A two-day event for kayaks and surf skis through Northern Michigan’s Chain of Lakes, a water trail starting in Ellsworth and ending in Elk Rapids on Lake Michigan, about 45 miles of paddling through some lovely protected natural areas and a few of the north’s dynamic inland lakes, Torch and Elk Lakes being the most challenging. September 15-16.
Paddlers decide how far they paddle on one day, or both days. It’s not a race; it’s a paddling celebration. Boats are left in Ellsworth the evening of September 14. Nifty kayak valet service: when you unload your boat there’s a couple of guys waiting to carry it to the starting line. Just make sure you tuck a towel in a hatch as nights cool nights of autumn make boats dewy in the morning. Overnight security provided.
There’s a current from the start to the finish as these waters lead to Lake Michigan. First 15 miles are easy, provided the Headwind Gods are benevolent.
Fresh water at every checkpoint, lots of safety boats on the water, lakefront residents cheering on the paddlers, and if a paddler tires earlier than anticipated, they can get to the next checkpoint where they and their boat will be taken care of and the paddler shuttled to where their vehicle’s parked (a volunteer watches over the kayak).
Food, music, and refreshments all great. A very well organized event that benefits paddlers through the creation of new launch sites and improving existing ones.
Early registration discount ends August 1: http://www.paddleantrim.com/?page_id=1298