Tips for a Dogsledding Excursion
Did you know that the Indigenous peoples of the North used sleds pulled by dog teams to carry supplies more easily over snow‑covered ground? The ingenuity of this method of transportation didn’t go unnoticed among the first explorers and European trappers, who quickly took it up. Today it’s a popular sport and a great way to get out into the woods in the winter, when the snow on the trees makes everything seem magical.
Where to Go Dogsledding near Québec City?
If you’d like to travel through the forest the same way our ancestors did, Québec City has plenty of vast natural landscapes perfect for a fun and festive dogsledding excursion. There are dogsled operators in Jacques‑Cartier, Portneuf, and Côte‑de‑Beaupré and on Île d’Orléans. Tip: If you’re looking for stunning mountain scenery, Jacques‑Cartier is the place to be.
What to Expect on a Dogsledding Excursion?
Ready for an adventure? Just pick your pleasure: a short 20‑minute ride, a romantic 2‑hour tour… Generally speaking, the activity takes about three hours in all. First you’ll meet an experienced guide, or musher, who will explain how to drive your sled on the well‑groomed forest trails. Then, you’ll be off, dashing through the snow! Note that although you’ll be the one holding the reins, you’ll always have a guide close at hand should you need help. Once you’re back at the lodge, you’ll get to warm up with a nice snack. And if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to visit the kennel before you leave.
If you’d like to share this unique winter experience with the whole family, children (2+ years) are usually allowed. Your kids will be amazed by how strong the dogs are! Of course, it’s best to check with the company before booking your excursion.
If you’re staying at a hotel, some companies offer shuttle service. Otherwise you’ll likely need a car to get there. And since you’re out enjoying the great outdoors, why not make a day of it? You can relax by the fireside and then head back out into the forest to try another winter sport, like snowshoeing. Many dogsledding companies offer other activities so you can make the most of your winter outing.
What to Wear for Winter Dogsledding?
Being long‑haired, huskies are naturally well‑dressed for the cold. And they’re the ones who will do most of the work as they pull the sleigh along the snowy trails. The person doing the mushing will have some light-duty work to do too, while the passenger gets to sit back and enjoy the ride. You’ll probably want to switch roles with your sled-mate along the way to get the most out of the experience, so it’s best to dress very warmly to keep out the wind and the cold. With multiple layers of warm clothing, you’ll enjoy dogsledding to the fullest, as a passenger or musher.
What’s the Best Time of Year to Go Dogsledding?
The magic of dogsledding is wrapped up in the beauty of winter. The dogs start pulling as soon as there’s enough snow on the ground to run the sleds safely along the trails. That’s usually around mid‑December, just in time to get into a holiday mood and make the most of the winter break. Things generally wind down in late March, or whenever the snow gets too thin to allow those beautiful huskies to run safely along the trails.