Mushing in the Mitten
For the adventurer in all of us
No crowds, no loud noises, only peace, beautiful scenery and the company of some loveable furry friends. Not many have tried dogsledding, but it’s well worth it for the bragging rights alone for such a unique life experience. It’s an environmentally friendly way to travel where very few have gone before. Imagine a pine forest, boughs laden with snow, the shooshing of the sled through the snow, the winter sun setting in the west and casting a glow of orange through the trees and across your path. Simply, a winter paradise.
Evergreen Kennel operates a dogsledding adventure as part of the Treetops Resort in Gaylord. Sit back, relax and enjoy as Liza Dietzen drives her dog team through the snowscape of the golf course and then through the neighboring hills. The sled can carry one adult, or one adult and a child, or two children, and it’s safe for all ages! treetops.com/activities/dog-sledding
Nature’s Kennel in McMillan has a selection of different dogsledding activities from day sledding to overnight trips. The 10-mile day trip is good for all ages, whether driving a team or just riding along. The 20-mile day trip is for ages 12+ and includes a traditional UP pasty lunch.
The overnight trip is a 20-mile trek to Musher’s Village and back. After arriving at camp, a chili lunch is served before mushers can warm up in the sauna or take a self-guided snowshoe hike. After a hearty dinner, there is stargazing, a campfire and time with the dogs. Guests will stay in either the main cabin or a yurt. Alcohol is not provided but is allowed.
The Winter Photography Tour is a 5-day, 4-night package that includes lodging at Chamberlin’s Old Forest Inn, a half-day of dogsledding at Nature’s Kennel, snowshoeing at Tahquamenon Falls State Park, and a guided trip to the ice formations near Pictured Rocks, all with personalized photography instruction throughout
Nature’s Kennel also offers “The Best of Winter” and “Taking Winter to the Extremes” tours, both all-inclusive of lodging, meals and activities. Adventurers get the opportunity to drive a dogsled, three nights’ accommodation at Chamberlin’s Ole Forest Inn, a dogsledding presentation, and a visit to End of the Road Winery in Germfask.
The Best of Winter Tour also includes snowshoeing and ice cave and waterfall exploration, while the Take Winter to the Extremes Tour also has a guided ice climb and hiking. natureskennel.com/winteradventures
Husky Haven Kennels is located in Shingleton, just outside of Munising. They have double-driver sleds so an experienced guide teaches guests how to drive the team as the tour makes its way through picturesque trails, complete with waterfalls and an abundance of wildlife. All winter tours are private and begin with a visit to the kennels and a brief history of dogsledding. The tour goes for about three to four hours with hot cocoa and cookies upon return in the heated shed.
They also do summer tours of the kennels with lots of interaction with their loveable Alaskan Huskies, and if the weather dips to 50F or below, they offer dogsled rides behind a UTV. huskyhavenkennels.com
Otter River Sled Dog Training Center and Wilderness Adventures offers sled dog rides, tours, and camping trips for individuals and groups. Enjoy dog-powered rides and adventures year-round in the heart of the UP near the shores of Lake Superior. They will also travel for family or group events, and they also host the Mushing Club at Michigan Technological University.
Dogsled experiences include a three or six-mile ride, a half day adventure with trailside lunch, overnight camping, or a trip customized to your satisfaction. They also have a fall color tour and an ice fishing expedition, both fueled by dog power. Beware of cuteness overload when the center has puppy playtime. facebook.com/otterriversleddogs
Dog sledding can get chilly so make sure you dress appropriately, especially if you are going along for the ride and not mushing. Wear a hat, warm gloves or mittens, windproof jacket, snow pants and winter boots. If it is below freezing, a thermal layer is always a good choice!
Sled Dog Races 2024
Spend a weekend getaway at one of the big races in Michigan for more dogsledding excitement. The hosting towns turn into a big party with live music, food and drink tents, and hundreds of people at the start of the races. For a more personalized experience, race organizers are always looking for volunteers to do registrations, checkpoints, road and snowmobile crossings and bag checks, and for the dog lovers out there, some races even need help with escorting the dog teams to and from the start and finish.
Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race — Muskallonge Lake State Park
10-dog or 6-dog sleds
Dale Munford Memorial Race — Kalkaska Winterfest
2-dog sled fun run and 10-dog sled race
UP200 (Iditarod-qualifying race) — Marquette
Midnight Run — Marquette
Jack Pine 30 — Gwinn
First weekend in March
The CopperDog 150 — Calumet
To get into the holiday spirit, spend time walking the halls of history, decked out in all the festive colors and dec... Read More
Take a look at the top five indoor waterparks in Michigan. Enjoy water, warmth and a wild weekend of fun in the middl... Read More