Tourism's Fall Poker Paddle is back 1.jpg

“Amazing program. I’m glad BCTC decided to hold this event...I hope participation triples next year!” That was the feedback from one of 16 participants at the end of last year’s Burnett County Tourism Coalition-sponsored first Poker Paddle on the Yellows.

Here we are in “next year,” and the 2nd annual Poker Paddle is ready to launch on Saturday, Sept. 12, at 9 a.m. BCTC event organizer Kim Wheeler is excited to be able to encore the popular outdoor adventure. “In addition to being a fundraiser, it’s a great way to show off the fabulous opportunities we have for canoeing and kayaking in Burnett County,” she said.

Cost to participate is $30 per person, which includes players’ cards, a safety whistle, a door prize ticket for a chance to win prizes, snacks at Jeffries landing and a post-paddle catered box lunch and beverages. It’s a “bring your own watercraft” event, but with advance notice, rental canoes or kayaks are available from a local outfitter at reduced fees. Participants must provide their own Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices.

The four-hour route takes paddlers winding through the wilderness of the Yellow River with a “snack stop” at Jeffries Landing before paddling across Yellow Lake to the Forts Folle Avoine landing for lunch. Participants draw random cards from volunteers stationed at each of five stops along the waterways to assemble what they hope will be a winning five-card poker hand.

Players can enhance their hands by purchasing additional cards at the launch and finish points. Last year, the $50 cash 1st prize went to Lynn Beauclair who held two pair: aces and queens.

Participants will receive an assigned launch time. Plan to arrive 45 minutes prior to that time in order to unload boats and gear, drive to Forts Folle Avoine to park cars and catch a free shuttle back to the launch site: state road 35 at the Yellow River bridge north of Webster (where the Yellow River Eatery is). For additional detailed information and registration forms, visit or call Kim, 715.864.3142