Midwest Paddle Festival and Paddle & Portage Race

July 29, 2016 - July 30, 2016

  • Photo credit Ali Stone

    Photo credit Ali Stone
  • Photo credit Ryan Wisniewski.

    Photo credit Ryan Wisniewski.

In the 37th annual Isthmus Paddle & Portage canoers and kayakers will formally be joined by standup paddleboarders creating a celebration of paddle like no other. The crazy fun-filled weekend kicks off at Olin Park Friday evening. Paddlers and the general public are invited for before the race bib pick-up, Gear Demos with some of the best paddle gear on the planet and clinics. The schedule includes Pro clinics for Elite paddlers sponsored by Paddleboard Specialists, Learn to SUP for beginners and SUP Yoga sponsored by Brittingham Boats. Saturday’s race begins at James Madison Park with a 1.5-mile paddle on Lake Mendota, followed by a 1-mile portage (Have your friends help you carry your board, use a strap or a wheeled device etc so the portage is fun not work!) around the Capitol past the Dane County Farmers' Market, before heading to Monona Terrace and the final 1.5-mile paddle across Lake Monona to the finish line at Olin Park. Racers and spectators are invited to participate in SUP lessons, SUP YOGA, Gear Demos and to attend the post-race party at Olin Park for live music, food, craft brews and the 2016 Paddle & Portage awards ceremony. Paddlers are encouraged to get all decked out for our annual Paddle & Portage costume contest.


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  • On Water