The comments below are excerpted from the thank you letters and guest response forms that we receive after each Wintergreen dogsled trip. If you'd like us to put you in touch with one or more of our guests as references regarding their Wintergreen experience, just let us know.
Comments by year:
I didn't expect the wonderful food, and how wonderfully 'hands-on' we were with the dogs. Also didn't realize how much time the guides would dedicate to just our private group. Kristin L.
My daughter Hannah is 8 years old and had the time of her life. Both guides Kate and Jacob were great about making sure she was safe, warm, and having a good time. Jacob was very kind and caring to her. He gave her piggy-back rides and always made sure she was warm and not getting dehydrated. Marshall T.
Dogsledding has been a dream of mine and Wintergreen did a superb job of fulfilling that dream. I have amazing memories of the gorgeous and serene landscape, the fun, full personalities of the dogs, and the stories and experiences shared within the group. I loved every minute of it! Jeannie R.
Special attention from the guides was way more than expected. We met some great people and had a lot of fun together – didn’t anticipate this at all. We loved trekking into the boundary waters...Wow that was special. And not seeing the wolf pack in the wild topped off an already AMAZING day!! Teri S.
The setting was more beautiful than I expected; the lodging far more beautiful and spacious than I expected; I had no idea that meals would come to us - I thought we'd hike somewhere for meals. The cabin was unbelievably beautiful and far exceeded expectations. We had no idea that we'd have a gorgeous pine cabin all to ourselves. It was beyond superb. MaryJane H.
I expected to freeze, and not be able to complete the three days of dog sledding. But that wasn't the case at all. I was educated well on "layering" which means I was quite comfortable temperature wise while sledding and enjoyed the adventure very much. Lana F.
I was unprepared for the peace and beauty of the winter woods and I was pleased that we were able to handle the dogs so much, harnessing and unharnessing, feeding and caring for these wonderful animals. Jan S.
We wanted a hands-on trip but were worried that we would not get it. Happily we were allowed to be as involved as we wanted. Sheridan W.
Devin, our grandson chose this trip, and it was all and more than expected. We couldn't have asked for a better trip. Kate and Jacob were so professional and so much fun....they and the dogs made the trip! Nancy B.
Thank you for all your hospitality!!! Stephanie and I had a great time!! She was so surprised on how much fun she had. She was a natural on the sled. We love your dogs! We love the food! We love the experience! We love your family! Looking forward to seeing you again!! Jeanne H.
We had high hopes and they were totally met. The dogs, scenery, guide, and food were all amazing. Memories of campfire lunches out in the wilderness after a morning of sledding, with the beautiful and hard working dogs resting near by, will be just one of the many highlights of the year, if not our lives, for us. Such a great adventure! Kyle B.
Guide Kate was just superb in sharing her knowledge....a HUGE thank you to her for coming back to our cabin at night to alert us to the northern lights.....she was so great. Jason was wonderful with the kids....he poured himself into the final night skit and was just so good with young kids. Michele R.
My third trip! I didn’t think it could get any better the third time, but it did! The Wintergreen staff always amazes me! And I have new favorite dogs: Snarf, Bell and Odin Melba J.
The experience was way better than I had imagined. The guides were fantastic -- personable, skilled, attentive to our needs, great human beings. The food was superb. It was a real treat to have some time with Paul -- watching his slide show and hearing his stories. I can see how the culture of enthusiasm and care he's created has filtered down to through the whole organization. The dogs were really cool. I was surprised by how attached I got to them. James B.
I felt safe the entire trip and our guides were always checking to make sure we had enough to eat and checking whether we were comfortable and keeping warm. Donna N.
We really enjoyed our visit. We learned a lot and got some peak life experiences. Our guides were always looking out for us, and tailoring our experiences based upon the weather, the physical capabilities and our desires. And we loved the interaction with the dogs...they are indeed loveable characters. Bravo! Paul B.
I have Parkinson’s disease so we were a little apprehensive about the level of fitness required, but it turned out just right. Chris C.
Our dogsled camping adventure was a lot of team work and we were much more active than I had expected in setting up camp, getting firework, and getting dogs ready. It was great to be so immersed in the adventure! Katey L.
I am so thankful and appreciative that my amazing Wintergreen dogsled adventure finally occurred after 15 years of dreaming about it...perfect venue for celebrating my 50th birthday AND 5 year Breast Cancer Anniversary Chef Bernard est tres manifique!!! The special birthday cake he created for me was truly an amazing piece of work -- yummy! His attention to detail and the use of fresh veggies and fruits was such a treat - his presentation was superb! So friendly and sweet too! Dave and Amy did a fabulous job on breakfasts and weekend meals too - very impressive! Jane B.
Excellent is too small a word to cover the attention the guides gave to each and every one of us. We were given plenty of opportunities to challenge ourselves as we wished, yet we felt pampered if needed. Couldn't have asked for better! It's clear that the guides see the dogs as more than just working animals. They love and care for each of them as if they were family members. When I die, I want to be reincarnated as a Wintergreen sled dog. Audrey S.
I will keep coming as long as I can; the magic of the experience never dims. The dogs are incredible and the scenery, breath taking. Sr. Katherine K.
We just wanted to thank you once again for a GREAT trip! We really enjoyed having both you and Jacob as our personal guides. Bria and Max were excellent as well, and overall we had a fantastic experience. You put together fantastic trips, and you’ll definitely see us – and hopefully some of our friends – in the future. Tom & Laura T.
Driving home, my daughter & I had lots of time to talk about our trip. She'd sit there in the seat next to me looking at the photos on her laptop. She'd been pretty quiet for some time when I asked her how she was doing. She was sad it was over and volunteered that she didn't think things would ever be the same again. Her time out there blazing trails with you all & the dogs across the frozen white is indelibly etched in her memory now, as it is in mine. Howdy S.
I learned more about how different sled dogs are than other dogs, and learned more in general. Had a terrific group of people that all got along and had great stories. Had no worries about being cold but learned what was needed for winter weather comfort. Claudia J.
We would like to let you know that we had a great trip that far exceeded our expectations. We really enjoyed being able to participate in all aspects of dog sledding, from harnessing our dogs to feeding and care. Our guide, Ellen Root, was wonderful and made the experience even more enjoyable. She did everything possible to ensure our trip was the best it could be from breakfasts in the morning to evenings spent around the fireplace. Her enthusiasm, knowledge, and patience make her a valuable asset to the Wintergreen Team. The food provided by Chef Bernard was also outstanding and a highlight at the end of each day. You can be assured that we will be back to participate in another Wintergreen trip. Mike & Cheri H.
Thank you SOOOO much for such a wonderful experience! We had so much fun this past weekend! And Christina, John and Jake were so friendly, and warm and helpful. Belle, Eric and I had so much fun! Eric will be retiring in a couple years and we’re thinking strongly about moving up that way. We love the snow, the outdoors, the BWCAW. Thanks again for a great time! And thank you: Boomerang, Matilda, Gus, Baloo, and Sheena (And Sampson)! Geri S.
The guides were exceptional. They were friendly, informative and did all they could to make us feel at ease and make sure our trip met/exceeded expectations. They underpromised and overdelivered in that regard. They took the time to ask what we were interested. For example, Max stopped when we went through the marsh to show us cranberry bogs and we were able to pick frozen cranberries and pop them in our mouths. He introduced us to Canadian jays and encouraged us to put out our hands to feed them trail mix. Max and John secured sleep systems so that we could lay out under the stars on a -16 below night. They accommodated our every wish. Lou Ann S.
One of the many things I enjoyed was the commaraderie with the staff. They would just stop in at the cabin like neighbors and see what we were up to and how things were going. Sometimes they would stay and visit or play a board game we had brought with us. What a nice group of people. And Max and Peter were just too much fun. I could not believe how in a matter of minutes out on the trail, they could have a fire blazing and we could have such a nice lunch cooked for us. I did not know the birch bark was so great for starting fire. I never saw a pitcher plant before. We feel somewhat boastful now back at home about how much we learned about how to dress for cold and staying hydrated. I doubt we will ever be cold again now that we understand the science of staying warm. We will never forget this wonderful time we had. Our friends are all so envious. Mary Alice
We enjoyed the one-on-one attention we received from the guides and Paul and Sue. The Wintergreen staff was cordial, interested in the guests, and approachable. Our guides went over and above the call of duty to ensure we were comfortable and enjoying our stay. John offered us the use of his camera upon learning that our camera had malfunctioned. Kathy C.
The interaction with Paul and his family was extraordinary. What a down-to-Earth gentleman!!!!! It was our pleasure to meet him and share his experiences. First class operation, run by a first class man. Michael P.
The guides were always checking to ensure our hands and feet were warm and dry. And, they made sure we stay hydrated. Our guides were like ‘mom and dad’ away from home! The guides treated the dogs as if they were their own children. They were kind and always showed compassion towards the dogs. Cathy P.
It provided a mental escape and much needed break from the stress of work. I loved that I didn't have cell service out there either. It was the perfect combination of exercise, education and relaxation. Next time, I'll definitely go for a camping trip...for even more exercise, education and relaxation. Kelly H.
I expected the dogsledding would be lots of fun...and it was BUT the added joy was meeting such great people...Paul, Susan, guides and guests AND the greatest collection of books about the Arctic and Arctic Exploration that I have ever seen!! Amy H.
The dogs were sweeter & more loving then I was expecting. I truly enjoyed watching them and learning all of their personalities. Dogsledding is more fun than I was expecting. I really enjoyed the rough trails and the crazy parts. The calm lakes were a nice balance. But the trails for me were the best part. Ellen R.
The guides were sincerely intent on each member of our group having a positive, memory-filled experience. And they do that everyday! It would be easy to become kind of burned out. They are remarkably capable, attentive and adaptable to changes in the game plan. They really did an impressive job. Jill P.
Our guide was excellent and was very good at reading what we were capable of and when we needed assistance or were in our element. Ed B.
My highlights: (1) The utter tranquility of the north woods trails when the only sound is the dogs breathing and the sleds gliding (2) Surprised to be so physically tired at each day's end, but with a great dinner and deep night's sleep, we were raring to go the next day, just like the dogs. (3) The absolute joy in working with our doggers - each a distinct personality. Doug J.
Well, I went by myself so I wasn't expecting much in terms of friendship (I'm naturally kind of shy). But I ended up really bonding with everybody. I felt like I was a good help on the trip and I really have never had a vacation that exceeded how awesome this was. I had an amazing time. I am so grateful to Wintergreen and what you guys do. This trip really opened my eyes and I can't wait to do it again. Danielle W.
The guides were excellent; always positive, confident and looking after everyone and all the dogs. I enjoyed having the opportunity to be able to feed/water the dogs! I really appreciate that Paul took the time to chat with us and share his wisdom/knowledge/experiences. Plus, he knew all our names! That's a little detail that means a lot to a guest. It was even better than I expected! I've been on many, many adventure trips around the world and these four days rank at the top. Everything worked out so well, and I'm grateful that I was placed with such terrific guides. Carol K.
We covered more aggressive terrain than expected which we were happy about. We were able to manage the dog teams over obstacles thanks to training and help from our guides. We also saw 2 wild wolves on a kill and 3 bald eagles, wow! Charles B.
Chef Bernard's bread was delicious. His creme brulee was to die for. The best thing is that I could eat whatever I wanted and actually lost weight! Very spoiled with delicious foods, but very disappointed returning home and eating home cooking! Kathy V.
Wesley and I wanted to thank you once again for an amazing time! You all took such great care of us, especially when it came to Wesley's food allergies. We will be sure to pass along our stories to others and encourage them to visit you as well. John R.
I'm at a loss of words to express how delighted we were with our Wintergreen experience. Our family agreed it was one of the most wonderful things we've ever done. Everyone loved it and can't wait to return. It was perfect. It gave our kids such confidence and a great feeling of accomplishment. No other family vacation option compares with the Wintergreen experience -- it is so much better than sightseeing or touring! Amy P.
Perfect! Interesting, engaging and a great workout--it never felt strenuous while doing it but at the end of the day, back at the lodge, we felt well "refreshed." Preparation was just right--I liked how once we were on the sleds we were ready to go and could get right at it. We loved the cozy lodge. It was so comfortable to sit and relax after sledding. Eating family style was fun, too and helped us get to know the guides and guests better. We loved every meal! We felt so pampered and well cared for. Thank you for making sure that the food was of such high quality and healthy and nourishing. Valerie G.
The guides sacrificed their own comfort for ours and somehow summoned the energy and enthusiasm to treat each person in our group as the most important. How do they DO that?!? We loved our "mushers graduation" breakfast at Kate's! It was really special to be invited into her home and serenaded by her on her violin. A true Renaissance woman! Kim D.
It was clear that the guides love the dogs! So do we! And they have such interesting lives and tons of knowledge. We didn't ever hurt for things to talk about or laugh about. My belly hurt many times from laughing so hard! Nancy A.
The food was terrific! The chocolate mousse cake was out of this world. I'll be honest, I did gain wait on the trip. But that's okay, it's all part of the experience. Merrit C.
Kate was an excellent guide and ideally suited to our family. She quickly became friends with the entire family, especially our 2 girls and my wife Lena. Kate did many small, thoughtful actions which made meals, dog chores and dog sledding especially enjoyable for everyone. Thank you very much for selecting her to guide our family. She was a major part of why we had such a terrific time. Anthony S.
Unbelieveable service! Our guide was always reminding us about our clothes, "might want to open up your coats, dont get overheated", or, "might want to cover up as we stop for lunch". Always cognizant of weather conditions, and reminding us. I really can't say enought about Jason, always smiling, low keyed, playing his great music at each mealtime, joking with us, making us comfortable. He appears to really enjoy what he is doing. Patiently answered all our goofy questions, and listened to all our goofy stories! He brought his dog Lexie to the cabin and we just loved her too! His knowledge is vast, and he shared so many great stories. I have experienced many tour guides, and he was by far the BEST! Far exceeded my expectations! I was so comfortable, well fed, beyond expectations again, challenged, had loads of fun! At lunch we experienced the gray jays eating peanuts right from our hands! Mary Lou Z.
The Wintergreen "4-legged" team members are so well cared for and treated with respect -- more respect than most "2-leggers" will ever deserve. We had a few different guides with our teams and each showed their constant concern for ALL of the pooches. The guides and dogs definitely have a love affair going on. And we loved the lodge. Our room was spacious, our beds were extremely cozy, our bathroom was huge and cleaner than some supposed "5 stars" I've stayed in.... The rest of the house was, well, it was like being at home. Jennifer M.
I did not expect to come home with renewed self esteem. I am extremely proud of myself and my daughter for what we did. I tested my inner and outer strengths on my trip and I passed. I knew I was going to see some of the most beautiful places on earth, but I didn't expect to "feel" them, if that makes any sense. I feel like I am a part of my earth much more now. I didn't expect it to be such a spiritual trip for me. It was. I didn't expect to cry when I left.. but I did. My daughter and I agreed when leaving that we could have stayed another 4 days! Jennifer M
Thank you for the birthday mousse for my daughter. She loved it. The bread was amazing!!! We miss it already. We enjoyed the Chef's varied and creative vegetarian diet. All of the food was great; breakfast, lunch and dinner. Jennifer M.
We had even more time with the dogs than we expected. The trip was geared exactly to what we wanted to do. LynnAnne always gave us several choices so we felt a part of the planning. With a trip where animals are involved you are always worried that the care of the animals might not be up to par but at Wintergreen it is very apparent that the dogs are loved, greatly attended to and respected. They are the happiest group of dogs we have ever seen. My daughter petted every dog she came in contact with and they all greeted her with enthusiasm and showed a lot of human attention. Elozory Family
We selected the camping tip option and I had never slept outside in winter conditions so I was concerned about getting a good night's sleep. But I slept like a baby all three nights! And it was great that we could participate to our own level of interest and ability. I loved the challenge of the portages: helping the dogs get uphill in deep snow, maintaining control on the downhills, navigating narrow trails and sharp corners, working with the dogs through difficult stretches. I loved that our guides Chris and Tess were available if we needed help, but let us manage on our own when we chose. I loved the camaraderie of camp set-up, chores, meals, dog duties, and packing. I was able to draw deeply on both physical and mental resources...a deeply satisfying challenge from beginning to end. Our guides were terrific (and patient!) teachers. They were extraordinarily well prepared, and gave us tons of information in a way that was both comprehensible and enjoyable. They impressed the importance of safety on us at every turn. They did a thorough gear check and information rundown the first night. They gave us enough basic information so we could have confidence handling the dogs and sleds and gear, but I also appreciated that they let us learn on the go -- we had the chance to learn from our own experience along the way. They gave thorough answers to every question. They were upbeat, positive, encouraging, helpful, thoughtful, great to talk to and hang with. Fred C.
This trip had it all: snowy days that made it feel right at home while dogsledding, a sunny day that was just awesome and the stars came out that night which gave each day a perfect ending. The temperatures were just right---not too warm for the trails to turn to mush, but not too cold that it made it uncomfortable for us. Rose B.
Our afternoon dogsled day trip with Wintergreen was simply the best. We felt so exhilarated and happy that we actually got to be the drivers of our team. What superb dogs you have! We can appreciate all the hard work that goes into keeping them all fed, well, and happy. Your loving care for the dogs was surely evident. Jane K.
I did way more sledding than I thought we would do, which was GREAT!! Didn't know what to expect and it was an AMAZING Adventure!!! I never ate so much in 4 days. All the food was SSOO GOOD!! Our guide went above & beyond what I expected him to do. He's was amazing!!! He was easying going & very accommodating!!! Great personality!! Angela W.
Our best vacations ever! Bob D.
It was more adventurous and exciting than I ever thought. It was so unique to take part in caring for the dogs - wonderful! Lynn M.
If you are someone who wants something different to try, likes to challenge themselves, and never gives up - then this is the vacation for you. The four-legged furry friends will stay near and dear to your heart, the two legged staff are warm, helpful, and funny and the food Bernard cooks is always out of this world delicious. This vacation will stay in our memories for a life time! VirnaLisa S.
We had a BLAST. It simply could not have been any better. From start to finish, my group just made memory after memory. You run a top notch outfit! Mary G.
The cabin was much nicer than we expected, beautiful! The dogs were amazing -- we didn't expect to fall in love with time! Our guide Jason was top notch, very personable, full of great information, prepared wonderful breakfasts and had unbounded energy, patience & enthusiasm. Dennis G.
Before the trip, we worried about being cold and about the safety of our children. But we were very warm and our kids were very safe. We had no idea it would be SO enjoyable. Our children have experienced swimming with dolphins, hiking in the Rockies, rock climbing, traveling to places like Mexico and Hawaii and yet they said that dogsledding with Wintergreen was by far the best vacation ever. They are already talking about returning next year. Michele V.
Arriving from California with no snow camping experience under my belt, I was open to the adventure I've always dreamed about: dogsledding, and I was thrilled. Everything about the trip was well thought out and well executed. One of the best experiences of my life. Peggy Z.
It far exceed my expectations. Such an adventure! The people was so wonderful. Everyone in our advanced dogsled camping group had a great time being completely removed from the modern world. It was unbelievably refreshing. The guides ensured our safety at all time but I always knew help with there if we needed it. And they offered every camping trick to keep up very comfortable. I'll be back! Becky S.
Everything was fabulous. The guides were knowledgeable, kind and entertaining. The food was great. The lodge was comfortable and homey. And, of course, the dogs, sledding and natural environment were, quite literally, awesome. Dan K.
The minute we entered the lodge we were treated like family and felt at home. Tess and Chris - our guides - are very helpful, pleasant and understanding. The meals by Chef Bernard were exquisite. His bread pudding is the best!. Everyone was very professional and proud of their contribution. And then of course there are the most important stars-- the dogs. They are a friendly, excited group waiting to take you on a journey to enjoy the beauty of the woods and the quiet of the frozen lakes. You receive unconditional love from them and it's something you will always remember. Thanks again everyone for the outstanding job that you do. Wintergreen is a wonderful place to experience and enjoy what winter has to offer. I look forward to returning to enjoy a new adventure in your tranquil beautiful setting. Irene J.
The only thing that would have made the trip even better for me would have been to stay a couple more days!! You all do an excellent job of preparing people for the experience with the packing list and the gear checks. It was comforting to know you had gear available in case I did not bring the right gear. Tanja G.
My son and I had a great time. We had an adventure that we will cherish for a long time. Our guides "Goose" and John were great. They sought every opportunity to be helpful, were extremely patient with the beginner mistakes we made and were a great source of information about all aspects of dogsleding, the out of doors and local lore. They made great breakfasts. Your chef went out of his way to accommodate my vegetarian needs and his meals were wonderful. The hands on care of the dogs was a great experience. Don S.
I'm having severe dog sledding withdrawal symptoms. What would you advise? Sr. Katherine K.
The guides were spectacular. They were great at cooking breakfast, tending to the dogs, keeping everyone together on the trail, explaining the natural history of the northwoods as well as being flexible with our schedule. Carla G.
Kate took the opportunity to educate me about my clothing and steps to ensure warmth and safety. I forgot to bring a warmth layer for my legs and she let me wear her own thermal pants during my whole trip! The education she gave to me provided assurance of my safety in the cold and are tips I will now carry with me for life! Kate and Christina stayed with us 12-14 hours every day. They were continually attuned to our comfort and anticipated our needs. They were 1000% engaged with us and made our experience so wonderful. They are both so knowledgeable, discerning, wise, hard working, competent and fun! I knew they were in control of any and every situation that could arise, which put me at ease and able to enjoy the trip fully. Colleen S.
Kate and Christina took amazing care of the dogs. They also educated us in how to harness the dogs and allowed us to participate in harnessing and feeding them which enhanced our experience. They educated us in the DO's and DONT's of dogsledding which helped me to feel prepared. It is clear how much they cared about the health of the dogs. They handled every situation with poise and confidence. Colleen S.
Kate and Christina shared many interesting and informational stories and answered all of our many questions at all hours of the day. Their patience and stamina is amazing. They were simply wonderful and made our trip and stay awesome. Colleen S.
Our lodge was beautiful, spacious, and warm. It was nice to have the tea and coffee on hand whenever we wanted it. Our guides had all of our meals ready and snacks waiting for us. Colleen S
I loved my trip. Gotta say, I've never cross country skied, but I had the gist of what it was, I've never snow shoed, and for sure never dogsled, and I've never winter camped. So, this was great! I got everything in one trip, and the opportunity to test my endurance of the elements and the physical challenges of the day. The camping and sleeping out every night, I knew I could do, but the setting up camp in a new location everyday and sleeping out in the elements was an extra bonus. I didn't go into the trip with any expectations of what it would be like, but I came out with a great appreciation of the whole trip and the things I found I can do. Benequea H.
All five of us agree, this was one EXCELLENT adventure. Your beautiful dogs are clearly well-loved and cared for and they're such great characters! My husband and I are in awe after learning more about Paul Schurke's expeditions and diplomacy work, and our kids can't stop talking about how much they loved our guides and each of the dogs (on the way home we kept hearing "Best vacation EVER" "Wish we didn't have to leave" and "We're going back next year, right?"). Thanks to everyone at Wintergreen for helping us give our kids such great memories and experiences in our beautiful northern woods. First rate everything! Tracy M. family
I have participated in many other outdoor experiences in the US and felt they were all "manicured". This experience required real participation and teamwork, minimum hovering over us and some toil. I enjoyed it immensely. Laura B.
We had been on another Wintergreen trip a few years ago that was amazing! But this year with the snow on the trees we felt like we were dogsledding through Narnia. IT was absolutely magical. Kirsten D.
This was the most pure, unadulterated fun I have ever had on a trip, and I have traveled to many places all over the world. The scenery, the fresh air, bouncing on the sleds, playing with the dogs, the beautiful snow... it was magical. I felt like a child again! Thank you for an unforgettable experience. Michelle M
Our guides were very skilled, competent and friendly; our partners were nice people, eager to share their experiences with the rest of the group. The landscape is stunning, and the hospitality very warm. The experience was just wonderful. VeraRegina F.
Our guides were so very respectful of each other it was a pleasure to watch them interact. They worked as a partnership, their banter was full of good humor, were always mindful and focused and did it all in an effortless way. Wintergreen is fortunate to have people of this caliber. Pat B.
I wanted the gift of an experience for my daughter, not a "thing," and we experienced Wintergreen together. I saw her in a new light and appreciated her all the more for it. This trip opened our eyes to a world beyond our current experience and I'm so grateful for that. Brian C.
Reading over the website and looking at the pictures I tried to picture myself there. When I arrived it was just liked I expected except it was so much better. It was a rush being with the dogs and falling head over heels in love with them. The dogs are big bundles of love. They were so beautiful, so well cared for and they pulled their hearts out for us. Judie C.
The right combination of: friendly dogs, beautiful scenery, adventurous terrain, delicious food, experienced, responsive, and personable guides, participants who are in the similar fitness level, warm and comfortable place to relax after a hard work. I just didn't think I would get them all, but I did! Toshie S.
I enjoyed the experience much more than I expected. I thought I'd have more times when I would be at the max of my physical limits, but only had a few, and the guides were excellent in helping me do this. I was much warmer and more comfortable than I thought. The dogs, Sparky, Juno, Ricky, Jack and Knud, were fun to work with, and it was very interesting to get to know our team and learn to work with them better on each trip! Our guides, Dave "Goose" Gossage and Max Pittman, kept our group of family and friends engaged, dealt with each person well, became part of the group of friends in a very welcoming way! The guides put forth phenomenal effort! The guides and dogs taught me much more about how people and dogs can work together, and I learned much more about working dogs. The food was fantastic - filling and healthy! We come up to the Ely area each summer, and our guides gave excellent tips for new trails and activities to try. Everything exceeded my expectations! Mary D.
This was a truly amazing experience for us and a perfect thing for us to do as a family. The dogs are really the star of the show and I'm amazed at how attached we got to them in a short amount of time. Had Curley fit in our suitcase you may be down one dog right now! We'll certainly never forget this trip and fully expect to be back sometime soon. Thanks to Wintergreen's whole staff and in particular to Jason, the best dog sled guide we could hope for! Scott M.
We all came home a bit more confident and felt that we could try a bit more of a challenge next time. Even though my learning curve had to take a bit more of a rise, I was never made to feel awkward. The guides were patient and encouraging. I was very nervous going downhill a few times and they would stop on the first day or so and give pointers - by day three, I was a pro and did not want the trip to end! Ilene N.
I'm an athlete and my husband's a couch potato, but we both love dogs and dogsledding. The great thing for us at Wintergreen is the exclusive double-wide sleds on which 2 people can stand on the back together and drive the sled. On Wintergreen's special sleds, my husband can simply enjoy the scenic ride and control the brake while I hop on & off to walk/jog alongside from time to time, or I simply occasionally pedal kick to help the sled along. We both have a blast plus I get the bonus of a light workout along the way (and I think the dogs like me better because I'm part of their team!)
Jane L, Albany, NY
Great people, great food, beautiful surroundings, and the singing of the dogs...it doesn't get any better!!! This trip ranks with our trip to Antarctica! Excellent. And you French chef Bernard -- what a gift! After a days of dogs & nature, everyone eagerly looked forward to his mealtime creations. The beds were comfortable, the showers were hot, the sitting area was cozy and a perfect place for socializing with the other guests.
To save some money, we booked your lower-priced "good" trip. But it felt like a real luxury vacation! The accomodations were better than expected, and the FOOD (thank you Chef Bernard!!) was off-the-scale incredible! The breakfasts and trailside lunches prepared our wonderful guides were fantastic as well, and we really enjoyed having the guides sit down with us for meals. An outstanding vacation all the way around!
It was nice that we got to handle the dogs as much as we wanted. Within minutes of arriving, I was happily integrated into dog handling and kennel projects. It makes you feel a part of things and able to learn a different lifestyle instead of just being along for the ride. Wintergreen has such a relaxed atmosphere with such great staff and animals that I felt welcome and at home immediately. The trip was phenomenal, one I am still talking about and looking forward to repeating.
It was fun being so involved with handling the dogs -- helping to harness them up, feed them, etc. By the end of the trip we were enthusiastically helping to scoop poop too! It helped us feel that we were part of their team. We all liked seeing how dogs behave when they live and work together in big groups. They have complex relationships and lots of social drama that you don't see in a group of household pets. As the trip went on, the kids got more and more attached to the dogs. They spent the last couple hours just visiting with the dogs, sad to say goodbye.
The trip was amazing. It was both challenging and fun with an emphasis on teamwork and skill building. It was exactly what we wanted out of our Wintergreen experience. Plus, our guide LynnAnne was knowledgeable, friendly, and willing to answer all of our many questions ... and cook a great campside meal!
The world of working dogs and dog sledding is a different culture from the lapdog pets I've always lived with. These dogs, like our guides, are a special breed, and I say that with all admiration and respect. Our dog team was fantastic with unlimited enthusiasm and pull-power. They really do live to pull.
I've been with six other mushing operators and you have the best kennel operation -- the most organized and efficient I've seen.
I have been planning and hyping this trip for over a year and it still far exceeded my expectations. The warm friendlines and generosity of all of the staff (even the 4 legged ones) made this such a great experience. I have been telling everyone I know about this great experience and that it shoud be on everyone's "bucket list".
Our guide Peter did an excellent job leading the way to some interesting trails and making sure that we all sledded through them safely. Steve was just outstanding from every respect. He cooked breakfast and lunch but also told wonderful stories. He's the quintessential outdoorsman, very enjoyable to be around. The dogs were just great. Being dog owners ourselves, we could see that the Wintergreen staff puts a lot of love and time into keeping them healthy and happy.
Chef Bernard's meals were delicious and nicely presented. We especially liked the breakfast souffle and the chocolate mousse. We were amazed at the dogs - how friendly and loving they were. We expected to be nervous around some of these powerful animals, but instead felt completely comfortable and enjoyed their company.
I was expecting a good time, but this was way better than good - this was the best trip I have been
on. And that includes Peru, the Coco's Islands and the Galapagos. It was both physically challenging, and awe inspiring. The staff were so accommodating and personable. I discovered that when you are on a Wintergreen trip, they treat you like a member of the family as well as a guest.
I was so impressed with guides' close "personal" relationship with the dogs and their unflagging respect for them. They NEVER used a sharp tone of voice or harsh word...ALWAYS firm yet friendly--just like parents should be :-)
We can't say enough about our experience with the parent/daughter trip. Mike & I were there 15 years ago for our honeymoon and have dreamed about bringing our children "someday". This trip was our dream come true as it was designed with families in mind. We haven't stopped talking about all of our adventures, our dogs, our guides, the food, the accomodations, the yurt, etc., to everyone we come in contact with, whether they ask or not! :-) You guys Rock!!
Everything was perfect - accomodations, food (Chef Bernard is a genuis), our wonerful guides, Bria and Ellen, and of course the dogs. Each one is so unique, from Jupiter, who whenver we stopped flung himself on his back and howled till we sledded again; Belle who is a cannine goddess; Patches, the best lead dog; Hardy, handsome and steady; Lewis who loved to pee on every tree; Ellwood, the strong silent type. I adored Betty, Buddy, Izzie and Nellie too. This is a trip I will NEVER forget! Thank you for your wonderful hospitality.
It was a wonderful experience. There were 6 of us in our group and we were great friends within hours. The ambience of the lodge gave us a great feeling of relaxation. Lexie, our hostess certainly helped to make us feel right at home...as long as we petted her. Our guides, Jason and Kate, couldn't have been better hosts, greeters, care takers, advisors and all around neat people. I have never tasted such great food as Chef Bernard provided for us. What a treasure he is! Meeting the dogs was a highlight and to have the same dogs with us for the three days was perfect. Their exuberance on the trail was so much fun to see. It was so exciting to be out in the beautiful country side with the sun shining on the snow and to see the spectacular stars at night, that looked so close as if we could touch them.
I really miss the dogs. It's amazing how unique each dog is. I loved them all, with all of their personality quirks. It's amazing the connection I felt with each of them in such a short amount of time. And while we didn't speak the same language exactly, I definitely felt there was communication between human and dog. In the eyes. You could tell. For example, when Lufa would look back from the front...and ask ME, with her eyes, if I was ready...if we could go now already...if i was going to help up the hill...etc. And I loved the howling "pep rally" the dogs would do right before launching... when they are at "ready" stance. I kind of feel like I gained some dog whispering skills. I was pleased how quickly I learned to harness the dogs.
THANK YOU!!!! We had an AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING time on our camping trip! It was the most awesomest thing we've ever done (and we're pretty well-traveled). And it was certainly the coolest (quite literally) way to bring in the New Year and Decade. Certainly it was challenging sometimes...with the cold and snow... but the challenge is what makes the adventure! We LOVED ALL of it!!! The diversity of each day was great -- first day was basic trail skills '101'--a confidence building day. The second day, crossing the frozen lakes and into the boundary waters, was incredible. I will always remember coming in to base camp from across the lakes with the full moon at our backs. There are no words to describe the sense of wonder. The third day was tough, but a great adventure nonetheless. We earned our keep that day! Saying goodbye to the dogs when we sledded back to Wintergreen houses brought it all to a close for us. It was a bittersweet so long!
OUR EXPERIENCE WAS EVERYTHING IT WAS BILLED TO BE (AND IT CAME VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!) OUR BOYS, AGES 6 AND 8, HAD THE TIME OF THIER LIVES WITH THE DOGS AND IN THE OUTDOORS. JASON DID AN OUTSTANDING JOB OF ENSURING THEIR WARMTH AND COMFORT, AND OF TEACHING THEM THE HOW'S AND WHY'S OF EVERYTHING HE DID. ADDITIONALLY, HE MANAGED TO KEEP THESE VERY ADVENTUROUS AND BOLD LITTLE GUYS SAFE WITHOUT SQUELCHING THEIR ENTHUSIASM OR ENERGY. YOUR CLOTHING LINE IS OUTSTANDING -- I DON'T KNOW THAT I'VE EVER SPENT EXTENDED TIME OUTSIDE WITHOUT BECOMING COLD, AND NONE OF US HAD ANY DISCOMFORT ON THIS TRIP
"My wheel dog was a hoot! While the rest of her crew were focused completely on pulling, she kept looking back at me with a smile hoping for another pet and a belly rub. You could just tell that if she worked for a large corporation, she'd spend most of her day making personal phone calls,"
Sandy V., FL
It was better than anything I could have imagined. Lots of fun and good times. The food, dogs, and guides were great. The weather was perfect. We loved our time in Minnesota and are already working on our return trip.
C. Snyder, Texas
The meals were "out of this world" delicious. Plus Chef Bernard graciously accommodated all of my picky-eater daughters quirky food requests!
Alison N., IL
Sharing the great room in the lodge each evening with everyone was really fun, like being back in college (but cleaner!) with guides and guests just hanging together and in the mornings in their P.J.s. It was so very casual, everyone went about a normal pace, non-pressuring pace of life there. That was especially nice for me since I can be a little shy - but everyone was extremely warm and friendly and more than inclusive. Our guide Jason even shared some of us "Judge Wickersham's" Alaskan Sourdough Starter after treating us to his wonderful sourdough pancake breakfast. We nicknamed our starter "Jason" and are spreading him all over Florida!"
It was a wonderful experience. I loved the dogs. I loved the adventure of sledding though the wooded trails and then gliding across the lakes taking in all the beauty of the north woods.
Our guide LynnAnne couldn't have been more "others-centered," caring for our every need before we even knew we had a need! And we totally enjoyed staying in one spot for the entire trip. Great camaraderie and what an awesome cabin! We got to know the other guests on our trip so well that we're going on a canoe-camping trip with them this summer!"
"The weather was wonderful and the dogs were amazing - we all fell in love with each one!! The trails and landscape were breathtaking. Just when we thought it couldn't be more beautiful, we would turn a corner to yet another heart-stopping view." Sue Foote
The sledding and the guides were fantastic, and I dont know how you managed to special order our perfect weather. The group size was perfect, so that we could all interact with each other without any feeling left out.
I came away with a much better understanding of the strength, intelligence, and soul of the dogs. As I travel I come into contact with people who make a lasting impression. Now I will add to that list not only your guides Dave, Amy, Ellen, Bernard and Tim who worked so hard to ensure that we have a safe and memorable trip, but also the dogs Steve, the strong one, Jack, the snarling teenager, George, the hard worker, Shelby, quiet and steady, Ramona, shy and smart, and Hobbs that just goes out and does his job. We left with many good memories of beautiful scenery, new friends, good food. It was a great adventure. Thanks,
The food was not only excellent but Chef Bernard was so personable - he even answered all of our cooking questions and gave us some great tips - he needs to come out with a cook book with information about Wintergreen (like Gunflint Lodge has done!!)
I was very sad to leave and actually contemplated staying for another round. I watched the next group harness up and leave...and I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a tear in my eye when Orion, Buster , Ginta (the best 30 lb. sled dog ever) and my little psycho dog friend Juno headed across that lake.
The awesome beauty and simplicity of the whole undertaking was fantastic. In testimony to the overall result of the planning and execution of the "event," I asked one question to another participant as we drove back to Ely, "Can you believe that amazing experience really happened?"
Dennis Ford, Advanced Dogsled & Ski Camping Adventure
I am a picky eater and was worried about the food, but I was very pleasantly surprised...Bernard is wonderful!!!
Our guides were great with the dogs - both in the yard and on the trail. I was impressed that the guides knew each of the dogs by name and their relative strength in pulling as well as which dogs would work well together. When we stopped for lunch, having a good place for the dogs to rest was clearly important. I felt the dogs were treated as part of the entire Wintergreen team - well loved and treated accordingly - not just as a means to an end. I appreciated being able to be part of their care - morning and afternoon.
This was one of the best trips I've ever taken. Anyone can go the beach - why not do something totally different? P.S. The food was great!!!
I had never been anywhere near a dogsledding experience so wasn't sure how I would do at my ripe old age of 61 years but I surprised myself! Pleasantly! I live in Florida with hot and humid weather (which I really don't like) and found the Minnesota temps while we were there (20-30's) extremely comfortable and invigorating and found the dogsledding comfortably challenging.
The lodge was better than any 4-star rated hotel. The guides were very friendly & helpful. And I was surprised how well I adapted to the MN weather (after living in CA for many years!). I guess I still have some MN blood left!
I cannot give enough kudos to your guide Amy. She was a wonderful match to our family. She solved my daughter's comfort issues. She provided great suggestions for the kids (e.g. to try dog-jouring). She was very pleasant, patient, and easy-going; she has excellent people skills. She gave complete instructions and additional info about the wilderness. She obviously loves the dogs. I was very impressed with the level of commitment of Amy and the other guides to outdoor life, wilderness protection and awareness, and love of nature.
We knew it was going to be awesome, but we didn't expect it to be THAT awesome.
Birgit Von Pelser
The lodging was terrific, food was amazing and lots of it, our guides were professional, courteous, funny, friendly, good cooks, great story tellers, hard workers, caring to the beautiful dogs and never were frustrated or irritated in any way. Their attitude made us feel like special guests and not like it was something they did every week over and over.
This was one of the best trips I have ever been on. I have traveled all over for 29 years. Both of our guides were competent and relaxed. If they would have said "Paul left his briefcase at the North Pole we have to go get it" , I would have followed them there! I felt like I was traveling with my friends. The gear was great and I was warm the whole time even though it was zero one night. The level of involvement with the dogs was fantastic and more than I could have hoped for.
We had a wonderful time. The scenery was pristine. Gliding through the trees and sparkling snow was as pleasurable as crossing the wide open lakes with beautiful vistas. It was especially fun to see these dogs doing what they love to do....pull....such excitement as they barked and lunged with their desire to go forward as a team. Lufa, Poncho, Taskis (or Moki), Shelby and Oden.....Ready Hike! The dogs were all terrific and 7-month Oden was so eager and lovable. Holding a Canadian Inuit puppy was also special experience. The trip gave me perspective away from the busy work days at home. The guests and guides were all such nice people as well. Bernard is an excellent Chef and the meals tasted especially good after a day outside dog sledding.
The dogs are the stars of the show and boy did they shine! There is a mutual love and trust between guides and dogs that you just cant fake!
This was our 4th trip. I can't believe that it just gets better and better. We have been on several other adventures, but a Wintergreen adventure is the best there is - that is why we have been there 4 times and hope to return. (if I could afford to do it every winter - I would). Jason and Goose are the best guides. The DOGS (dawgs) are AWESOME. They are all so lovable that you want to try to sneak some of them home with you.
For us, it was a milestone in life, the type that finds you asking yourself years later, Did that happen before our Wintergreen dogsled vacation, or was it after that?
At the end of the trip, LynnAnn downloaded everyones digital photos from the trip, put them all on CDs, and gave CD to each person/family. This was a WONDERFUL bonus for everyone!!! Thank you so much! I wish the leaders of all trips I take would do that!
We were afraid we would be cold, but the clothes did the trick. We worried about not being in good enough shape for the demands of dogsledding, but it was so much fun, we didn't notice that we were working, too! We didn't know the dogs would be as loving as they are. And how can you even imagine such beauty until you see it for yourself?
Wintergreen is such a comfortable place to hang out it. While the trip description indicated we might be traveling to other lodges, I actually appreciated the homebase and not having to pack up 1/2 way through an already too short of a time there. Ann Waters
The dogs are clearly a priority. Love was everywhere.
It was much better than expected: the cold was not an issue, the guide was very knowledgeable and flexible, the doggers were wonderful (fell in love with them and didn't expect that). Jason was very present to us and yet at the same time he was unobtrusive. We were traveling with friends and he knew when to give us time to ourselves.
I am back in Boston in the swing of things at work. There's not one day that I don't talk about my dogsledding adventure with Wintergreen.
It was one of the best trips I have been on. Frani and I both so thoroughly enjoyed this trip!! I seriously vacation at least once a year and have not experienced such a fun, rewarding and unique trip, ever. Many thumbs up!!!!
The guides were just wonderful about staying totally focused on our warmth and comfort....the atmosphere and guides were soooo down home and friendly....we never felt like "dorks" when we did things that were not so smart either on the trail (like run-away sleds or falling off our sled or getting our sled stuck) or trying to get our clothes and shoes on.
It was so much more enjoyable than I expected..........a perfect 10!............one of the highlights of my life. I left my heart at Wintergreen!!
The best part was to give the dogs hugs!!! I cried on the last day, saying goodbye to the dogs. ... Even now as I write this, it makes me teary eyed. They were all so lovable. The food was fantastic!!! Bernard created wonderful meals and desserts like you would find at five star hotels! Even our lunch out in the woods on the open fire was great. You really do a great job!
I wish mom would make food at home like the stuff we ate on our dogsled camping trip.
Cami, 12, Oregon
"The guides, participators, and dogs are very nice and friendly. And the adventure is exciting. This experience really touches me very much."
Ping Tzu, Taiwan