About Us

Riverside kayak Connection

Your Connection to the Water

Riverside Kayak Connection (RKC) is Metro Detroit’s premier paddling shop.  Over the past 14 years we have been dedicated to the improvement of Metro Detroit water trails and public access for all.  We continue to accomplish this goal by offering toursclasses, and events for people of all backgrounds and paddling abilities.  

Based in Wyandotte, Michigan our retail location is home to an assortment of kayaks, paddling accessories, and outdoor gear.  Our two summer rental locations are Belle Isle Park in Detroit and Wayne County’s Elizabeth Park in Trenton. We also offer classes in Detroit and Southgate and tours all along the Detroit River.

RKC Staff

Tiffany VanDeHey

Tiffany started paddling in 8th grade Canoe Club on the Looking Glass River near Lansing.  She started kayaking on the Detroit River upon moving to downtown Wyandotte.  Tiffany runs the daily operations of the shop in Wyandotte and the rental locations at Elizabeth Park and Belle Isle.


Patrick VanDeHey

Patrick grew up minutes from the Boundary Waters and learned to canoe at a young age.  He is Riverside Kayak Connection’s expert boat fitter.  His most recent kayak is a flaming hot Northshore Atlantic.  Patrick’s motto is “Get busy living or get busy dying.”


Susan Walker

Susan was born and raised in Wyandotte and has enjoyed the Detroit River her whole life.  She is our land support and helps with after paddling food. and our Belle Isle location.  Susan’s favorite place to paddle is the Bioluminescent Bay in Grand Cayman.


Anita joined the RKC team in 2006 as Community Outreach Manager.  Anita brings over 25 years of Parks & Recreation experience that includes municipal administration, non-profit management and grant writing/management experience.  She also currently serves as President of Downriver Linked Greenways. 

 Her first day with RKC included her first time in a kayak!  She was hooked and since then the entire Twardesky family including grandchildren have caught the kayaking fever.  In her spare time, Anita loves to travel, motorcycle, knit, read, camp and of course kayak.



Laura joined Riverside Kayak in September of 2015 when she made the decision to return to the workforce after being a stay at home mother and wife for 13 years.   If she is not in shop, you can find her spending her time camping, kayaking, hiking and enjoying the outdoors with her husband and 2 children


Louise is busy satisfying a great wanderlust to explore the wild regions of our Great Lakes and Salt Seas..  As a Souttheast Michigan Sea Kayak Teacher and Guide for Riverside Kayak Connection, she takes our people out of the City to explore our local waters. Her special niche is adapting the sport for a wide range of people’s ages and abilities; giving them a new feeling of confidence, joy and freedom.


Detroit Historical Canal Tour

Michigan Wildlife Council

Article on kayaking Detroit.

WXYZ - Detroit

Video on kayak safety

Toronto Star

Article about things to do in Detroit.

donation requests

We are happy to assist area non-profit organizations and their fundraising efforts.

Due to the large number of requests we receive, we ask that organizations meet the requirements below and follow the correct procedures to maximize the support we can provide to our community.  We typically donate one voucher for four people to rent solo kayaks or solo bicycles for one hour at Belle Isle Park for Monday – Friday rentals.

We seek to support those causes which effect positive change, specifically organizations committed to promoting environmental sustainability, youth organizations, and health causes.  Although we donate to a wide range of charitable organizations, preference will be given to those organizations most closely aligned with our mission for charitable giving.  


The Jerry Glotfelty Kayak Education Fund has been set up.  The fund will be used to promote youth kayak education.  You can go to any Fifth Third Bank and tell them you would like to make a donation to the Jerry Glotfelty Kayak Education Fund or you can write a check to Downriver Linked Greenways Initiative (a 501(c)3) and write Jerry Glotfelty Kayak Education Fund in the memo.  (Checks can be mailed in care of Riverside Kayak Connection, 4016 Bilddle Avenue, Wyandotte, MI 48192).If you have ever been to an RKC demo day, to the Port Austin Kayak Symposium or have been towed on one of our kayak tours you probably met Jerrry Glotfelty.  It is with a very heavy heart that in January 2017 we had to say good bye to an amazing kayak instructor and even more amazing friend.  

Riverside Kayak Connection is continuing to help keep kids and adults safe while on the water by offering free loaner life jackets to the public for the day or weekend, at no charge!