This winter, go on a dog sledding adventure through the winter wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Here’s what you should know!
Nature’s Kennel is a sled dog racing kennel located in McMillan, Michigan. For a fun day trip, consider the 10-mile and 20-mile sledding experiences offered November–April each year (depending on conditions). Guests can drive their own team or sit as a rider.
Is dog sledding a good fit for you? Yes, this is an activity anyone can do! According to Tasha Stielstra, co-owner of Nature’s Kennel, guests regularly include wheelchair users. Last year, they helped a blind man drive a sled, and this year a 95-year-old woman is returning for her fifth ride.
Dog Sledding Day Trip
Where to stay
Chamberlin’s Ole Forest Inn in Curtis—N9450 Manistique Lakes Rd. (Hwy. 33)—is nearby and has welcoming, old-fashioned Upper Peninsula vibes, with cozy beds and colorfully wallpapered rooms. The inn is affordable, offers breakfast and regularly runs specials with Nature’s Kennel, including dog sledding and even ice climbing packages. Other nearby lodging options include: Quality Inn, Halfway Lake Resort and Sandtown Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast.
What to pack
Nature’s Kennel can provide snow pants, gloves and boots as needed, but it’s best to bring plenty of your own gear (think warm everything), including:
- Waterproof, lined gloves
- Winter coat and hat
- Thick winter socks
- Sunglasses (these will help protect your eyes from the wind during the ride)
- Adhesive body warmers (apply these to your base layer of clothes for extra warmth)
- Plenty of snacks for the road trip
- Insulated thermos (to fill up on hot chocolate for your drive home)
When should you go
Dog sledding is offered in the winter months, ranging from November through April and dependent on conditions. You can call 906.748.0513 or email [email protected] for more information on scheduling and weather conditions.
3 Ways to Make it a Dog Sledding Weekend
Want a longer adventure? Overnight experiences are also available.
The “overnight beginner adventure” (two days and one night) is a popular option that lets guests drive their own dog team and spend a night at Musher’s Village. You’ll learn the basics of mushing, how to drive a dog team and care for the sled dogs. Mushers and dogs spend the night at Musher’s Village where you’ll eat all of your meals (provided by Nature’s Kennel), sleep in a yurt or cabin and enjoy a snowshoe hike and/or sauna. No experience is necessary. There’s also an option to add a night and make it a three-day, two-night adventure. Multiple dates available.
Nature’s Kennel also offers a “dog sledding and ice climbing package.” This trip is designed for people with little to no experience for ages 10 and up. All sessions (dog sledding and ice climbing) are fully guided. The dog sledding portion includes a 20-mile excursion (three to four hours) and the ice climbing portion also takes three to four hours. February 22–25, 2021 & March 3–6, 2021
The “winter photography workshop” includes lodging at Chamberlin’s Old Forest Inn, a half-day dog sledding adventure at Nature’s Kennel (where you learn to drive your own dog team), snowshoeing at Tahquamenon Falls State Park, a guided trip to the ice formations near Pictured Rocks and personalized photography instruction throughout the entire trip. March 10–13, 2021