Dog Sled Trips with Musher Erik Simula
Experience a dog sledding adventure into the deep wilderness at Bearskin Lodge on the Gunflint Trail this winter. Dog sled trips into the Superior National Forest on the edge of the BWCA wilderness will be offered on specified weekends or week days in 2015. Reservations ahead of time are recommended. Tours allow participants the opportunity to ride the runners, an exciting way to experience what it is like to drive the sled and dog team.
This is not a “toss you in the sled, let’s go for a 10 minute ride” type of trip, like most of the dog sled rides in Minnesota are these days. Erik treats each interaction as an educational experience. Each trip involves extensive time getting to know the dogs and the musher, and learning about the dynamics between them. You may choose whether you want to ride warmly bundled in the sled, ride on the sled runners, or play a role in driving the team — or perhaps you would like to have all these adventurous experiences during your trip. This year’s team is a group of 7-8 dogs with an interesting alpha male/alpha female hierarchy. You’ll enjoy learning about their dynamics.
Planning notes for your adventure:
- Our dog teams can pull a group of about 350 pounds, plus the weight of the musher.
- When you make your reservation we will ask for the weights of your group members and help you plan the trip accordingly. In the past there has been some flexibility on this weight limit, but the team this winter is slightly smaller. If Erik thinks a pair of riders may go over the weight limit, you can do the interpretive time together, and then go out individually — this is a always the best way to get memorable photos!
- Our mushing program takes one dog sled out on a trip at a time. If your group includes a larger number of riders than will work for one trip, we can schedule back-to-back trips. There will be an initial group orientation, then the rest of the group can enjoy our warm lodge or wait in the tipi while the first group goes out. Plan to get photos as your friends or family members take off and return in the dog sled.
- You will need to dress warmly and wear boots or footwear appropriate to walking in snow. Check the temperature outside when you dress for your dogsled trip day. We may be able to provide you with extra layers, but you will get the most enjoyment out of your trip if you are dressed warmly.
- Need extra clothes? Bearskin’s gift shop sells hats, gloves, long underwear, and warm socks. Another option, especially if you are headed back to a warm climate where you won’t need heavy clothes again: Stone Harbor in Grand Marais can rent you very warm clothes by Wintergreen.
2014-2015 winter dog sled trip options:
1 hour trip, 8 dog team
Receive an introduction to mushing. Get to know the dogs and the musher, learn about the social dynamics of the dog team, help harness the dogs, and ask every question you’ve ever wanted to know about dog sledding. Travel eastward towards the BWCA. Actual distance covered will depend on snow conditions, but the entire experience will last about an hour.
Rates for trip: $95 for adults — $75 for kids under 12 – $140 for single riders.
Trip times: call our front desk for the current schedule
- Trip dates:
December 26 – January 1
January 16 – 19
February 13 – March 22 (or for as long as snow conditions will allow)
Other dates still being determined
Erik will be available for trips every day from December 26th – January 1st, and over the President’s Day Weekend.