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Freshwater Paddlers Symposium

June 2024 Dates To Be Announced!

 Apostle Islands Wisconsin


What's The Symposium All About?

Sea Kayak Symposiums are a great way to get jazzed about paddling. If you're growing, you're having fun. If you're having fun, you'll want to keep paddling. New to expert, it doesn't matter. When we're here we're learning together. The Freshwater Paddlers Symposium also wants you to pay it forward. Every year we have a theme to help the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore continue to host paddlers from all over the world, safely and sustainably.

Theme For 2023

Access for All Logo (small for web).jpg

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, administered by the National Park Service, is one of only three national lakeshores in the country. Its 21 islands and 12 mile stretch of mainland shoreline protect dramatic scenery, vital wildlife habitat, historic lighthouses, and provide the opportunities for exactly the kind of outdoor experience that can be vital in rehabilitation and health, including popular sea kayaking adventures to its sea caves. “Trips like this kept me from giving up when I learned of my progressive neurological disorder,” says paddler Annie Hickman. “Paddling here has been life changing. It shows that I can still do the things I love. It is completely restorative even though I am a puddle when I am done.” The Access for All initiative of Friends of the Apostle Islands is an effort in support of a series of new and ongoing accessibility projects undertaken by the National Park Service including replacing the 45 step staircase to Meyers Beach, the launching area for popular kayaking trips, with an all accessible ramp. Friends is working to raise $325,000 to be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Centennial Fund of the National Park Service to help make this, and other projects, a reality. “Our national parks belong to all of us,” says Jeff Rennicke, Executive Director of Friends, “including the 1 in 5 Americans with mobility issues. Access for All is an effort to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to enjoy the beauty and the health benefits of our great outdoors. Friends greatly appreciates the generosity of Memorial Medical Center in helping make this a reality.” Jeff Rennicke at Memorial Medical Center in front of photo of Devils Island To learn more about Access for All, read the rationale and project description on our website. Click here to donate now, or contact us at 715-449-6900 or by mail at Friends of the Apostle Islands, P.O. Box 1574, Bayfield, WI 54814.


*Update - due to lower enrollment the schedule has changed -  see below*

NEW Saturday-Only SPECIALS including a FREE Safety Course*

Thursday June 22 & Prior

Pre-Symposium Workshops 

2-6pm: Registration & Check-in


3pm until... Social Paddle & Skills 'Shakedown'


Friday June 23

9am-4pm: Boat Play Track - Edging/Bracing & Rescues


9am-4pm: Journey Track - Island Adventure or Geology Tour

10am-4pm: Vendors welcome to set up for free

5pm: Fish Fry

7pm: Presentation

Saturday June 24

9am-4pm: Boat Play Track - Rolling & Coaching

9am-4pm: Journey Track - Island Adventure or Geology Tour

10am-4pm: Gear Swap, Vendors, and SPECIAL COURSES

6pm: Dinner provided at Corny Coffee

7:30pm: Presentation & 2023 theme

Sunday June 25

9am-1pm: 'Downwind Delicacy' social downwind paddle (If wind:) or 'Explore The Shore' looking for rock gardens and other fun features.

9am-1pm: More rolling clinics

11am-1pm: Social Paddle

1:30pm: Farewells & Until Next Years...


Clinic Schedule (Changes subject to conditions)

Pre-Event Workshops (Symposium registration NOT required)

Thursday June 22

  • 2-6pm: Check-In

  • Social Shakedown - 3pm to ? - This afternoon session will simply get everyone on the water to get acquainted with each other, the area and help assess where their weekend will take them.

Friday - June 23

  • 9-4pm: Paddle Play Track - an introduction to real sea kayaking including how to use your edge, preventing capsize with bracing and fun games to challenge your abilities. Get ready to get wet!

  • 9am-4pm: Journey Track - Depending upon conditions we'll choose a location that is both fun and challenging. Crossings, navigation, and Apostle-only features are expected...

  • 5pm: Fish Fry! (Self pay)

  • 7pm: Presentation

Saturday - June 24

  • 9-4pm: Paddle Play Track - Rolling & Coaching Clinics including the option of video assessment of skills

  • 9am-4pm: Journey Track - Depending upon conditions we'll choose a location that is both fun and challenging. Crossings, navigation, and Apostle-only features are expected...

  • 10am-1pm: Basic Safety & Rescues FREE! Please email us if interested. (Space limited) Must supply own boat and paddle or rent. ($40) Other safety and rescue gear provided.

  • 2-5pm: Paddle strokes & boat handling. Up your game quickly in this short course. $65 or included with full admission.

  • 2-5pm: Intro to Rolling & Enhanced Rolling (Greenland & other) $65 or included with full admission.

  • 6pm: Dinner (Provided)

  • 7:30pm: Presentation

Sunday - June 25

  • 9am-1pm: 'Downwind Delicacy' or Shoreline Exploration, depending upon conditions. A downwind paddle is just what it sounds like. We'll drop you off and we'll surf/sail/paddle combo to the takeout. Very fun! If no wind we'll explore an interesting part of the Apostles shoreline, perhaps with rock features to challenge our advanced strokes.

  • 1:30pm: Symposium ends.

paddler circle photo.jpeg


Location: Cornucopia, Wisconsin. Meeting area is near the beach at Swenson Pavilion. Other meeting locations will be provided after registration.

Area & Logistics: lodging, things to bring, and other links at the bottom of this page.



  • Visitors are free! This includes the gear swap and vendor booths. 

  • General Tuition: This covers attendance of all social events, event swag, clinics, and Saturday dinner

    • Full event - $295

    • Saturday special clinics - $65 each (Included with full event registration)

  • Full Day Coaching Tours Pre-Symposium Workshops may have an additional charge as noted in the description. Make sure to add them to your cart prior to checkout, they will fill fast!

Cancellation Policy

45+days prior, full refund. If you need to cancel within 45 days of the event we can provide a 50% refund or apply the full amount to next years event. This includes general tuition and add-on coaching tours and workshops.


Please pay with Credit or Debit Card if possible (less fees than PayPal)

If registering for a Coaching Tour and/or Pre-Symposium Workshop return to this page to add to your Paypal cart

Donate to the Friends of the Apostle Islands 'Access For All' campaign
(This is a separate donation, and is tax deductible)


Sponsors & Partners

Currently seeking sponsors to assist with administrative tasks, as well as  vendors, and manufacturing/industry reps for demonstration equipment and raffle. Please contact us to discuss.

Symposium Theme & Volunteer Partner


Website & Registration Partner

Advertising & Instruction Partner


Silent Auction Sponsor

Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing

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