Paddles Up Niagara
Mark Your Calendars for the 17th Annual Paddles Up Niagara set for Saturday July 29th!
What: Paddles Up Niagara is a family friendly and safe way to experience the natural areas and unique habitats of the Niagara River. Whether you are a novice or an experienced paddler, you will enjoy spending the morning with an enthusiastic paddling community. Guides and safety paddlers will be on hand to assist and answer your paddling questions.
Where: Beaver Island State Park, Grand Island, New York
Meet at Shelters 2B, launch from the far end of the beach.
Registration is not open yet
*You need to set up an account in order to register for this free event.
To view a picture of the event map click here:
When: Saturday July 29th 2023
The following information is from 2022 Paddles Up, exact times for 2023 will be coming soon!
7:00 AM - Eco-tour #1
7:30 AM - Eco-tour #2
8:00 AM - Eco-tour #3
The eco-tours begin at Beaver Island beach and are designed to be smaller in size, so everyone can hear the guide interpret plants and animal life as they guide the group through habitats around Beaver Island. Spaces are limited so please register early. Each eco-tour is limited to 15 participants each. To view a map of the Eco-Tour route click the link here:
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM FREE Learn to Kayak session
New this year! This session is offered by the NY State Parks Interpretive staff, who perform regular learn to Kayak sessions throughout the summer. For the Paddles UP Niagara event, they are offering lessons to a limited set of interested individuals just prior to the Fun Paddle. Kayaks and PDFs will be provided for the learn to kayak session. If you decide to participate in the Fun Paddle you can rent a Kayak from Blue Water Marina, info below. This session is offered to anyone age 8 and up and is limited to 10 participants.
8:00 AM - Eco-tour Hike
New this year! The Eco-tour Hike will be lead by members of the Niagara Frontier Botanical Society, it will begin at shelter 2B and walk to River Lea and the Allenton Farm. From there it will continue on down the East River Trail, to the Kayak launch and then return to shelter 2B. The expert guides will identify and discuss trees, shrubs and flowering plants along the way. It is an easy walk on level ground. This hike is limited to 16 participants.
To view a map of the Eco-tour Hike click the link here:
8:30 AM - 11:30 AM - Environmental Exhibitors
Make sure to visit the many organizational partners that will be exhibiting very important water safety equipment & information, environmental resources and other interesting facts about our unique and precious natural resource that surrounds WNY, our Great Lakes and the Niagara River! Some of the participating organizational partners include; Marine Services Bureau of NY State Parks, NY Sea Grant, Citizen Coalition for Wildlife & Environment, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, WNY Land Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Army Corps of Engineers, and more.
10:00 AM - Fun Paddle
The larger Fun Paddle leaves from Beaver Island beach and allows paddlers to choose how far they wish to paddle, the route goes around Little Beaver Island, back towards the launch site and then paddlers can choose to continue on to the East River Marsh or end their paddling adventures by disembarking at the launch site.
To view a map of the Fun Paddle route click the link here:
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM - Free admission to Grand Island Historical Museum at River Lea!
Paddles Up participants will have the opportunity to step back in time and see what it was like living on Grand Island during the 1800's, when Grover Cleveland's uncle, Lewis Allen, built the mansion, that is now called River Lea. If you have been inside River Lea in the past, you may want to make another visit because it has gone through some changes with new displays. To follow recent developments with the museum and historical society visit: http://www.isledegrande.com/historicalsociety/historicalsociety.php
Where to rent kayaks:
Address: 330 East River Rd. Grand Island, NY
For individuals who don't feel like bringing their own kayak, or for those who are just starting out and need a kayak, please contact Blue Water Marina. They are a trusted partner with quality boats and they bring the kayaks right to the Beaver Island Beach on the day of the event.
After paddling refreshment options:
The following food venders and and offers are from 2022, check back later for updated information.
FREE T-Shirt for the first 200 Registrants!
The V'Randa is an outdoor patio style restaurant overlooking the Niagara River, located next to the Beaver Island beach. Bring your tear off strip on your registration bib after the event to receive a FREE beer and hotdog! You will no doubt have a hearty appetite after paddling, so why not try one of their amazing items off of a special drink and food menu, just for Paddles Up participants.
Casey's Cabana is a seasonal outdoor restaurant on the Niagara River. The special thing about this business, is that it is fully owned and operated by students! Their mission is to help students gain valuable business experience while offering the community a quality dining experience at a very reasonable cost. They are packing up their equipment and selling their food at the Paddles Up event, make sure to stop by and give them some business!
Important Must Do's:
Personal Flotation Device
All paddlers MUST wear a zipped up coast guard approved lifejacket, anyone who refuses to wear a lifejacket will not be permitted to paddle with the group. Lifejackets must be worn properly.
Sound Producing Device
Paddlers should bring a whistle on their watercraft. NY State Parks Marine Services will have some to pass out at the event. If you are in need of assistance on the water, blow your whistle and wave your arms or paddle in the air to alert the safety paddlers.
Follow the Course
Paddlers must follow the designated course and display their numbers on their boat or lifejacket. Race type bibs with numbers will be supplied on the day of the event.