Meet Lauren Bond

Lead Canoe Guide & Founder

After dedicating a career and a master’s degree toward working in outdoor and  environmental education, I found there wasn’t space in my work for stopping, sitting down and becoming lost in conversation with an eagle or a waterfall.

I found myself interacting with the natural world in a way that I couldn’t explain. Deeply connecting with Western Red Cedars, a Brazilian capybara, an Alaskan black bear, porcupines and a very curious Gray Jay eventually helped me realize I needed to create my own path. I had to create space for magic to happen, to form bonds that forever change lives.

Canoeing rivers right outside my back door in Boulder is the perfect way to find that magic. There is profound healing to be found in the gentle pace of the current amidst the towering cottonwoods and the soaring wild birds. The river retreats on the Green River in Utah are the culmination of my journey thus far, beginning with a conversation with a waterfall nearly 20 years ago.

Now in our seventh official season, The River’s Path has gone beyond my wildest expectations. I’ve spent nearly 35 years of exploring rivers and streams, and nearly twenty guiding them. We have guided nearly 1000 people down the St. Vrain river and taken over seventy down the Green River. The gratitude I feel is indescribable. It is a joy for me to share the sacred havens of the river with you.

~Lauren, Lead Canoe Guide

Environmental Leadership MA (now called Resilient Leadership MA), Naropa

Transformational Wilderness Guide, Earth Based Institute

Our Expert Team

Jonathan Kabat

Utah Retreat Guide, Visionary, & Marketing Director

Jonathan is the developer of iRest-In-Nature an experiential imminent Nature Connection meditation practice.

He has studied and practiced meditation since 1993, primarily in the Buddhist traditions of Vajrayana and Vipassanā with many eminent Western and Eastern teachers. He’s trained as a wilderness rites of passage guide with Mike Bodkin of Rites of Passage in California and is a member of The Wilderness Guides Council. He has trained directly with Richard Miller Ph.D in Integrative Restoration (iRest) and has completed Level I of the iRest training program. He has studied extensively with Dave Talamo of Wilderness Reflections in Terra Soma and completed the Professional Ecotherapy Certification Program. Jonathan holds a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto California and see clients in California addressing issues of trauma with an eco therapy approach.

Cate Burnett

Women’s River Rites Guide

Cate has a deep and soulful connection to wild places and all those who live there. She is a naturalist, wildlife tracker and wilderness guide, having spent over 25 years leading expeditions in the PNW and Hawaii. Her devotion to honoring the ‘wild and untamed’ stirrings within herself lends enthusiasm and passion to those she guides in the unfolding of deep self-reflection and discovery. She has trained with the School of Lost Borders, Rite of Passage Journeys and Animas Valley Institute and holds certifications in Wildlife Track & Sign, Native Plant Studies and is a Leave No Trace Instructor and Wilderness First Responder.

Craig Childs

Writing Instructor & Author

He has published more than a dozen books of adventure, wilderness, and science, including House of Rain and The Secret Knowledge of Water. His most recent is Virga & Bone: Essays from Dry Places. He has won the Orion Book Award, the Galen Rowell Art of Adventure Award, the Spirit of the West Award for his body of work, and thrice the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award. He is a contributing editor at Adventure Journal Quarterly, and his writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, and The New York Times, the latter calling him “a modern-day desert father.” He brings a lifetime of experience field-writing in dry country.

Christiane Frischmuth

Women’s River Rites Guide

Guiding in nature is my soul’s work and I have done so in Colorado, New Mexico, around DC, upstate NY and Europe. I am integrating vision fasting and rites of passage processes into my life as I guide individuals and groups through transformational experiences on the land; be it in wilderness, a city park or a garden. I am also an organizational development facilitator, a life and leadership coach and provide leadership learning experiences for groups and individuals across the globe. I have been seeking out nature as my true home ever since I can remember.  I come from a small farming village in Germany and I have lived, worked, hiked, biked, swam and backpacked in the wilderness and in cities all over the world. I have solid wilderness skills, having hiked solo for months and taken wilderness first aid and survival skills courses. I am also a Yoga and meditation teacher and regularly vision fasts myself. Dancing, writing poetry, pottery, traveling and avid reading are part of my life’s tapestry.  I cannot wait to meet you all.

Kathy Beadle

Head Guide & Logistics Guru

Kathy Beadle has guided for The River’s Path since 2017.  Through  guiding with The River’s Path, working in various group homes for at-risk children, and guiding with a white water rafting company, Kathy has used nature and experiential adventures to help others to find transformation in problem solving activities, team building and trust building. This in turn helps with self-esteem, self-reliance and relationship building. Her calling has always been to encourage others to sit quietly enough to find these qualities in nature for their own healing journeys. She does this deep work with a big dose of laughter!

Dawn Mockler

Day Trip Guide

Dawn discovered her passion for rivers when she began guiding on the Upper Colorado River in 2013. She fell in love with the deep canyons, diverse ecology, and the natural flow of the river’s path. Dawn is a Wilderness First Responder from NOLS  and has a B.A. Health Sciences from Castleton State University. She is currently working towards obtaining her M.A. at Naropa University where she is studying Mental Health Counseling with a concentration in Wilderness Therapy. Her hobbies are biking, cooking, snowboarding, hiking and exploring Colorado with her husband and her black lab Marely. Dawn is passionate about sharing her love of the river with you!

Amanda Loughlin

Day Trip Guide

I’m Amanda and I am originally from New England, and have been living in Boulder since 2013. I am currently a second-year  graduate student with the Naropa Wilderness Therapy Program. When I’m not busy with school and work you can find me skiing as much as possible, playing music with my band, writing, hiking, and spending time with friends and family. I look forward to seeing you all on the river!

Diane Laughlin

Day Trip Guide

I began canoeing rivers and lakes in Texas in 1972 and continued when I moved to Colorado in 1977. Many adventures followed in the Grand Canyon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, and Alaska. Being a horticulturalist in my summer job and a birding enthusiast I’ve enjoyed seeing great plants/flowers and birds while boating. Teaching skiing is my winter love and boating is my summer joy. I’m a lucky person!


Experience the Magic
of the Natural World.

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What We Offer

The River’s Path offers wilderness canoe trips based out of Colorado’s Front Range, leading local canoe trips on the St. Vrain River as well as remote back country trips in Utah’s Canyonlands. We are easily accessible from Boulder, Longmont, Denver, and Fort Collins.

The River’s Path offers several different kinds of guided nature experiences, led by Lauren Bond Kovsky, lead canoe guide and expert naturalist. These include:

  • Full or half day canoe trips on the St. Vrain River
  • Vision Quest canoe retreats on the Green River in Utah
  • Wildlife viewing adventures in the Boulder area

Between the 25 miles of waterways we explore in our region and the expertise of of the canoe guide, we are equipped to offer you a gateway to the river’s diverse gifts. Whether you seek a few contemplative hours in nature, more confidence paddling, a lesson in river ecology, or a week-long vision quest among red-rock canyons, we are here to help you achieve what you desire!

Our canoe day trips on the St. Vrain River are within 30 to 40 minutes from Boulder, Denver, Greeley, and Fort Collins and 15 minutes from Longmont. If you seek a deeper, more personal dive into nature-connection, we facilitate Vision Quests—our signature backcountry guided canoe trips—where we float through the iconic Labyrinth Canyon section of the Green River in Utah.

Philosophy and Mission Statement

As an organization our canoe guides are dedicated to offering holistic river experiences that impart naturalist knowledge, technical skill, the transformative potential of the outdoors, and a greater sense of belonging in our community. Canoes can take us places that are difficult to reach on foot and offer a front-row seat to the secret lives of animals that depend on the river for survival. Naturalists and birders will delight in the ability to be in an ideal position for observation as they float. The river is also a place that abounds in symbols and metaphors, both cultural and personal. Being in the presence of such a vital life source can be healing and thought provoking. We at the River’s Path cherish the emotional connections people have to nature, and believe they are an important part of environmental stewardship