When you drive up to Dog Sled Adventures, the raucous chorus of barks signals the huskies are ready to pull a sled. And you’ll get to ride.
In neighboring Stillwater State Forest, the huskies provide the power on a 12-mile course through the trees. Usually, the owner Jeff Ulsamer selects a team of 9-10 dogs for harnessing to each sled. On the sleds, riders bundle in warm clothes and wear goggles to protect their eyes from flying snow.
The tour takes about 90 minutes, with a few stops to let the dogs rest. The routes curve through evergreens whose limbs bend under the weight of snow. As Ulsamer says, “It’s traveling at the speed of dog.”
Snow consistency dictates the type of ride. In deep fresh flakes, the sled takes on the feel of a magic carpet ride. With several-day-old snow pack, the ride bumps along, much like a rough ride on an tube behind a waterski boat.
Essentially, dog sledding is a carbon-less carnival ride. But it’s not just for kids; it’s for all ages. Rides are available by reservation only. Usually, the dog sled season runs from December through March, snow conditions permitting. It is located 20 minutes north of Whitefish.