See world-class sled dog races in Cook County | Gunflint Mail Run Jan. 7-8 and John Beargrease Jan. 29-Feb. 2


See world-class sled dog races in Cook County

Gunflint Mail Run Jan. 7-8 and John Beargrease Jan. 29-Feb. 2


Cook County, Minn. – Nov. 17, 2016 – Mushers and their teams of dogs from around the globe are preparing to cover hundreds of miles of terrain in two of Cook County’s famous dog sled races this January, the Gunflint Mail Run and the John Beargrease.  During this brief dog-sledding season, visitors can easily get a front-row seat to some world-class dog sledding in the dog sledding capital of the lower 48 states.


“There is a great variety of dog sledding opportunities for visitors in Cook County,” says Linda Jurek, executive director for Visit Cook County, “from spectating at an event to participating in your own dog sled adventure, there’s something for everyone’s comfort level. Visitors interested in setting up their own dog-sledding adventures should call Visit Cook County (1-888-922-5000) and visit our web site (”


In Cook County, there are several dog mushing companies that will take visitors out on the adventure of a lifetime. Mushers offer two-hour, half-day or all-day trips — they can even teach visitors to drive their own teams.  For more information, see


Gunflint Mail Run starts dog sled racing season


The Gunflint Mail Run marks the start of the dog sled racing season on Saturday, Jan. 7 – Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017.  This is the longest dog sled race in the lower 48, and will start and finish at Trail Center Lodge, 7611 Gunflint Trail, on Poplar Lake, Grand Marais, Minn.  (For non-locals, Trail Center Lodge is approximately 30 miles up the Gunflint Trail).


The two-day event consists of two legs of equal distance, separated by a mandatory layover, and two race classes: a12-dog, 110-mile race, and a eight-dog, 70-mile race.  The minimum purse for the 2017 race is $10,000 and will be divided among the winners of both races. For more race details, see


Dog sled racing fans can also look forward to the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017.  The event will feature roughly 80 world-class mushers racing in a marathon that is nearly 400 miles long, and a mid-distance race, where all competitors are vying for one of 20 cash prizes totaling $30,000.  Both races will traverse the Sawtooth Mountains in Cook County, going as far north as Gunflint Lake near the Canadian border.


The Beargrease marathon will start in Duluth, then head to Mineral Center in Grand Portage and back, while the shorter, mid-distance race goes one-way on the route. The marathon typically takes five days to complete. For more race details and a map, visit


About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County (VCC) is a sponsor of both the Gunflint Mail Run and the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. VCC encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Cook County, Minn. has earned numerous accolades recently including “2015 Coolest Small Town in America” contest by Budget Travel and “The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016” list by Outside Magazine. Visit Cook County invites visitors to rekindle their sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest, paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and discovering the Lake Superior watershed basin. Be inspired by connecting on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitors, Facebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Discover more at or by downloading the Visit Cook County mobile app.



Lynn Nelson | LIN Public Relations, Inc. 612.990.0126 Katie Krantz | Visit Cook County 218.387.2788

#OptOutside and Ski Free at Lutsen Mountains on Black Friday

#OptOutside and Ski Free at Lutsen Mountains on Black Friday

Nov. 17, 2016  Last year REI stores across the country eschewed the craziness of Black Friday shopping, closed their stores and encouraged employees and customers to #OptOutside.  It became a movement, and 1.4 million people spent the day enjoying the outdoors.  Now in its second year #OptOutside is gaining momentum, Minnesota State Parks have joined the movement with free access to all 75 parks and now Lutsen Mountains is a proud supporter offering a Free Ski Day on Friday, Nov, 25.

“Skiers and snowboarders are outdoor enthusiasts, a perfect community to engage in the movement,” says Jim Vick, marketing director at Lutsen Mountains.  “The ideal of #OptOutside encourages people to reflect on friends and family and what’s truly important.  Outdoor experiences create memories that last a lifetime.”

Lift tickets at Lutsen Mountains will be free on Friday, Nov. 25 for all who attend.  People who don’t ski can take a free gondola ride to the Summit Chalet and scenic overlooks on Moose Mountain.  Guests who come for the long weekend can take advantage of Lutsen’s Half Price Holiday packages – with the Free Friday, essentially skiing three days for the price of one.

Lutsen Mountains anticipates opening for the season on Thanksgiving Day with one mountain and two – five runs.  With snowmaking simultaneously occurring on three mountains, additional terrain and lifts are likely to open over the weekend.  A winter storm is forecast for this Friday with good snowmaking temperatures into next week adding to the likelihood of a snowy Thanksgiving weekend on the mountain.

To participate in the #OptOutside movement, Lutsen Mountains encourages guests to visit, take the pledge, share with friends and family, and join us for a Free Ski Day on Friday, Nov. 25.


About Lutsen Mountains: Lutsen Mountains, located in Lutsen, Minn., is just a few miles from Grand Marais, named “America’s Coolest Small Town” by Budget Travel Magazine in 2015. It’s new gondola transports visitors to the highest peak along the North Shore for unparalleled views of Lake Superior and the Sawtooth Mountains. For additional information, visit or follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at




Jim Vick | Lutsen Mountains 218.406.1300 Lynn I. Nelson | LIN PR 612.990.0126