Kearney Dog Sled Races

Dog Sled Races and Adventures.

There’s no end to the fun you can have in the snow in Muskoka. We often talk about skiing and snowshoeing and snowmobiling, but this weekend you can experience winter with some four-legged friends.

It’s the 19th annual Kearney Dog Sled Races,just a short drive north of Huntsville. In addition to sledding and skijoring races, there’s a whole bunch of family fun happening: kid and mutt races, face painting, an antique snowmobile display and parade, chainsaw carving, musicians, and tons of food!

To get you in the spirit, here’s some history and info on dog sledding and skijoring:

“Sled dogs have coexisted and cooperated in partnership with humans for many thousands of years in the northern regions of North America and Siberia. Archeological evidence puts the earliest date at over 4,000 years ago. Some anthropologists suggest that human habitation and survival in the Arctic would not have been possible without sled dogs.” (International Federation of Sled Dog Sports.)

“The first written account of a race was an informal challenge between travelers on the route from Winnipeg to St. Paul in the 1850s. In 1886, the first Saint Paul Winter Carnival featured sled dog races and ski competitions as part of the festival to glorify the attractions of winter in Minnesota.”

The most common dog-sledding commands are: Hike (start pulling), gee (veer right), haw (veer left), easy (slow down), whoa (stop) and on by (pass another team or other distraction).

Skijoring is Norwegian for ski driving. In this sport, a dog (or dogs) pulls a cross-country skier using harnesses and a rope.

You don’t need to have a Husky to skijor! Any enthusiastic breed that can follow commands will do, including Pointers, Setters, Golden Retrievers, Labs, American Bull Terriers, and Mastiffs.

If you aren’t coming to Muskoka this weekend or want to try dog sledding and skijoring for yourself, check out these local businesses:

Call of the Wild Adventures

Snow Forest Adventures

Voyageur Quest

Wilderness Adventures

Chocpaw Expeditions

The Bike Shop in Gravenhurst

There’s still lots of winter left in Muskoka! If dog sledding and skijoring aren’t your speed, join us at Colonial Bay for other winter activities.

You can view the availability of our North Muskoka family waterfront cottages here

Embrace winter, we hope to see you soon.

The Howells
Colonial Bay Cottages
Huntsville, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada