January is Dogsledding Month in Cook County, Minn

John Beargrease logo

Gunflint Mail Run Jan 5 – 6 and John Beargrease Jan. 27 – 29


Cook County, Minn. – Oct. 12, 2018 — January is a time for residents and visitors to celebrate modern-day mushers and their canine athlete companions at the Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race Saturday, Jan. 5 – Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 and the 35th running of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Sunday, Jan. 27 – Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.


“We encourage visitors to come and watch the dog sled races,” says, Linda Jurek, executive director for Visit Cook County.  “We are really excited to have both the Beargrease 120 and the Beargrease Marathon end in Cook County this year. The marathon will end at Grand Portage Casino, and the Beargrease 120 will end at Lutsen Mountains.


“Visitors who have a dog-sled race on their bucket list can also visit our local kennels, where they can learn about the dogs, the dog-sled racing sport, and even make a run on a dog sled themselves. Both dog-sled races are looking for volunteers, which is a great way to get an up-close look at this exciting winter sport.”


Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race


The Gunflint Mail Run kicks off the start of dogsledding season in Cook County, and features two races, the original event, which is a 12-dog, 100-mile race that includes two runs, approximately 50 miles each, over a two-day stretch, and an eight-dog shorter and faster race (65 miles). The race 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).  See https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/gunflint-mail-run-sled-dog-race/ for more details.


John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon


The 35th John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon will run Sunday, Jan. 27 – Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. It is scheduled to start at Billy’s Bar, 3502 Tischer Road, Duluth, Minn. and end at Grand Portage Lodge and Casino, 70 Casino Drive, Grand Portage, Minn.


The John Beargrease has been shortened this year to 300 miles, but is still a qualifier for the famed “Iditarod” in Alaska and remains the longest sled dog race in the lower 48 states.  Two additional race legs are scheduled during the John Beargrease, the Beargrease 120, the most popular competitive mid-distance race in North America, and the Beargrease 40, a recreational class race.  The Beargrease 40 will end at Two Harbors, Minn. Gravel Pit on Sunday, Jan. 27, which will also the serve as an alternate marathon start location, if there are low levels of snow in Duluth, Minn.  The Beargrease 120 will end at Lutsen Mountains, 467 Ski Hill Road, Lutsen, Minn. on Monday, Jan. 28


About the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

Headquartered in Duluth, Minn., the mission of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is to conduct the best long-distance race in North America in a culturally sensitive manner, and to promote the sport of dog mushing.  To learn more about this nonprofit, please visit www.beargrease.com.


About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County 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”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.


Linda Jurek | Executive Director Visit Cook County | linda@visitcookcounty.com | 218.387.2788