improved and safer parking, and a permanent boat washing station. Additional amenities include paddling storage racks, benches, picnic tables, trailer parking and a loading/unloading zone. These new public facilities are universally designed and ADA compliant and will create the first universally accessible segment of the Chain of Lakes Water Trail. We are passionate about connecting all people to waterways and are thrilled with how these well-designed improvements will enable people of all abilities to enjoy a quality trail experience.

In addition to providing and improving access, Paddle Antrim cares deeply about the health and stewardship of our waterways. The installation of a rain garden will help protect our water resources by reducing runoff and sedimentation, which helps support healthy habitat for plants and animals. The boat washing station will help stop the spread of invasive species.

To learn more about the project, please review the Rotary Park Case Statement or contact Deana Jerdee, executive director, at 231-492-0171 or

Click the links below to view the proposed improvements:

Rotary Park Proposed Improvements

Construction Documents

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

March 2022

The Village Council held a public hearing on their application to the MI DNR Trust Fund Grant for Improvements at Elk Rapids Rotary Park. They also submitted a grant application to the Michigan Waterways Commission. 

November 2021

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

August 2021

A permit was submitted and approved by Michigan’s Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE) Permit to create a path to the existing channel in Elk River. 

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.


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


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.


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 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. 

Contact us for questions or more information at