REGION – Paddle Antrim is excited to kick-off the paddling season on the Chain of Lakes Water Trail with a special community paddle and gathering in Elk Rapids with Short’s Brewing Company.
On Thursday, June 2, Paddle Antrim and Short’s Brewing Company invite you to join for a community paddle on Elk River launching from Elk Rapids Rotary Park followed by a gathering just up the road at the Short’s Pull Barn.
This special gathering is the celebration of what will be another exciting season on Northern Michigan’s only state designated water trail. A community paddle will take place from 5:30 – 7:00 pm on Elk River followed by a gathering featuring live music, food trucks, and delicious beverages at Short’s Pull Barn.
“Short’s Brewing Company and Paddle Antrim have a rich history that began in 2009 with the opening of our production facility here in Elk Rapids. To symbolize our love of brewing beer and our affinity for the Chain of Lakes, a small group of us paddled 27 miles from the Pub in Bellaire to the new brewery in Elk Rapids. Paddle Antrim emerged from that momentous excursion to become a tenacious organization dedicated to preservation, education and stewardship of our beloved chain of lakes. We are so honored to work with Deana and the Paddle Antrim crew to host a celebration for their community paddle this June. The Paddle Antrim Festival and the development of Northern Michigan’s first water trail, are just a few examples of how Paddle Antrim is leading the charge with promoting Antrim County as an outdoor recreation destination. We’re very lucky to have such a progressive protector and promoter of the nature that surrounds us. That’s something I think we can agree to raise a glass to.” said Joe Short, founder of Short’s Brewing Company.
In addition to this event, Paddle Antrim is thrilled to offer programming all season long. “After a couple years of uncertainty, we are thrilled to bring back our programming in full force this summer,” said Deana Jerdee, executive director of Paddle Antrim. “Our classes and community paddles are great ways for paddlers to connect with each other and the water in a fun and educational way.”
The non-profit organization will host 7 community paddles, 15 kayaking classes, 4 stewardship classes and the beloved three-day Paddle Antrim Festival.
Community paddles are free and open to the public. These relaxed hour-long paddles take place along different sections of the Chain of Lakes and all paddlers are welcome – canoes, kayaks, and stand up paddle boards. Paddlers are responsible for bringing their own paddle craft and personal flotation devices (life jackets) must always be worn when out on the water.
Adult classes teach paddlers the basics of paddling all types of kayaks in a fun and safe way. These classes are great for beginners but anyone who has never received formal instruction will benefit. Kids’ classes are a great way to introduce your child to the sport of kayaking. Designed with fun and water safety as primary goals, these classes teach students through a variety of games and exploration. All classes are taught by American Canoe Association (ACA) certified instructors.
Paddle Antrim has partnered with Grass River Natural Area, Tipp of the Mitt Watershed Council, Little Traverse Conservancy, Kalkaska Conservation District, Walloon Lake Association and Conservancy, and CAKE CISMA to offer four stewardship classes in three different counties in Northern Michigan – Antrim, Charlevoix and Kalkaska. These classes train paddlers to identify and report invasive species while preventing their spread.
The Paddle Antrim Festival will take place September 15 -17, 2022. Sponsored by Short’s Brewing Company, the Festival is a celebration of our waterways with two days of paddling and three days of community events. During this non-competitive choose your own adventure paddling event, participants can paddle one or two days and go from 7-42 miles. All the community events are family friendly and open to the public and feature live music and local eats and brews. The Festival culminates with a Final Bash at Short’s Pull Barn in Elk Rapids.
For more information on all the Paddle Antrim events and classes visit www.paddleantrim.com/events. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram.