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Adirondack Interpretive Center
2024 Rubber Loon Dive

Release the Loons! The only competition of its kind, our custom designed and made in America loons launch into Rich Lake to land in the winner’s circle. Prizes will be awarded to the three loons that land in the designated floating competition rings. 

Are you ready for some exciting news about the 2024 Rubber Loon Dive season? We're thrilled to announce a brand-new event - The Rubber Loon Dive! 

In the past, our loon competitors have shown off their speed racing down the river. But this year, we're switching things up and putting their diving skills to the test. We want to see which loon will take home the title of the best diver. 

Join us for the fun and launch your loon into the lake (or we can do it for you!) and see if they can land in one of the top three floating rings. It's going to be a splash!

Prize Packages

luna loon. A black and white rubber loon1st Place - $100.00

2nd Place - Rubber Loon

3rd Place - Choice of ESF bandanna or T-shirt

Sponsoring a Loon in the Diving Competition

Sponsor a loon and you can be a winner! As you watch the divers launch through the air, have your fingers crossed that it's your sponsored loon. Sponsors of the top loon finishers win a prize.

Sponsor a Loon

More Information

Do I get to keep my sponsored loon?
No - We keep these loons so we can use them from year to year. 

How do I know if my sponsored loon won?
Just like a 5K or a bike race, every (loon) athlete in the race has a number.  After sending payment, you will receive an email letting you know what loon athletes (numbers) you are sponsoring. After the race, we will announce the top finishers by their number.

Do I need to attend the Rubber Loon Dive to sponsor and win the race?
No – You are not required to be in attendance on race day to sponsor a loon. If your sponsored loon is one of the top finishers, we will email you directly to coordinate receiving your prize.

How do these rubber loons benefit the AIC?
Hundred percent of the proceeds from sponsored loons in the Rubber Loon Dive are directly used to help fund educational programming for the general public, and academic and professional groups at the Adirondack Interpretive Center.

The AIC is a year-round outdoor education center, drawing on the local landscape for programs on the natural and human history of the Adirondacks.  To learn more about our programs you are supporting, check out the "Programs" page on our website, or visit us on Facebook!

Birth of a Loon


In February of 2011 we were exploring creative ways to generate excitement and support for the AIC programming. Our goal was to create an event that would highlight the fantastic resource the AIC represents in the region and the high-quality and diverse informal science education offered here.

The idea of a rubber duck race was proposed, the Rich Lake outlet being a natural race course with the two bridges forming a perfect start and finish line. All we needed now was racers.

Rubber ducks were intuitive, but common; we needed something that proudly said “ESF” and “Adirondacks.”

In keeping with Rich Lake’s history as a log-staging lake throughout the first half of 20th century Adirondack logging, racing mini-logs with the ESF mark seemed like a good fit, but, well, just not quite “it.”

We continued to brainstorm.

As we circled back to the point of origin, rubber ducks, we had our Eureka moment - rubber loons! What could be more perfect? Loons are a powerful and beloved symbol of the Adirondacks, and also a subject of ongoing ESF study and research. Loons are a species provoking wonder and fascination, never failing to catch the imagination and interest of adults and children, researchers and recreationists, and viewers of all sorts - whether with a paddle, pencil, or a camera.


mold for luna loonWe set off on the internet to find our loons. We were amazed that no matter how creative our search, rubber loons did not seem to exist. Could that be possible? Could so popular an animal, one whose image was emblazoned at one time or other on just about every tchotchke and Adirondack knick-knack imaginable, not have been immortalized yet as a common bathroom toy?


As good students of science, we continued our research and developed new lines of inquiry, searching for Gavia rubbercus anywhere in the nooks and crannies of the internet. All to no avail. So we shifted gears, seeking a company who made custom rubber ducks - bingo! That search almost immediately introduced us to CelebriDucks, a company whose joyfully creative approach and serious commitment to rubber ducks was immediately evident.


That serious commitment to creating high-quality playful products carries over to owner Craig Wolfe’s commitment to bringing rubber duck production and jobs back to the USA (where they were invented) after a generation overseas. We are very excited to support Craig’s vision, working with CelebriDucks to create and produce our loon, the first and only completely made it the USA, from design to molding, production to painting. Our loons are the first custom job and only the second product run of once again Made in the USA rubber birds. You can learn more about the migration of production back to the USA here and follow Craig’s progress on CelebriDucks’ entraining and informative blog.


The opportunity to design the loon was awarded to sculptor Christopher Martin, an artist living in Ohio, coincidentally where the rubber duck was invented. All you have to know to get a sense of Chris is that his website and email are “I Play with Clay.” Pretty functional and pretty fun, just like the loon he designed for us. You can get an even better sense of him and his work at I play with Clay.


The finished product is not only the first rubber loon in the world, but one working to support ESF’s educational outreach in the Adirondacks, a role we look forward to them playing (literally and figuratively) for many years to come.