Dogsleds were the original snowmobiles, transporting people across the snow-frosted forests and ice-kissed lakes of the north. Mix irresistible dogs with beautiful snow, and you’ve got the recipe for a winter adventure you won’t forget.
There are several dog mushing companies in Cook County that will take you out on the adventure of a lifetime. You can opt for a two-hour, half-day or all-day trip — and maybe even learn to drive your own team.
Cook County is host to a few dogsled races throughout the year:
- Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race | January
A spectator-friendly event starting and finishing at Trail Center on the Gunflint Trail. There are two classes: a 12-dog, 110-mile race, and an 8-dog, 70-mile race. View a map of the race trail.
- John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon | January – early February
Established in 1980, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is the longest sled dog race in the lower 48 states. The event extends from Duluth to Grand Portage and back again through the rugged Sawtooth Mountains.
Ever try cross country skiing or “skijoring” with your pet? When the conditions are good, skijoring across a frozen lake will satisfy both you and your dog’s need for adventure. Also, there are a handful of dog-friendly cross country trails. Be sure to check at the trailhead before you head out with your pooch, or you may get ticketed if on a trail that does not allow dogs.
Watching is Fun, But Doing is Even Better!
These family events encourage all abilities to enter skijoring events:
- Pincushion Mountain Family Ski Festival | mid-February
A day of winter sports events on Pincushion Mountain Trails just north of the town of Grand Marais.
- Dog Days of Winter | mid-March
Dog Days of Winter Fun is a free event and includes sled dog derbies, skijoring, snowman competition, a bonfire and yummy snacks.