Paddle: Bloodvein River

Laura Wildenborg


Red Wing, Minnesota

Cairn Project Ambassador Laura Wildenborg smiles wearing a climbing helmet, harness, and slings over her shoulder

About Laura Wildenborg

Laura is an outdoor educator, whitewater kayaker and canoer, and community activist in Red Wing, MN. With ten years of experience as an outdoor educator, Laura has seen first-hand how much good can come from young women getting outdoors in girls-only programs.

140 Miles in 12 Days

In August, Ambassador Laura Wildenborg is setting out on a 140-mile canoe expedition of Canada’s Bloodvein River with her good friend Mary. This adventure will begin with a floatplane drop off at Artery Lake, located in Manitoba’s Atikaki Provincial Park – the launch point of Laura’s 12-day paddle to Bloodvein Village on Lake Winnipeg. Laura’s adventure is an opportunity explore this wild and remote stretch of river and to raise support for programs that allow young women to build self-confidence, leadership skills, and an appreciation for the outdoors. Fundraising goal: $2500.

The Bloodvein River runs for 190 miles from northwest Ontario to the shores of Lake Winnepeg. Manitoba’s first Canadian Heritage River, the river may someday be designated as a United Nations World Heritage Site. Much of the river runs through Atikaki Provincial Wilderness Park, which was established in 1985.

A map of Laura's route on the Bloodvein River
The Bloodvein River

Why Get Out and Give Back?

“Nature is the best classroom to build self-confidence, leadership skills, and an appreciation for the outdoors. I find that my female students really come out of their shells when there are NO BOYS around. They can’t let the boys build the fires and steer the canoes – it’s on them to take care of surviving out there – on their own or as a team. It is important for women to learn these adventure skills of independence and decision-making because they translate into the professional world and everyday life. Our society needs women to step up and take the lead – and the outdoors is a great place to start.”

See More Ambassadors

Carlie Graham

Pico de Orizaba Infinity Loop

April Martinez

Summiting Mt. Rainier

Sophia Henze

Kayaking the Green River

Melissa Luna

Superior Hiking Trail