Top 12 Michigan Dog Sledding and Races 2024 | Map! Where to Experience in Upper and Lower Peninsula! (Top Winter Things To Do!)
Michigan Dog Sledding
Where to Experience Michigan Dog Sledding and Races in Upper and Lower Peninsula | By Sherry Trautman | Travel-Mi.com | Updated November 11, 2023
Michigan dog sledding is an unforgettable pure Michigan experience! Not only are you getting fresh air and exercise, but it's a chance to enjoy Michigan's great outdoors during the winter. Chris and I are always looking for fun things to do throughout the long Michigan winters. We've discovered it's fun to turn dog sledding into a Michigan winter getaway.
- Michigan is also a hot spot for exhilarating sled dog races in Marquette, Newberry and Kalkaska.
Did you know you can go dog sledding in both the upper and lower peninsula of Michigan? Munising is a popular dog sledding destination in the U.P.
So if you are wondering, "Where can I dog sled in Michigan?" or "Do they have sled races in Michigan?" You betcha! Keep reading!
- Top winter things to do in Marquette, Gaylord and Cadillac Michigan. Make it a winter activity road trip that's fun for the whole family!
Do You Have to Be Experienced To Go Dog Sledding?
You don't have to be an experienced musher to go dog sledding. Each dog sled company listed below offers different rides and packages with guided runs depending on your interest level.
Map of Where To Go Michigan Dog Sledding and Dog Sled Races
We created this Michigan Dog Sledding Interactive Map to help aid in planning your trip. It's so hard to know where locations are without a map!
- Click on the plus and minus in the left corner to zoom in or out of the map.
- Click on the icons for more info, addresses and photos of the stops.
- Click on the map to drag and move it to view surrounding areas.
- In the Header, click on the rectangle in the upper left of the map to see a menu of all of our stops. Click on anything that looks interesting to see where it is on the map. To hide the menu, click the rectangle in the header.
- In the Header, click on the "square" icon in the upper right side to expand the map for better viewing.
A Brief History of Michigan Dog Sledding
It is believed, the oldest archeological evidence of dog sledding was around 1,000 A.D.
Dog teams were used for transportation and work activities, especially in native villages.
NBC26 interviewed Darlene Walch, President of the U.P. Sled Dog Association and former musher for the article, "History of Mushing Sled Dogs," in which she said, "It's a tradition, it’s celebrating a tradition of using sled dogs in the U.P. for all kinds of things. Even mail used to be delivered in parts of the U.P. with dog teams, a long time ago."
Additionally, the UP200 in Marquette, Michigan is a qualifier for the famous Iditarod race in Alaska.
What to Wear Dog Sledding
You will encounter all kinds of weather including icy wind gusts, blowing snow, sleet and bright glaring sun during your winter adventures while dog sledding. I ALWAYS want to be prepared and warm so I can fully enjoy the experience without being distracted because painfully cold wind is whipping across my face. As such, I highly recommend wearing:
- Polarized sunglasses to reduce light glare
- I am a HUGE fan of fleece neck gaitors as you can pull them up or down when you need it and it doesn't fall off. They also don't fly around your face like scarves.
- Ski pants
- Ski jacket
- Warm, water proof gloves
- Tall, water proof, warm boots.
So let's talk hats. I'm a HUGE fan of brimmed fleece lined hats. You will see me in hats throughout my winter photos on this website! I have this exact winter brimmed hat from Amazon and I love it. It has a brim/visor to block the sun. It's very warm. I have it in white and I love that it covers my forehead and ears as it gets cold dog sledding!
I'd also bring Kleenex in case you get a runny nose. Chapstick is also a must-have, at least for me!
Dog Sledding in Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Michigan's Upper Peninsula is one of the best places to mush in Michigan as it has one of the most spectacular terrains in the state. It's super exhilarating to glide behind a happy pack of eager sled dogs on your very own winter wonderland adventure!
Dog sledding is also a fun winter activity where people with limited abilities can enjoy an outdoor winter sport!
Nature's Kennel Sled Dog Racing and Adventures | MicMillan | Dog Sledding and Learn to Drive a Dog Team and Mush in the U.P.
Nature's Kennel Sled Dog Racing and Adventures - McMillan, Michigan. Michigan's premier dog sledding destination! Nature's Kennel has been wowing their guests with magical winter experiences for twenty years! Nature's Kennel is a great place to learn about dog sledding while visiting Michigan's Upper Peninsula!!
- Nature's Kennel offers 10 mile, 20 mile, overnight adventures, and photography tours. The shorter 10 mile trip is suitable for all ages and abilities and is a great way to experience Michigan's outdoors.
You can learn to drive your own team or relax and enjoy the scenic views in a sled driven by a guide. What a thrilling adventure for your whole family, including kids!
Call to schedule and learn more about their trips. They are taking reservations for the 2023-2024 season! Dog sledding trips through Michigan's winter wonderland takes place mid-December through mid-April.
- Costs range from $210 per person and up.
You can even adopt one of their adorable retired sled dogs! My heart is swooning!
Husky Haven Kennels | Shingleton (Near Pictured Rocks) | Drive Your Own Team!
Husky Haven Kennels - E17769 Nugent Lake Ln, Shingleton, Michigan. Husky Haven Sled Dogs began in 1999 with two Samoyeds and a dream to run Iditarod.
What To Expect: The Husky Haven Kennels dog sled tours begin with a tour of their kennel and a chance to learn about the history of dog-sledding. There will be an in-depth discussion on how to handle the dog sled team and sled while on a run.
You will then be whisked along a snowy trail through a winter wonderland for 8-10 miles with an instructor and team. When you get back, you can enjoy a snack, give water to the tired sled dogs and return them to their yard. They worked hard, darn it!
Then it's time to enjoy a steaming cup of hot chocolate and tasty cookies while seeing the fun photos taken during your dog sledding adventure.
Pricing: Pricing for their winter tours are $200/person and there is no age limit. Perfect wintertime adventure for both adults and children.
Time: Plan to spend around 3-4 hours on this unforgettable Michigan winter experience. This is one of our favorite places to visit for things to do in Michigan in winter. Great Upper Peninsula dog sledding.
Husky Haven Kennels also offers helicopter lessons and tours!
Otter River Sled Dog Training Center | Chassell, MI | Year Round in Michigan's Upper Peninsula | Rides, Tours, Camping Trips
Where: Otter River Sled Dog Training Center, 35605 N. River Road, Chassell, MI 49916
Did you know you can try dogsledding during any season at Otter River Sled Dog Training Center in Michigan's Upper Peninsula?
Book a reservation to see their working kennel of racing Alaskan Huskies. Enjoy a ride or learn how to hook up your own dog team and drive a dogsled in the scenic woods of the UP.
They offer a variety of trips including 3-10 mile trips or half day trips with lunch. If you are ambitious, try wilderness camping by dogsled! Make it an annual tradition in one of the most beautiful terrains in Michigan's upper peninsula.
Experience the great Michigan outdoors with dog sled rides, tours and camping trips in scenic northern Michigan year-round. You can also go on guided walking tours or with a kayak.
Michigan Dog Sledding
Lower Michigan Dog Sledding Adventures | Experience Michigan's Winter Wonderland!
Shemhadar Dog Sled Adventures | Northwest Michigan Near Cadillac
Shemhadar Dog Sled Adventures - 7001 Price Rd, Cadillac, MI 49601.
Shemhadar Kennels is a great place to learn about dog sledding and see the dog kennels! This Michigan dog sledding adventure is located 1 1/2 hours north of Grand Rapids and about 3 hours from Detroit. Check out their "Musher Experience."
These Michigan dog sled adventures glide through 80 acres of beautiful woods and fields. Your visit will be for 1 to 4 hours (depending on the package you choose) of learning, riding and sharing in the sled dog adventure. Rides are 2-3 miles long and include cookies and cocoa! There are Kennel Tours also.
Shanty Creek Resort | Michigan Dog Sledding Lower Peninsula | Bellaire
Shanty Creek Resort - 5780 Shanty Creek Rd, Bellaire, MI 49615. Travel along the landscape of Schuss Mountain's golf course with incredible views of Schuss Mountain. Each Michigan dogsled experience is approximately 30 minutes long, which includes a meet and greet with the sled dogs, photos opportunities and dog sled ride, which is approximately 1 mile long.
Ride options include: 1 adult, 1 adult and 1 child, or 2 children; each with max weight of 200lbs. Rides are trail conditions dependent.
Treetops Dog Sledding | Gaylord Michigan
Treetops Dog Sledding- 3962 Wilkinson Rd, Gaylord, MI
(Book very early, they are booked by December). A separate time slot must be booked for each “sled load” which is less than 225 pounds total. To accommodate families, it is recommended that you reserve time slots that are back to back. Rides are up to 2 miles and are about 10 minutes in duration. Super fun Michigan dog sledding!
One of the best things to do in Michigan in Winter!
When: Dog Sledding at Treetops dates begin around the end of December through February, weather dependent.
A “sled load” consists of the following:
- 1 adult under 225 lbs.
- 1 adult and 1 child under 225 lbs.
- 2 children under 225 lbs.
Michigan Dog Sledding is on my list of fun things to do in Michigan in winter.
OOH! Michigan Winter Getaway Idea!
So guys, here's a super fun winter couples getaway in Michigan idea that Chris and I are planning for January:
Book a weekend stay at Treetops resort in Gaylord. You can go on a sled dog ride AND horse-drawn sleigh ride. Treetops also offers fun outdoor winter activities such as snowshoeing (I love it!), skiing and snowboarding! Be sure to book all your desired winter experiences before you go to eliminate disappointment.
PLUS, Treetops resort has lovely dining and lodging options. You can snuggle up in their hot tubs, get some exercise in their indoor swimming pool and fitness center, and book a couples treatment in their spa. Oh, and the fireplace at Treetops is fabulous. Sounds like a perfect romantic getaway in Michigan to me!
Michigan Dog Sledding Frequently Asked Questions
Can you go dog sledding in Michigan? YES! There are several companies in Michigan's upper and lower peninsula that offer exhilarating dog sledding trips and adventures.
How long does dog sledding last? There are several companies that offer dog sledding trips that range from short 10 minute trips to weekend camping adventures. Dog sledding can last through February or March, depending on the weather and the location.
Is dog sled racing still a thing? Yes! There are several popular dog sled races in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. We list dates and times below.
6 Annual Michigan Dog Sled Races in the Upper Peninsula | 2024 in Marquette, Newberry and Kalkaska!
Dog sled races are generally 6-dog, 8-dog or 12-dog teams.
Michigan Dog Sledding
1. UP200 Marquette Sled Dog Races | Top Winter Michigan Upper Peninsula Events
The UP200 Marquette sled dog races are held in Marquette, Michigan every winter.
When: February 15-19, 2024.
- The U.P. 200 and Midnight Run races leave from Washington Street in Marquette Friday, February 16, 2024.
- After an exhausting two day, the U.P. 200 sled dog teams will return to Marquette on Sunday, February 18, 2024 and cross the finish line at the Ojibwa Casino.
Where: The city of Marquette shuts down Washington Street in Marquette’s downtown district. The street is then covered with snow! Come cheer on the mushers and their sled dog teams!
The U.P. 200 is a premier 12-dog, sled dog race that draws competitors from across the United States and Canada.
The UP200 begins in Downtown Marquette and is an exhausting 220 mile journey to Grand Marais and then back to Marquette.
The UP 200, Midnight Run and Jack Pine 30 are incredible Upper Peninsula Michigan events!
- The UP200 is a qualifier for “The Last Great Race” - The Iditarod in Alaska.
Where to Watch the UP 200
IF you’d like a great spot to watch the U.P. 200 teams as they journey back toward Marquette, park at the Grand Marais Community Center on Saturday morning. It's the halfway point for the UP200.
- Lakenenland Sculpture Park on M-28
- Prince of Peace Church in Harvey
2. Midnight Run Dog Sled Race | Marquette to Chatham in February
When: February 15-19, 2024. Midnight Run races take off from Washington Street in Marquette Friday, February 16, 2024. The Midnight Run teams finishes their race around 9 am Saturday, February 17, 2024.
Where: Downtown Marquette to Chatham and back to Marquette.
The Midnight Run is an 82-mile race involving 8-dog teams. Midnight Run mushers will start in downtown Marquette traveling to Chatham and then return along the same trail, finishing at Ojibwa Casino on M-28 east of Harvey in Marquette.
3. Jack Pine 30 Race | Gwinn Michigan
Jack Pine 30 is a 26-mile race with 6-dog teams held on February 17, 2024
Race Start Time: 10:00 am on February 17, 2024.
Start Location: First Baptist Church on N Billings St., Gwinn, Michigan
Finish Location: Watch teams of dogs and local mushers cross the finish line at First Baptist Church on N Billings St., Gwinn, Michigan
4. Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race | January 2024 Dates
Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race – Co Rd 407, Newberry, Michigan.
When: Saturday January 6, 2024 and Sunday January 7, 2024.
Where: Muskallonge Lake State Park, 29881 Co Rd 407, Newberry, MI 49868
2024 Purse: $15,000!!!
The Tahquamenon County Sled Dog Race includes 5 different classes of races where you can come out and cheer the racers on, meet the dog sled teams, and pet the dogs in this all-day event! Event is held in January, see the updated Tahquamenon County Sled Dog Race dates here.
5. CopperDog 150, Keweenaw Peninsula
When: March 1, 2, 3, 2024
Where: The race heads west on Brockway Mountain on Sunday morning, March 3rd. Both CD150 and CD80 teams will finish on Main Street Calumet!!!
CopperDog 150, Keweenaw Peninsula. Saturday and Sunday Weight Pull and a Kid’s mutt race – the CopperDash.
6. Kalkaska Winterfest | Dog Sled Races
When: Awaiting 2024 dates. January 14-15, 2023
Kalkaska Winterfest – Kalkaska, Michigan. During the Kalkaska Winterfest, sled dogs overtake the town for the largest sprint sled dog race in the Lower 48 states.
Classes and distances range from 2 dog fun run at 2.1 miles to 10 dog teams racing 12 miles. Spectators can also enjoy craft shows, performances and family fun. Event is held in February, see the updated Kalkaska Winterfest dates here.
Keep Reading For Fun Things to Do in Michigan in Winter!
Don't be bored this winter! We have TONS of fun things to do in Michigan in winter...both inside and outside!
So guys, January in Michigan is packed with fun festivals (who doesn't want to watch people jump into ice cold water during Polar Bear Plunges?!), sleigh rides and events you don't want to miss!
Oh, and February...check out our list of Best Things to do in Michigan in February! Snowmobile races, Winter Carnival in the UP, snow parties, WINE...
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