I started Wild Hearts because of a longing to reach out to those who have struggled with substance abuse and other destructive life choices to help them rebuild relationships with their families and with God. My desire to do this through wilderness experiences comes from a life-long love of the outdoors nurtured by my parents’ many family camping and canoeing trips. I now share this passion with my wife of 40 years, Pam and our four children, Diana, Andy, Jake and Nikki. I am also blessed with 10 grandchildren that I can share the beauty of God’s creation with!
I am an experienced outdoorsman and have led numerous trips to the Rocky Mountains, the BWCA, St. Croix River, the Appalachian Trail and many of our state parks and forests. Along with wilderness adventures, I love kayaking, backpacking, hiking, mountain biking, CrossFit workouts, watching movies and playing the occasional video game. I am also a commissioned pastor with Breakthrough Ministries.
Jay came onboard as a guide with Wild Hearts in 2017 and quickly became an invaluable member of the team! He is an experienced outdoorsman (especially in the art of hammock camping) and a wonderful outdoor cook!
Jay has tremendous leadership skills which he has used to help shape Wild Hearts Adventures as an organization and his desire to serve people and walk beside them no matter their struggle quickly becomes apparent during our adventures.
Andy has been sharing his love of the outdoors with others for many years. He is very experienced in backpacking and canoe camping. His main focus is trips in the BWCA, the Superior Hiking Trail and other Minnesota destinations.
Ariel loves being active! Not only is she a personal trainer but she loves hiking, biking, backpacking, camping, and all other sort of outdoor adventure!
Ariel has extensive experience in guiding groups in the Rocky Mountains and will join us as a guide on our women’s and mixed-group adventures. Ariel will also be graciously taking on the large task of planning and preparing all of our meals for our many trips.
And, yes, Andy (above) and Ariel are married and get to enjoy the outdoors and serving together!
Ali has recently joined us as a volunteer on our trips with the goal of becoming a guide for our women’s adventures.
…more info to come!
Bill joined the Wild Hearts team in 2018. He spent the first 18 years of his life in east Africa where his parents were pioneer missionaries. During that time he gained a deep appreciation for wild places where he, his family and friends would explore. His love of nature led Bill to pursue education in biology, and later, fisheries. He enjoys backpacking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, and pretty much anything that allows him to be outside.
Bill enjoys sharing outdoor experiences with his wife (Laurie) and son (Will), and others. He has a heart for those suffering from addiction, in recovery, and family and friends who have been touched by addiction.
Mark Joined the team recently as a volunteer with the hopes of becoming a guide. He loves God, helping people, and being outdoors, so he is excited to combine these together.
Mark is married to his wife Krista, and they have 2 teenage boys. Mark loves to do anything that involves water, hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping, even on the most frigid of winter days. He loves to get his family and his friends out into the wild to experience adventure.
Mike joined us recently and has trained to become a guide for our many adventures. He has a passion for coming along other men and walking beside them, especially if they are struggling.
Mike is also an enthusiastic outdoorsman with a love for hiking, fishing, camping, canoeing, and just general exploring of our wondrous wildernesses! He enjoys wilderness survival and has gained experience through his time as an Eagle Scout and his military service. All of this has built a sense of pride and responsibility in caring for what God has given us in the nature around us and the beauty of this earth.
Mike is married to his beautiful wife, Diana and they have 10 children. Yes, they are quite busy! Mike’s family life has given him invaluable insight to the challenges of marriage, raising children and navigating chaos (mostly the good kind). As a team, they are passionate about marriage and working with couples.
Diana also joined us recently with the goal of becoming a guide. She is married to Mike and stays home to homeschool their 10 children. This has helped to give her a wide range of communication skills and chaos coordinating!
She has had a deep love for the outdoors as long as she can remember that was instilled in her by her father through numerous camping and hiking trips growing up. From that also came a deep respect for nature and the earth God created. She enjoys hiking, climbing, canoeing, and keyaking as well. She has a strong desire to pass this on to her children.
Along with that, she shares her husband's passion for marriage and raising children and coming alongside couples in all walks of life. She enjoys working with people and watching them challenge themselves and grow.
Nikki has a genuine interest in and cares deeply for people from all walks of life! She also loves to explore and is an avid outdoorswoman.
Nikki has extensive experience in the mountains of Colorado and the North woods of Minnesota. She also backpacked 500 miles on the Appalachian Trail in 31 days. We’re very fortunate (and so are you) to have Nikki helping guide our women’s and mixed-group trips!
As a 6-year old growing up on the outskirts of Duluth, my summer days were spent running through the woods and fields with my neighbor buddies. At age 11 I got involved in Boy Scouts, earned the Eagle Scout award at 14 and at age 16 I began spending my summers on staff at a Boy Scout camp in northern Minnesota. I spent six summers at the camp; my final year as Program Director. Over the years I have led numerous groups on canoe trips in the BWCA, backpack trips in the Rocky Mountains, and mission trips to Central America.
Pam helps us with trip guiding, planning, scheduling and all sorts of other administrative things us outdoorsman just can't bear to do.
Pam Lanhart is the Executive Director of Thrive Family Recovery Resources.
Having been touched by the difficulties of substance abuse in her own family, she has developed a passion for helping parents, spouses and siblings navigate the difficult labyrinth of dealing with a family member who is struggling with substance use or mental health disorders. She is a certified peer specialist, a recovery coach, a speaker and an author.
Pam’s recent love for outdoor adventure has led her to becoming a volunteer and guide on our women’s trips. Her inspirational leadership has become invaluable!
...more info coming soon!
Honorary mention - Jake passed away on Oct. 23, 2021
Jake was our Colorado connection and his dream was to guide trips in the mountains out there! He had quite a bit of experience in the mountains and was skilled with ropes and climbing. He often volunteered to scout out, ahead of time, many of the routes we wanted to explore.
Jake's heart was to help those in recovery and to be a big part of Wild Hearts Adventures. We miss him greatly.