Summer on the water will kick off with the seventh annual Northwest Paddling Festival on Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13 at Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah.
The festival, which is free to attend, features over 300 kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards, as well as on and off water seminars, cases, tours and activities.
For a cost of $10, attendees can try out their choice of canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards on the water. If you’ve never tried paddling before, have no fear; 30-minute introductory sessions will be available for beginners.
Kayak tours will explore the mouth of Issaquah Creek and lead paddlers to one of the biggest heronries in the state.
Free seminars will be offered throughout the day on Saturday. Seminars are not just for learning how to paddle — new seminars for 2017 include “Cooking in the Back Country” and “Journal Sketching your Paddle Adventure.” For a complete schedule and list of seminars, visit www.northwestpaddlingfestival.com.
On Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m., the Northwest Paddling Challenge will see paddleboarders, kayakers and outriggers race each other in a three-lap, six-mile race. The cost to register is $35 and includes a competitor race t-shirt and wrist band for on-water demos during the remainder of the event. You can register at www.northwestpaddlingfestival.com or on the day of the event.
The Northwest Paddling Festival will take place from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday at Sunset Beach, located at 2000 NW Sammamish Rd., Issaquah. To park at Lake Sammamish State Park, a one-day or annual Washington State Parks Discover Pass is needed.