Who we are



We take PADDLES AND spokes AND SHAPE them around the four SEASONS on the WATERS, in the VALLEYS, and atop the BLUFFS OF THis BEAUTIFUL REGION - 

The four owners of Broken Paddle Guiding believe that you can in fact mix friendship and business and make it work. The four owners, Dan, Michael, Richie, and Alex all hail from the same college campus, having lived together three of their four years at Saint John's University. Michael and Dan even go back as far as middle school.

Their unique friendship and passion for the outdoor stewardship, natural history, and customer service puts them in an special category of entrepreneurs working on behalf of Mother Earth. The four owners spend the most amount of time that they can paddling water, scrambling mountains, or tracking wildebeests.  Having achieved business success in the past, all four of the BPG owners know the importance of quality caring for clients and that the attention to detail is never overlooked. 

BPG invites you to come slip into a kayak or grab a bike and start to understand why a Broken Paddle Guiding experience is different from any tour company that you know. Please explore our website and book a tour with us this weekend. We can't wait!

Meet the Guides


A keen observer of the great outdoors, a full on bird nerd, and in between days on the river you can find Michael with his partner Lauren on their small farm, Dancing Gnome Farm, where they grow tasty vegetables and pasture raise heritage hogs.  Michael grew up playing in the Northwoods where he cut his chops as a guide and outfitter, worked on the Pacific Crest Trail in the Cascade Mountains, traversed the highlands of Guatemala, and fought wildfires in Northern Minnesota.  Having kayaked the Mississippi River in Minnesota every month of the year he knows the rhythms of the Big Muddy in all its seasons.

Certifications: First Aid/CPR, Wilderness First Aid, ACA level 2, MN Master Naturalist, *Certified Taco Salesman



He grew up in the BWCA, guiding canoe and kayak trips with campers from around the world. Alex is an experienced guide of many methods of adventure travel but is most at home in the waters of his home state - Minnesota. He has guided for four seasons with Broken Paddle and knows some of the tricks to summon the fresh water whale sharks.  He will share with you if you trade him your fermented goods.

Certifications: First Aid/CPR, WFR, ACA Level 3, Swift Water Safety Tech, *Official Amateur Cabbage Surgeon


Aiden kochery

Good food, great friends, and even better drink - Aiden’s equation for a joyous life and exactly the vibe you can expect to gain from him as he leads you into the wilds of the Mississippi River.  Navigating rivers, ripples, and rapids out West as a US Forest Service River Ranger, learning the ins and outs of aquaponics in the North Country, and teaching the rhythms and cycles of the natural world as a Twin Cities Naturalist Aiden holds a zeal and zest for learning and adventure.   If you’re lucky he’ll lead you to secret side streams, hidden pools, and teach you the ways of the mysterious Mississippi.

Certifications: Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Wilderness Water Certification, Swift Water SafetyTech *Founding Member of Fishtick Growers Association


Jake olzen

When not working the farm or building greenhouses, you can find Jake paddling the Mississippi backwaters or biking bluff country. A climber, backpacker, and long boarder, he has traveled extensively around the world but this river rat is most at home in the beautiful Driftless region of Southeast Minnesota. With a strong interest in agro-ecology and a healthy appetite for adventure, kayak tours with Jake are a righteous experience -- and he's your guy to find the perfect watering hole on and off the river.

Certifications: Wilderness First Aid, EMT-B, CPR, Eagle Scout


Taylor Treinen

From the hidden spaces of the Mighty Mississippi to the bare stone faces of Moab, Utah Taylor has tackled life’s finest adventures.  Raised in the waters and woods Taylor knows his way through these winding streams and towering bluffs, learning the ropes of climbing and paddling at a young age he has never stopped exploring.  A true waterman, Taylor will show you what it means to bliss out and grab the most out of your outdoor experience. 

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, Professional Climbing Instructors Association Base Manager Certification, *Licensed Night Cap Provider

kayak guide laura

Laura WIldenborg

A local, outdoor professional who has worked as a raft guide on the Chattooga River, a naturalist at Wolf Ridge ELC, and the summer director at the nearby Lake City ELC. She has climbed the limestone walls, tapped the sugar maples, paddled the Mississippi, and picked up the local accent while growing up in Red Wing. When she is not working as a field instructor for the Red Wing ELC, she will be ready to share stories, high fives, and the ways of the wilderness with you.

Certifications: First Aid/CPR, ACA level 2, Swift Water Safety Tech, Certified Water Bottle Inspector



A seasoned wilderness and kayak guide with over a decade guiding experience. Need a fire started? Find Richie! Growing up in the woods, the terms sustainable and survival were deeply powerful and meaningful to him. Also a thrower of knives, he dreams big and paddles fast. Never far from a pen and paper, ask him for a story about a bear and he'll give you the epoch of human's kinship with animals. 

Certifications: First Aid/CPR, ACA level 3, Wilderness First Aid, *Man of Natural Law



A man of many inventions and ideas. The business brains behind Broken Paddle Guiding Co. But, Dan is never far from his backpack and paddle which sit ready to go under his desk. An avid knife thrower and outdoor enthusiast, Dan has made his home in Minneapolis, MN with his wife Katrina. You may meet her on the water as well with Dan paddling behind- he has a hard time keeping up with her.

Certifications: First Aid/CPR, * Licensed  Tire Swing Inspector


Avery Prondzinski

With family roots long in the riverbanks, Avery will channel the tales of the river folk for you to hear. He has led trips from Utah to upstate New York and adventured as far as Poland and Japan. His goals in life are simple: find excellent adventure wherever possible, cook good food, enjoy the company of friends, and sleep under the stars whenever possible.

Certifications: First Aid/CPR, Wilderness First Responder, ACA Level 2: Essentials of Kayak Touring Instructor, *Experienced dandelion manicurist and twig catcher

Kayak Tours

Paddle in the remote depths of the flooded forest.  Here you will find yourself under a towering forest canopy, gliding over feeding fish, beavers and otters, all in a place of tranquil beauty.

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Paddleboard Tours

Explore the beautiful, remote, and scenic waters as you would on our kayak tour, but this time from our new and fast growing Stand up Paddleboard Tours.  Change your perspective from sitting on, to standing atop the water – you’d be surprised at the difference you see and feel!

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Fat Bike Tours

Free your winter doldrums and ride the hottest sport out there!  Experience the frozen forests and the unfrozen Mississippi River as we bike the banks and the woods of the big river. We’ll hop off the saddle at a riverside brewpub for a pint to round out this epic tour.

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