Our Instructors

Madison Hunter, Tour Guide

Hi. I’m Madison and chances are I’m going to be your tour guide! This is my third year working at The River as a KaBrew tour guide, I’ve been dubbed “Greatest Tour Guide in the History of Tour Guides” by everyone who’s gone on my tours but mostly just me.

I’m originally from Detroit, Michigan and I’m a junior at Central Michigan University and i’m studying Early Childhood Development and Learning, and I’m in the sorority Zeta Tau Alpha. My friends that I pay for describe me as outgoing, enthusiastic and a people person.

Rest assured that you will be safe in my hands, only 4 or 5 people have gone missing on my trips….I kinda know CPR, can teach you how to ride a bike and I can tell you the difference between a dark and a light ale.

So if you’re looking for corny jokes, lots of sass and the best mother f’in trip of your life—look no further.

Jessica Kerfoot | SUP Instructor

Jessica loves water and loves people. She has a degree in Education and three little boys at home with her husband, Zack. Being  a Pisces, water is a natural and therapeutic element for her. She has been involved with SUP for the last four years. SUP provides calm and fitness in her life. After being introduced to SUP racing, she was hooked. For the 2014 season, she placed 3rd overall in the Midwest SUP Elite Women 12’6 division. She will be PaddleFit certified for Summer 2014. Jessica is also an avid runner and enjoys triathlons. She is thankful to be surrounded by FRESH water and live in the TC area.

Mike Wade | Historical Tour Guide

Although Mike is not a true native of Traverse City, most people in town think that he is.

Mike lives within the city limits and can be seen on his bike daily in town. He is very knowledgeable about all aspects of T.C., whether it’s a good bike trail, a good happy hour, a great place to have dinner or the best golf course in T.C.. Mike is very active in the community when it comes to festivals, he volunteers for the Cherry Festival, Film Festival, Art & Wine Festival, and of course the Microbrew Festival. Mike has lived downstate for many years, but has vacationed and lived in T.C. for the last 25 years. He completed his under graduate degree at Eastern Michigan University, and attended the University of Detroit Law School. Join Mike for his next ride, wherever it may be!

Sara Rhinelander | SUP & Beach Yoga Instructor

Sara began exploring the culture in which yoga originated as a cultural anthropology major in college, and began exploring yoga and eastern philosophy in 1992 at Appalachian State University.  In the mountains of NC, she fell in love with the outdoors and took advantage of all the natural resources around her through hiking, rock climbing, bouldering, snowboarding, and wakeboarding.  Upon graduating she moved to Virginia Beach, and started practicing Ashtanga yoga.  Soon, she realized her calling was to teach others the yoga practice that had so enriched her life and she delved into her studies with Adam Nguyen at the International Yoga Institute first receiving her 200- RYT certification, and then her 500- RYT. She took advantage of the nearby ocean, trying her hand a surfing whenever the chance arose.

In 2007 she moved back to Boone, N.C., to start a yoga program within the Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science Department at ASU, as well as creating Fusion Yoga, a studio of her own. She is now registered E-RYT 500 “multi” style through Yoga Alliance.  Her classes can be described as a fusion of the different styles of yoga she has been exposed to throughout two decades, which incorporate the things she has found most beneficial in her own yoga practice and that of her students.

Since her move to Traverse City, Sara has found that the beauty and outdoor activity options are endless. She teaches everything from yoga basics to the most challenging arm balance and inversion workshops, at two of the yoga studios in Traverse City. You can find her hiking in the outdoors with her four kids and her dog, on her yoga mat or gliding on the water in a Kayak or on a stand up paddleboard.

Allow Sara to set you at ease while you explore a whole new level of balance, focus, and the beauty of physical movement on the unstable surface of a SUP board. Her classes vary according to your need and intention. She teaches the most basic fundamentals to get you started so you feel more comfortable and at ease with the experience, while giving you options to try things you might have never have though you could do before. She creates classes personal to you, adding the challenges you need to push yourself to the next level or she gives you more restful options. Each person in your group will get exactly what they need each time they venture out onto the water with Sara. They will leave the experience with a feeling of accomplishment, empowerment, and serenity.

Mike Sutherland | Owner & Yoga Instructor

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.  His latest endevour into the yoga world came recently with his yoga alliance certification and the inception and building of Yen Yoga and Fitness in Traverse City.  Michael loves to teach/guide adults and children alike in many activities including hiking, biking, water sports and yoga.  “Lets get outdoors and make some memories”

Tree Sturman | Eco-Tours Director

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!