Polly Mahoney

Founder of Mahoosuc Guide Services

Polly is a Native Mainer. She co-founded Mahoosuc Guide Service with Kevin Slater in 1990. Prior to this Polly lived a semi subsistence lifestyle in the Yukon Territory for most of her 20’s where her Yukon huskies were essential to survival, hauling her wood, water and transportation in the winter. Polly’s dogs are like her children and seldom has a musher achieved the degree of friendship, loyalty and obedience from a dog team that Polly has accomplished. In 1980 Polly and her huskies were featured in the movie “Never Cry Wolf”, a Walt Disney classic. She has extensive canoe expedition experience into remote areas of the Yukon Territory and British Columbia as well as rivers in the “lower 48”. Polly’s soft-spoken manner and patient style go well with the wilderness she works in. She has training as a Wilderness First Responder and worked as an instructor for Outward Bound for 2 years before starting Mahoosuc Guide Service. In 2021 Polly was awarded by MaineBiz as one of the “Women to Watch”. She also received the Wiggie Robinson Legendary Maine Guide award by the Maine Inland, Fisheries & Wildlife Department for 2021. Polly enjoys riding horses in remote areas of the world when going on “her holidays” away from the dog farm.

Registered Maine Guide Kevin Slater

Kevin Slater

Founder of Mahoosuc Guide Services

Kevin Slater began his guiding career in northern Maine in the early 70’s. An active guide for over 35 years, Kevin has traveled extensively in the north by canoe and dog team with Natives. This has provided him with a deep respect and understanding for the people and their culture. Kevin has done numerous canoe trips in Maine, Quebec, Labrador and a pioneer descent of the Grand Canyon. He is an excellent teacher and a certified instructor-trainer for the American Canoe Association. Kevin has been a registered Maine Master Guide since 1976. He is a former Program Director for Outward Bound and taught at the University of Maine, where he received a Masters of Education degree in 1984. Kevin is a true craftsman who takes great pride in what he produces from his workshop. In his rare moments of free time, he enjoys listening to Celtic music and writing occasionally for Mushing magazine.

Master Recreational Guide David Butler

David Butler

Master Recreational Guide – Over 25 years guiding in Maine. Over 15 years as a cross-country ski guide and camp cook for Mahoosuc Guide Service. Favorite outdoor activities: xc-skiing, canoeing, sea kayaking and hiking.  Enjoy learning about indigenous history and the historic routes that we paddle today. Maine Wilderness Guides Association member. Currently certified in Wilderness First Aid.

Registered Maine Guide Patrick Dole

Patrick Dole

Patrick Dole is a Registered Maine Guide who lives in Belfast with his wife and two boys. He is a natural craftsman with a passion for the outdoors. The drive to be in the woods and on the water led him in his teens to explore the Yukon on foot and by canoe, and to crew on traditional tall ships from Maine to Venezuela. A skilled timber-framer, hunter, and guide, Pat has operated a wooden boat shop since 2007 and has taught at The Wooden Boat School in Brooklyn Maine. Whether you’re with Pat in his boat shop or on the river, his experiences and skills together with his humor and humility put people at ease. Over the last few years Pat has found a friend and mentor in Master Maine Guide Ray Reitze, a dear friend of Kevin and Polly’s. Pat and Ray now run Earthways Guide Service together.

West Branch of the Penobscot/Thoreau Wabanaki Canoe Trail River Canoe Guide Jean Gerber

Jean Gerber

Jean began guiding with Kevin and Polly 12 years ago. Her trip leading began in 1982 when she started working for the Cleveland YMCA Wilderness Tripping Program.  For several summers she led canoe, backpacking, and biking trips in Ontario and the Adirondacks. After this Jean worked with inner city youth  through the Sommerville Wilderness Program in  Massachusetts.  Later, while raising two daughters, she worked for the Aloha Foundation in Fairlee, VT teaching outdoor skills and leading canoeing trips for young people and adults as well as with the Elderhostel Program. Today Jean continues to paddle canoes with friends on trips in Maine and the far North. She is also an exhibiting landscape oil painter, click here to view her website. Bringing people together, getting to know each other through traveling together in a canoe or across the snow is one of the greatest delights I find in working with Kevin and Polly.

Guide Rose Goldberg

Rose Goldberg

Rose grew up in Bethel, ME in a very outdoorsy family. During her time at Clark University she solo hiked the Appalachian Trail. She graduated from Clark in 2019 with a degree in Environmental Science. She spent two years as a middle school teacher at Gould Academy. Rose has been an instructor for Chewonki Foundation and guides with Mahoosuc Guide Service when she can find the time. She enjoys trail running, mountain biking and canoeing. She is certified as a Wilderness First Responder. A fun fact, Rose works in her family’s wood fired pizza truck at True North Adventureware during the summer!

Guide Grant Hawkes always sleeps under his canoe on Allagash River Canoe Trips. Canoe Camping

Grant Hawkes

Grant Hawkes is native of Maine who developed a fascination for the wild and natural spaces early on. He began learning the old ways of wilderness living from a young age, completing apprenticeships with Chris and Ashirah Knapp of the Maine Local Living School and Kroka Expeditions. Through these connections Grant was introduced to Mahoosuc Guide Service where he has been helping to guide trips since 2015. Grant’s personal and professional adventures have taken him through much of the northern New England area, Canada, the western US, and England and Wales in the UK. In addition to guiding, Grant also specializes in traditional handcraft and ancestral skills, with a particular focus on friction fire methods. He is currently finishing a degree in Recreational Resource Management and Folklore studies at Utah State University.

Becca Guide Photo

Becca Hoskins

Becca has lived in the Mahoosuc Guide Service farmhouse since July 2020, and has been a part-time farm helper since September 2020. Polly and Kevin offered her the use of the farmhouse during a ten week science illustration internship with the Mahoosuc Land Trust, and two years later she is still happily at the land trust and living in the farmhouse. When she’s not helping out on the farm, Becca is an administrator at the Mahoosuc Land Trust and a freelance illustrator and graphic designer for organizations that include Tufts University, The Nature Conservancy, and Maine Audubon, among others. In her limited free time Becca enjoys hiking, gardening, and baking. A sample of her artwork can be viewed at

Penobscot Guide Ryan Kelly on Way of the Wabanaki Canoe Trip

Ryan Kelley (Penobscot)

Ryan is a member of the Penobscot Nation. He guides on their cultural canoe trips and has been instrumental in developing their cultural site on Sugar Island. It is no surprise since his ancestors developed the canoe that Ryan is a natural in one. He is very skilled at negotiating rips down a river with either pole or paddle. Ryan loves being on the river and also guides with Mahoosuc Guide Service when the opportunity arises and when he can fit it into his busy schedule. Ryan is a skilled carpenter and woodworker and very personable to spend time with.


Auden Lacorazza

Auden is a wildlife biologist with an avid interest in canids of all types, from domestic house pets and working dog breeds to wild wolves and coyotes. Auden moved back to Maine after spending a year in Nevada in 2021 to work as a winter apprentice at Mahoosuc Guide Service, and since then has been helping out as an occasional guide and semi-regular dog-sitter for Polly and Kevin when they are away guiding trips. He is an avid ecologist who brings his passion for all things nature (yes, even the bugs!) to both his guiding work and professional career. Auden also lends his artistic talent to his work at Mahoosuc Guide Service, and you can find his artwork on the wannigan lid brought along on mushing or canoe day trips, as well as among the grave-markers on the Mahoosuc property for dogs who have passed on. He currently works winters researching Maine’s carnivore wildlife, and summers as an entomologist surveying for insect pests.

Native edible and medicinal plant walk on Way of the Wabanaki Canoe Trip with Guide Jennifer Neptune

Jennifer Neptune (Penobscot)

Jennifer is a member of the Penobscot Nation, a registered Maine guide, well known basket maker. Jennifer is passionate about maintaining and sharing traditional Penobscot culture. She is a nationally recognized basket maker and does exceptional bead work. Jennifer is also a gifted and patient teacher sharing her basket making skills with Native and non Native people. She is the director of the Penobscot Nation Museum and consults on various museum and interpretive displays about Wabanaki culture. Jennifer is soft spoken, personable and very present which are wonderful skills for guiding. She has been working with Mahoosuc since 2015.

Penobscot Maine Guide Jason Pardilla at Allagash River Falls

Jason Pardilla (Penobscot)

Jason has paddled the Penobscot River all his life. As a youth around his home of Indian Island, as a young adult rafting the white water of the West Branch, and as a seasoned paddler the East Branch and main stem. Jason serves as a Penobscot Tribal Council Member and is active in cultural revitalization programs such as snowshoe making, traditional basket making, and birchbark canoes. Jason seasonally works as a fisherman, a river guide, a carpenter, and an artisan. Jason enjoys film making and gardening.

Cooking a delicious dinner at rustic canoe camping site on Allagash River. Guide Sandy Peplau summer

Sandy Peplau

Sandy Peplau grew up in Bangor, Maine. She attended college in Massachusetts and graduated with a degree in Health and Fitness. Sandy settled in Vermont where she met her husband, Jim, on a hillside farm in the “Reading Alps”.  She has enjoyed the outdoors since a child and looks forward each day to being active, whether on her road bike, x-c skis, snowshoes, or walking shoes. Jim and Sandy are somewhat self-sufficient at the farm with growing their own vegetables, fruit and beef, hunting, raising broilers, baking bread and making homemade yogurt and jams. She is certified in Wilderness First Aid and has been helping Polly and Kevin on various canoe and dog sledding trips over the past 20+ years. Sandy considers it a privilege to be spending time in the wilderness with Polly and Kevin as they have a wide range of knowledge, experience and respect for the outdoors.

Way of the Wabenaki Canoe Trip with Penobscot Guide Chris Sockalexis

Chris Sockalexis (Penobscot)

Chris Sockalexis is the Penobscot Nation Tribal Historic Preservation Officer … His role as THPO is to protect, preserve, and mitigate Cultural & Historic properties, resources, and sacred sites throughout Maine. Chris is one of the guides on our Way of the Wabanaki trip. He teaches and demonstrates flint knapping. Chris is also a talented drummer and singer which we get to enjoy listening to him on our Way of the Wabanaki trips.

Master Maine Recreational Guide Sue Szwed

Sue Szwed

Sue Szwed is a Master Maine Recreational Guide. Sue has been a guide for twenty eight years on canoeing and/or ski trips. She enjoys helping people learn about the plants, animals, and skills needed to be at home traveling in remote and beautiful landscapes.

Sue and her husband Mitch Lansky run a small nursery on their farm in Northern Maine where they grow and sell fruit trees and garlic. Sue also tends large gardens for their year round food supply. When Sue is not in a canoe, on skis, or working on the farm she enjoys keeping bees, doing art work, weaving, hiking, swimming, and time with family and friends.

Christine Trefethen

Christine Trefethen

Christine has worn a variety of different hats since graduating from University of Maine in Orono with a degree in Parks and Recreation Management with a focus on Outdoor Education. She spent many years working as a back country ranger in Baxter State Park and as an Outward Bound Instructor leading backpacking, canoeing, dog sledding, and winter mountaineering courses. After settling down to start a family and returning to graduate school for a degree in occupational therapy, she began a new career working with children with disabilities. In order to incorporate her passion for yoga into her work with children, she became a yoga teacher and went on to complete her advanced yoga teacher training culminating with a trip to India in 2020. Christine continues to study yoga, meditation, and Vedic teachings. She and her husband live on a small organic farm where they grow fruits and vegetables in addition to having cows, goats, sheep, chickens, cats and dogs.


Maddie Cass

Maddie grew up in Massachusetts, but always sought to experience rural living in Maine. After graduating from college with a degree in neuroscience and looking for opportunities in outdoor recreation, Maddie joined Mahoosuc Guide Service as an apprentice in May of 2023. With much to learn about guiding and backcountry travel, she has fully immersed herself in the practices of MGS all while learning how to safely care for sled dogs in the off-season. Maddie assists on Polly and Kevin’s canoe trips and looks forward to the many paddling adventures ahead this summer. She is certified as a Wilderness First Responder and is currently applying to medical school with the hopes of becoming a primary care physician in rural Maine.