Northwest Paddling Festival

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Come celebrate paddle sports at the Northwest Paddling Festival on Lake Sammamish in Issaquah, May 9-10. There will be food booths, an open-air market with vendors selling the latest paddling gear, and retailers demoing kayaks, paddleboards and canoes.

Lake Sammamish is a spacious 7-mile long lake with sweeping views of the Issaquah Alps and Tiger, Cougar, and Squak Mountains. Historically Snoqualmie Tribal lands, this area is home to bald eagles, great blue herons, otters and beavers. There are hiking and bike trails too, so you could make a day of it with something for everyone in the family.

Enjoy a guided kayak tour or take a beginner’s SUP clinic. Guides from Alki Kayak Tours , REI, and Anacortes Kayak Tours are offering free ½ hour kayak tours. PFD life preservers, kayaks and paddles will be provided. Wear water shoes and bring sunscreen, rain protection, and a change of clothes.

Learn how to pack a sea kayak, and food planning for trips. Some of the leading kayak guides in the Pacific Northwest will be there to share their expertise and love for the sport.

Have you always wanted to try stand-up paddleboarding? There will be First Time SUP’in classes. Mountain to Sound Outfitters will have a dry land simulator for learning basic techniques. Classes run every hour beginning at 10:45, registration required.

To get a feel for how the First Nations peoples traveled the Salish Sea, take a pull-paddle tour on the Big Canoe, an 18-person canoe modeled after traditional Native American canoes and kept alive through annual Tribal Canoe Journeys.

Kayaking near Seattle
Kayaking near Seattle Dennis Hamilton

The Northwest Paddling Challenge is a spectator friendly race organized by Mountain to Sound Outfitters and Salmon Bay Paddle . It’s a 6-mile course on the shores of Lake Sammamish State Park hosting kayakers, SUP-ers, and outriggers in a 3-lap race beginning at 10:30. There will also be a one lap 2-mile course at 12:30 for beginners.

Use your Discover Pass to park, or pay a $10 fee. The event is free, but there’s a $7 fee for demoing equipment. Rain or shine.

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