Canoecopia 2024 includes presentations on protecting our Starry Skies, paddling the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

See you at Canoecopia 2024, March 8-10 in Madison

February 26, 2024

If paddling the spectacular sea caves in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is on your bucket list, we invite you to see us at Canoecopia in Madison, Wisconsin, March 8-10, 2024. This annual event includes more than 100 educational presentations and clinics on kayaking, canoeing and related topics, including presentations by Friends Executive Director Jeff Rennicke and Ranger Steve Ballou of the National Park Service. You’ll also be able to learn from the experts what gear you need to safely explore the islands.

Alliant Energy Center
1919 Alliant Energy Way

Event host Rutabaga Paddlesports of Madison says Canoecopia is the largest paddlesports consumer event in the world. The Alliant Energy Center Exposition Hall will be filled with more than 100,000 square feet of kayaks, canoes, stand up paddleboards, outdoor equipment and clothing, with the best selection of the season.

Event organizers say “you can learn about specific gear for your style of paddling, develop skills to get you where you want to go, and discover some of the many places to paddle, both near and far. If you’re interested in experiencing life on the water, Canoecopia is the best place to spend the weekend!”

Presentations during the three-day event run the gamut of topics, from trip planning and safety to conservation, gear and equipment. You can see the list, by topics, here. Be sure to join us for these important and inspiring presentations:

Paddling Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Ranger Steve Ballou, Algonquin room – main floor Friday 4:30pm-5:15pm

For over 50 years, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore has drawn people from all over the world to experience the beauty and rugged wilderness of these islands and Lake Superior.

NPS Ranger Steve Ballou

Steve Ballou

What does it take to paddle and camp in this special place? Are you prepared to travel the waters of Lake Superior safely?

With proper planning and preparation, you can have the adventure of a lifetime paddling through sea caves, sleeping under the stars, and navigating this inland sea.

Join Ranger Steve Ballou to explore the ins and outs of successful paddling on Gitchigami amongst the Jewels of Lake Superior.


Paddling the Darkest Skies

Friends Executive Director Jeff Rennicke, Bear room – upstairs Saturday 9:30am-10:15am

It is as ancient as humans in the wilderness, looking up at the boundless infinity of the stars. But, it is also an endangered resource.

Jeff Rennicke

Jeff Rennicke

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore has some of the darkest skies in the upper Midwest. In this star-filled presentation, Jeff Rennicke, Executive Director of Friends of the Apostle Islands, shares stories of being on Lake Superior under the stars, beneath the northern lights, and the organization’s efforts to preserve the experience for others.

From practical tips on how to travel safely beneath the stars, to the art, hope, and joy of truly dark skies, join us beneath the stars in the Apostle Islands.

Aurora over Meyers Beach - Jeff Rennicke photo

Aurora over Meyers Beach – Jeff Rennicke photo

Friends of the Apostle Islands will also have a booth in the lobby in front of the show floor, all three days of the event. We will have new information about our Starry Skies Initiative, our new Wave Watch buoy project (with a guest appearance from an actual buoy.) We’ll also have books, maps, dreams, and more! We invite you to stop by, say hello and ask us anything about the park we love and learn how you can get involved.

Photos from Canoecopia 2024

Advance price tickets to Canoecopia are available online until Friday, March 1st, at – save a few dollars and order online while you can!

Show Hours
Friday: 3 PM to 8 PM
Saturday: 9 AM to 6 PM
Sunday: 10 AM to 4 PM

1-Day: $15.00
3-Day: $30.00
Ages 17 and under are FREE
Cash or check only for tickets purchased at the event

Parking Fees
1-Day: $8.00
Cash or credit, fees collected by Alliant Energy Center

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