Our Guides

We’d like to introduce you to our exceptional roster of wilderness guides. The collective canoe country knowledge and expertise runs deep among these amazing women. Each of our guides looks forward to welcoming you to our beautiful Boundary Waters in all seasons!

Sue Duffy

Sue Duffy

Sue has a degree in forestry with an emphasis in recreation and that is what she loves to do – recreate in the woods. She worked for the US Forest Service on the Monongahela and Superior National Forests doing forestry, recreation, fire, environmental planning, and wilderness management work. Sue retired in 2017 and now spends time hiking, skiing, camping, traveling, touring, and still finds time to volunteer with several nonprofits. She delights in staying active and engaged, and helping others do the same.

Taylor Ham

Taylor moved to Ely, MN in 2014 for college, and received her Associates Degree in Outdoor Leadership and Education. She has spent every summer in Ely since then. Taylor enjoys exploring the wilderness that surrounds the town in all seasons and types of weather. She spent two winter seasons running sled dogs just outside of Jackson, Wyoming where she fell in love with winter and all that this beautiful season has to offer. Taylor has been guiding since 2016; loves the work and the interaction with the people she guides. Taylor is very passionate about paddling, fishing, hiking and the wonderful wilderness that she is able to call home!

Taylor Ham

Anny Heil

Anna Heil

Anna Heil was born and raised in San Diego, California but discovered a love for the Boundary Waters when she visited for a week-long dog sledding and winter camping trip over New Year’s Eve in high school. After receiving her degree in Environmental Geography at Colgate University in upstate New York, Anna moved to Minnesota in 2016. After working for organizations like Voyageur Outward Bound School, REI, and the YMCA Northern Lights Camp, she started guiding for Women’s Wilderness Discovery. Anna’s favorite part of guiding is sharing her love of camping while allowing space on trips for both introspection and laughter. Anna currently lives in Embarrass, Minnesota with a number of sled dogs… Her free time is spent planning and training for a 1300 mile expedition from Ely, Minnesota to the Hudson Bay in the winter of 2022 with Northern Ice Ties.

Martha McPheeters

Martha has loved the Boundary Waters and Quetico since first encountering them in 1971 as a student on a five-week Minnesota Outward Bound Course. She spent decades checking the want ads in Ely, MN and other communities surrounding the BWCA looking for a scientist job that would keep body and soul together plus provide for retirement. Although she failed in that original mission, she spent 18 “seasons” instructing for Voyageur Outward Bound School plus another 10 seasons canoeing with friends while accumulating retirement funds as a research scientist and later as an outdoor program administrator. Now she has retired to Ely and guides a few WWD trips each year for pure enjoyment. You are guaranteed a happy guide with Martha.

Martha McPheeters
Lisa Pugh

Lisa Pugh

Lisa was born and raised in Minnesota and has been an outdoor adventurer and educator since 2009. She has spent more than 600 nights in the Boundary Waters Wilderness as a canoe and dog sled instructor in the last decade. Lisa is a title-holding paddler including being the first woman to canoe the 4th longest river system in the world. She is a steady advocate for equality and environmental protection and loves taking that first sip of morning coffee on a Boundary Waters trip.