Photo by MontanaRaven on Flickr
Dogsledding is a popular activity in Northern Minnesota. This winter, it is getting a little more attention because of the 25th anniversary of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon along the North Shore of Lake Superior. The race commemorates John Beargrease, the Ojibway man who delivered mail from Two Harbors to Grand Marais in the late 1800's. On January 27, 2008, 30 teams and about 4000 fans will gather in Duluth for the start of this 400 mile sled dog race.
If watching the race makes you want to go on your own dog sledding adventure, you can visit the nearby town of Ely (Ee'-lee), home of several sled dog trip providers. One of those providers is featured in a great Washington Post story about dogsledding at Wintergreen Lodge. Wintergreen Lodge has several trips to choose from, including a Photo Workshop and Lodge to Lodge Dogsled Vacation with Smithsonian Time-Life Photographer Layne Kennedy. Enjoy the experience of dogsledding while learning outdoor photography tips.
While you are in Ely, you can also visit the International Wolf Center. During the winter, the center is open for tours on weekends. Explore the exhibits, see the wolves and check out some of the daily programs about wolves. Interested in learning more? Consider an offsite field trip to learn about wolf communication or an extended learning vacation that includes dogsledding, such as Mush with Dogs, Howl with Wolves.
Just remember... dress warm!
*The above photo was taken at Montana's 2007 Race to the Sky. There weren't any Beargrease pictures or Minnesota dog sled pictures shared under a creative commons license on Flickr.