We provide outdoor recreational opportunities for the purpose of creating an interest and enthusiasm for environmental stewardship, heath and well being and a love for Northern Michigan’s natural and cultural history.

The River Team

Michael Sutherland

Michael Sutherland is excited to use his experiences on the water and in the woods of over 52 countries as a guide, captain and instructor here in Northern Michigan.  He has spent much of his life chartering/guiding on Lake Michigan in the summer and in the gin clear water of the Bahamas and Keys in the winter.

Michael loves to teach/guide adults and children alike in many activities including hiking, biking, and water sports.  “Lets get outdoors and make some memories”

Tawny Hammond and Amy Clayton

Tawny Hammond and Amy Clayton have over 60 years of parks and recreation leadership and management experience combined, having directed lake, river, waterpark and natatorium operations and programming in Fairfax County, Virginia throughout their notable careers. Both Certified Interpretive Guides, they now live on the Boardman Lake and are excited about bringing their water safety, devotion to public service excellence and waterfront programming experiences and skills to The River Outfitters.

Tawny and Amy have both have been coming to Traverse City for the past 30 years spending time with family, recreating and dreaming about this opportunity!

Tree Sturman

A native New Yorker, Tree spent his childhood exploring the cultural and natural history of the lower Hudson River Valley.  Degrees in Human Ecology and Public Horticulture reflect what has become a lifelong love of teaching and learning.  Through his many journeys—from Maine to Oregon—Tree has developed a unique perspective and deep understanding of the diverse forces that shape our northern landscape.

Each Eco-Tour therefore is carefully crafted to capture the essence of our region—from pre-history to the present—and promises to leave you with an enhanced appreciation of Up North Michigan!

Savannah Rancour

Savannah is a Northern Michigan native and has been with the River Outfitters since 2012. Growing up, she was a competitive figure skater and coach and attended Northwestern Michigan College after high school. Savannah loves traveling and has lived in Australia and Hawaii where she was a kayak/outdoor recreation guide as well. She enjoys being active and outdoors and also has a part-time, handmade jewelry business.

Savannah is passionate about animals and the environment and leads an entirely plant based lifestyle. Some of her favorite things to do include yoga, art, scuba diving, sky diving and of course, guiding tours!

Suzanne Dorrick

A Registered Nurse, Suzanne has had a long career in Public Health. Suzanne has a passion for the environment and is a Master Naturalist. As a kid she loved playing in local streams and now is a Certified Stream Monitor. Her sworn enemy is litter! Suzanne has served her community with distinction helping to preserve parkland and volunteering with many unique special events and stewardship programs.

She has assisted with annual bird counts each year and lake clean ups in the parks in her community and very much looks forward to facilitating safe family fun on the Boardman River and lake this summer for all ages!

Jim Hickey

Jim is a native of Saginaw, Michigan, and always enjoys coming back to Traverse City. He has spent a lot of time outdoors as a Boy Scout leader for twelve years and several decades as a volunteer in county parks. His leadership and service has been instrumental in preserving county parkland and ensuring that future generations of people and wildlife will have the parks to enjoy and live in.

Jim has been recognized by county leadership for his incredible community service and is very excited to be back in his birth state for an amazing summer of fun on the Boardman River and lake. Jim loves reading, movies, theatre and sports. Nickname? Tornado Johnson.

Bill Huddleston

Bill Huddleston, scout master and part of a third generation Eagle Scout family has enjoyed aquatic pursuits his entire life. He has been paddling since he was four years old and is an experienced canoeist, kayaker and rowed varsity crew in high school and college. Bill is also an avid cyclist and looks forward to spending time on the Boardman River, lake and trails this summer helping people discover the magic of Traverse City and Northern Michigan.

Bill is a health coach year-round, helping people realize their full potential and he’s a teacher and professional tour guide during the winter in Washington DC, leading tours of the National Mall, Mount Vernon, and Arlington National Cemetery. Bill will be joined this summer by his two sons, Paul and Steven, also outdoor, water-sport and environmental stewardship enthusiasts.

Brad Houghton

Brad Houghton enjoys all things outdoors and when not on land enjoying northern Michigan with his family, he can be found on their sail boat on Lake Michigan.

Brad, a jack of all trades, keeps The River fleet up and running from bicycle tune ups to boat repairs to innovative business solutions, he does it all.