Each year Winterdance Dogsled Tours offers travelers the chance experience a classic Canadian sport in the rugged Ontario landscape of Haliburton. Whether it’s your first time sledding or you are a regular, you’ll be sure to take away memorable moments from this adventure.
Connect with nature
Even before you get on the trail, you’ll be transported to a winter wonderland at the Winterdance trail head. Explore the gift shop, step into the tepee, and take a moment to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. A must-see in the gift shop is the annual Winterdance calendar, full of great photos of the dogs.
Meet your five new friends
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for! As the dogs arrive at the trail head, you’ll meet the five Siberian Huskies who you will spend the next few hours on the trail with. After some helpful pointers from your guide you’ll have your first chance to get to know your team. This is a great opportunity to ask your guide about each of the dogs. You may discover that one of your team members has run the Iditarod (like Nuisance on the bottom left) or has brothers and sisters named after Harry Potter characters (like Albus on the bottom right). Here’s five of the dogs you may meet:
Off to the races
Nothing beats the first few moments on the trail when the dogs first stretch their legs, howling and barking as they hit their stride. Just how fast do the dogs go? Depending on snow consistency, the weight carried and whether the sled is traveling up or downhill, you can expect to travel around 10-15km/hour. One thing is for certain – in those first few moments you’ll feel like you are flying!
Be a Team Player
Not only do the dogs work together as a team, but they also expect you to do your part. With two people on the sled at all times, you can take turns driving and being the passenger. As the passenger you are in charge of making sure your dogs don’t get tangled in the lines. As driver, you control the speed of your sled, from braking on the downhills, to helping out the team by running a little on the uphills. The team will let you know if you aren’t pulling your weight with a pointed glare. When you are keeping up your end of the bargain with your team you’ll be rewarded with enthusiasm!
Enjoy the view
Whether you are driving the sled or enjoying the ride, the Haliburton landscape will impress. You’ll take in classic Canadian winter scenes at their best, similar to the rugged wilderness you can find in Algonquin Provincial Park. From frozen ponds and wooded trails, this is the perfect place to get away from it all. Even on a cloudy day the scenery doesn’t disappoint:
Winterdance offers 2 hour, 1/2 day and full day dogsled tours, and on all outings you and the dogs will get the chance to rest and refuel with some snacks. This is another chance to spend some time with your team, learn more about the sport from your guide, and snap some great photos before getting back on the trail.
Want to give dog sledding a try for yourself? Winterdance runs tours from December to the end of March/first of April (Call to confirm availability). They also offer occasional Kennel Tours during the summer months, which is a great chance to see where the dogs live.
Learn more about Winterdance Dogsledding below, and visit them online here.