Q&A With Breanna Dodson of Bardy’s Trail Rides
It’s often said that people make the place and we couldn’t agree more. Our spotlight series introduces you to Seward Chamber of Commerce members who make our community an incredible place to live, work and play.
Bardy’s Trail Rides offers diverse 2-hour horseback rides twice a day from May through September to locals and visitors alike. Seward local, Breanna Dodson, takes riders through the rain forest of Seward where moose and bear roam and shows guests part of old town Seward that was destroyed by the great earthquake of 1964. Then the horses carry guests out to the grasslands at the beach of Resurrection Bay where the wild flowers meet the ocean. Often riders will find themselves trotting beneath massive bald eagles and encounter diverse birding opportunities. The horses meander through moss-laden forests and take riders across rivers where salmon swim between the horse’s legs on their way to spawning grounds. Breanna has spent the last eight years developing this unique tour to show visitors a different side of Seward.
We recently sat down with Breanna to learn more about the journey she has taken as a small business owner in Seward.
What makes your business special or unique? In other words, what are you known for?
We pride ourselves on excellent customer service. We keep out tours at 7 people or less so everyone is getting the attention or service needed.
What would people be surprised to learn about your business or your journey as a business owner?
I was born and raised in Seward and started this business with my dad when I was 14 years old. It was intended to use it to pay my way through college, which I did. I always thought I would sell it when I graduated, but I enjoy the business and meeting new people. Every year I keep saying “Oh, just one more year.” I think I have been saying that for 8 years now!
Tell us about a product or service that you’re particularly proud of.
We were ranked top 10 trail ride by USAToday and we were on a TV series called Equatrekking which aired on PBS.
What is the best compliment your business has ever received?
I hear quite often that our ride was the best trail they have ever done from guests who ride on every vacation. We also hear how well-maintained and cared-for our horses are. That means a lot to me because our horses are part of the family.
What advice would you give to a new business owner who is working to build a business like yours?
Every customer is important. Treat them like a person; without them you have no business.
If your life was a book, what would the title be?
Off the Beaten Path
How do you spend your free time?
There is no free time when you own horses.
What do you like most about living and working in Seward?
I love the small town atmosphere and how most in the tourism industry work together to make Seward a fun-filled stop for our guests.
Where’s your favorite spot in Seward to unwind?
On my horse’s back, riding through the woods.
There are so many great wilderness areas to explore around Seward and Kenai Fjords. If you had a free weekend, where would you go?
My favorite place to explore and experience is camping on Porcupine Island on Kenai Lake.
Feature Image: Bardy’s Trail Rides gives visitors and locals a unique perspective on the epic views of Resurrection Bay. Photo by Ron Niebrugge.
For more information about Bardy’s Trail Rides or to book a tour, click here or call 907.362-7863.