Dogsledding is one of those quintessentially Canadian activities. Who hasn’t imagined themselves whizzing through the boreal forest at full speed, as the sleigh’s skates glide over the freshly fallen snow, pulled by a pack of Huskies? For lovers of the outdoors, this is a must-do winter activity.
Dog sledding has been practised by Nordic people for millennia, but its popularity only really increased with the Alaskan Gold Rush. The person leading a sled is a musher, and uses the command “mush” to make the dogs pull the sled. Many companies offer dog sled rides, ranging from introductory outings to multi-day expeditions. Here is our selection of unique experiences that will make you feel like a real musher!
North Ridge Ranch
North Ridge Ranch has been offering dog sledding tours out of Huntsville for over 15 years. Brad and Leah are both knowledgeable and experienced guides who will explain the fundamentals of dog sledding before taking you on a one hour or half-day sledding trip in beautiful Muskoka. Their sleds are pulled by Alaskan Huskies who each have their own unique personality!
Haliburton-based Winterdance offers a variety of tours in basket-style sleds pulled by Siberian Huskies. The guides and the dogs alike are friendly, and they will ensure your ride through breathtaking scenery is one you’ll be thinking about for a long time. They also offer a very special moonlit run complete with a campfire, hot chocolate and freshly baked pastries.
Haliburton Forest is both a tourism and sustainable forest products company. Explore 300 kilometers of trails with professional guides who will teach you how to be a musher, then visit the kennel to interact with the dogs and see how affectionate they all are. You can also combine your dog sledding tour with other winter activities, such as snowmobiling or fishing, and visit their Wolf Center.
Ride the Wilderness
Ride the Wilderness, based in Haliburton just outside Algonquin Park, offer half-day tours as well as full-day dog sledding tours. You’ll be mushing your own sled in no time! You can also combine dog sledding and snowmobiling for an adrenaline-filled day.
Snow Forest Adventures
Snow Forest Adventures do not offer any half-day or day trips. Rather, they offer a variety of multi-day tours in Algonquin Park as well as longer expeditions that will allow you to discover Cree culture or the Tombstone Mountain Range in Yukon Territory. Snow Forest Adventures is perfect for those looking for an experience they’ll never forget.
Since your outing will be taking place in the winter, make sure you dress warmly for your dog sled ride. Good warm boots, mittens, a hat, a scarf and sunglasses will allow you to have an even greater time. It’s recommended to dress as you would for skiing. Quartz Co. offers several styles of winter jackets that will ensure you optimal comfort and allow you to fully enjoy your dog sledding experience.