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Feed your soul with REAL fun

Canned vacations are like canned food -- uninspiring. You deserve an authentic experience. Ski trips are common as creamed corn, but there's only one dogsled vacation package -- at Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge. Refresh, relax, rejuvinate in the sparkling snowscape of our northwoods winter. Enjoy our fun-loving guides, sumptuous meals, lovely lodging and our furry 4-legged friends. We'll keep you warm, cozy & smiling! Our guests consistently rank Wintergreen as their "BEST VACATION EVER."

FLASH NEWS We've got SNOW!  An EARLY WINTER is well underway. Book your trip now!

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For over 35 years! ...we've offered these dogsled options:

Lodge-based Trips Camping Trips Arctic Trips Photo Trip View All Trips Day Trips

Which to choose?  Start by considering our most popular option, which is outlined below:

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Deluxe 4-Night Dogsled Vacation Package

  • Offered each Wednesday to Sunday, December through March
  • Best suited for couples or pairs, open to complete beginners
  • Features 3 days of guided "Mush Your Own Team" dogsledding fun
  • Includes all meals, lodging, guides, dogteams, gear -- everything!

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And There's More....

Your itinerary includes a visit to Ely's famous International Wolf Center, a chance to try some skiing, snowshoeing & our Finnish wood-fired sauna, northwoods stories around the fireplace and, with a little luck, the magical dancing Northern Lights in our stunning night sky.

But our beloved dogs are sure to steal the show. They're friendly, handsome, love to be petted and love to pull.

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A Global Top Spot
Easy to Get here & Easy to Dress for

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National Geographic ranks our northwoods among "the world's most beautiful places." Getting here is easy. Flights from anywhere connect through Minneapolis (or Chicago) to our Duluth airport. From there, the Ely Shuttle van will bring you to our lodge (OR car rentals from Minneapolis are cheap & the drive is scenic!)

Gearing up for your trip is easy. We'll guide you through your clothing needs and, if needed, outfit you with our rental parkas, snow pants & warm boots. OR purchase our  Wintergreen Northern Wear "Made-in-Ely" 4-season jackets, pants & tops at your guest-discount pricing.  We also offer warm mitts, hats, socks & thermalwear in all sizes.

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After two decades of planning accommodations and food for our guests, we think we've found the perfect balance: lodging loaded with character yet conscious of comfort... and meals that satisfy your body's hard-earned appetite while stimulating your imagination.


Our Lodging Arrangements

The lodges we use (our own Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge and the retreat cabins at nearby Timber Trail Lodge) are small, intimate facilities in lovely lakeshore settings that feature fireplaces, featherbeds, full bathrooms and private bedrooms. Both are on the same lake chain (White Iron & Farm), are within 5 miles of each by road, about 10 miles from Ely and are connected by dozens of miles of beautiful dogsled trails.

Our 3-night & 4-night "Good," are based at Wintergreen Lodge or Timber Trail's White Pine Cabin.  Our "Better" trips are based at Wintergreen Lodge or Timber Trail's deluxe Diamond Willow retreat.  Our "Best" trips are based at Timber Trail's premier "Wintergreen" and "Evergreen" cabins. Our camping trips generally begin at Wintergreen and end at Timber Trail. We arrange to shuttle luggage and vehicles as needed between the lodges. Lodge dress is very casual (loafers & a sweat suit are just fine!)  The rooms we use have lots of character & lots of quiet -- although phones, tv or internet services are available if needed and cell phone reception is available in most areas.


Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge

Tucked on a remote, pine-studded point of White Iron Lake, our little lodge includes a central dining/lounge/fireplace area, 3 upstairs bedrooms with a reading room and full bathroom, and 3 downstairs bedrooms with 2 full bathrooms plus half bath. Nearby is our sled dog kennel and wood-fired Finnish sauna.  Bedrooms feature down comforters, Hudson Bay blankets and the original watercolor paintings from the classic dogsledding book "Born to Pull." The Wintergreen peninsula adjoins a wilderness area with dozens of miles of varied trails used almost exclusively by our groups. Wintergreen is the north country's only exclusive dogsled lodge. In fact we're only open December through March. We do one thing here and we do it very well: hosting people like you on great winter vacations. 


Timber Trail Lodge

A variety of cabins are available for our use here, depending upon trip type and group size. Most often our BETTER ("Deluxe") trip guests enjoy the spacious Diamond Willow Retreat while our BEST ("Star of the North") trip guests are indulged with the new luxury lakeshore Wintergreen & Evergreen cabins (stone fireplaces & jacuzzi master bath).  Our GOOD trip guests and camping groups generally stay in Blue Spruce or White Pine group cabins. For private family groups, Aspen or Basswood cabins often work best.  For evening talks and films we sometime gather in Timber Trail's main lodge with its lounge and stone fireplace. Visit their website at http://www.timbertrail.com/.


Wintergreen Meals

You're in for a treat! Wintergreen's food service is passionately overseen by our professional chef and assistants.  Our kitchen crew knows food. And they knows exactly what our guests want after an invigorating day of dogsledding -- an interesting, tasteful meal lovingly prepared with fresh top-quality ingredients...and plenty of it! We call it "comfort food with class."

Meals are served family-style and guests & guides dine together.  We are more than happy to accommodate any dietary requests including low fat, diabetic, allergies, vegetarian, vegan, gluten &/or lactose free (and be sure to let us know if your trip falls on a birthday or other event that calls for a special dessert!)

A couple sample menus: almond-breaded chicken with light curry sauce and rice, sliced roast pork with apricot sweet & sour sauce, cous cous, oven roast potato or corn fritters, baked caramel custard with almond lace cookies. We're happy to provide vegetarian options (and we do so regularly since some of our guides are vegetarian!)

Wintergreen does not have a liquor license but guests are welcome to bring their own wine or other adult beverages. Beer (and sodas) are available for purchase at Timber Trail's snack bar. Dinners served at Timber Trail meals are catered at Wintergreen and delivered. 

An indoor lunch is served the first dogsledding day of each trip (except 3-night trips)  The other days include a trailside campfire lunch with soup, grilled sandwich and various snacks served by your guides, who happen to be great cooks!  Breakfast is their chance to shine and they prepare a bountiful meal every morning with fresh fruits, hot entrees & baked items, juices, yogurts, cereals, breads, local jams and great coffee.

 

Celebrating 38 Years on "The Road Less Traveled"

Call it an epiphany, but ever since our first dogsled trip in 1979, winter has been a way of life. We’ve learned to stay warm, have fun and follow our dreams in some of the world’s most wintery places. And three decades of crafting our own clothing has kept us cozy -- along with fans of Wintergreen Northern Wear, our functional, distinctive 4-season activewear that's "Made with Pride" in Ely, Minnesota.


MILESTONES......

1979:  Wilderness Inquiry, a non-profit endeavor that Paul Schurke and Greg Lais founded to provide Boundary Waters canoe trips for disabled persons, became so popular that they explored dogsledding as a means of providing access to the winter wilderness as well. Voila! The trips were a hit and Paul was hooked. So was his assistant guide Susan Hendrickson.

1982: Following marriage and a honeymoon in the Boundary Waters, Paul and Susan team up with Will Steger to help run his Lynx Track Winter School near Ely, MN, teaching dogsledding and wilderness skills to college and community groups.

1985: As Will and Paul make plans for a dogsled expedition to the North Pole, Susan develops her design talents by crafting Eskimo-style apparel from new synthetic fabrics. Susan’s first clothing designs are field-tested and perfected on numerous polar training trips. Daughter Bria is born.

May 1, 1986: Paul, Will, Ann Bancroft and their team reach the North Pole in the first confirmed trek to the top of the world without resupply. Deemed a “landmark in polar exploration,” their epic journey results in a National Geographic cover story, a television special and their best-selling book, "North to the Pole". Susan’s apparel kept them warm throughout the 1,000-mile, 2-month journey, even as temperatures dipped to -75 º.

1990: Paul Schurke and Russian colleague Dmitry Shparo lead the Bering Bridge Expedition from Siberia to Alaska to help reconnect arctic cultures long separated by the Cold War. The US-Soviet border in the Bering Strait that had been firmly closed and known as the “Ice Curtain” for most of this century is now reopened. Presidents Bush and Gorbachev congratulate the Bering Bridge team for its role in the process. The expedition is documented in a National Geographic television special "Thawing the Ice Curtain" and Paul's award-winning book, "The Bering Bridge." Paul is invited back to Russia to launch the Soviet-American Friendship Treks, an exchange program involving outdoor adventures.

1992: Wintergreen makes waves on the home front as well. Susan Schurke’s apparel enterprise outgrows her garage, the lodge and a rental shop and finds its own home on Ely’s mainstreet. It grows to include a retail and catalog operation, 40 employees and 3 buildings, including our “Kids in the Woods” log cabin. Along the way Susan receives the regional “Entrepreneur of the Year” award. Son Peter is born. Daughter Berit follows in 1993.

1997:  Paul leads a team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences to the North Pole. Two years later, he heads that way again with a team that includes Admiral Robert Peary’s great grandsons.

1999:  Paul’s fifth North Pole trek helps raise a million dollars for Great Aspirations, a family-focused education charity founded by team member Doug Hall. Team members included Corky Pererson who, at age 70, became the oldest American to reach the North Pole on foot.

2000:  In May, a Wintergreen team traverses the new Canadian Arctic territory of Nunavut, reaching the magnetic North Pole. In July, a Wintergreen group pioneers the first-ever eco-trek to the Russian arctic ’s premier wildlife refuge Wrangel Island. Extremely isolated and, by arctic standards, unusually lush, Wrangel is home to some of the arctic’s greatest concentrations of musk oxen, caribou, polar fox, snow geese, snowy owl, walrus and polar bear.

2001:  A Wintergreen group dogsleds across northwestern Greenland with the Inuit descendants of North Pole discoverers Robert Peary and Matthew Henson. The trek is documented by the National Geographic TV film "Ice Rider." Wintergreen assists in the production of a Dateline NBC/Discovery Channel film on the 1914 Karluk Expedition, one of the most tragic chapters in American polar exploration history.

2002:  March: Outside magazine ranks Wintergreen among the "Top Ten" most innovative and influential outdoor companies of the past quarter Century and ranks Wintergreen's Greenland trips among the "Top 25" adventures of a lifetime.

April/May: Wintergreen returns to Greenland with a crew from Smithsonian Magazine.

June: Wintergreen pioneers a rafting/hiking trek on the volcanic Siberian peninsula of Kamchatka.

2003: The NBC Today Show features Wintergreen and NBC Dateline premieres "Ice Master," an arctic docu-drama shot in part at Wintergreen.

2004: Smithsonian Magazine features Wintergreen's Greenland trips as it's January cover story. In a February photo feature titled "Mush with the Best!," National Geographic Adventure magazine cites Wintergreen Dogsledding Vacations as the best in the business.

2005: Wintergreen Northern Wear opens its second store, in Duluth. Paul receives the “Environmental Hero” award from the National Wilderness Society for his conservation efforts.

2006: Peter Schurke (14) joins Paul on his 6th North Pole trek.  A Wintergreen group pioneers a dogsled trip across the Norwegian arctic island of Svalbard.  Wintergreen is featured in the PBS-TV series “Great Adventure Lodges of North America,” and in the Discovery channel feature “The Vacation You Need.”

2007: Wintergreen helps host the regional “Step it Up” rally for national action on climate change. Peter Schurke (15) departs for a year abroad as a foreign exchange student in Norway while the Schurkes, in turn, greet an Inuit student from Greenland (Aputsiaq) who will be staying at Wintergreen for the school year.

2008: Paul led expeditions across the high Arctic Island of Svalbard, northern Greenland and from the Russian Polar Ice Station.

2009: Wintergreen Northern Wear, which has grown to a crew over 40 talented production, sales & management staff, is sold to another family.

2012: Paul & his team retraced Ernest Shackleton’s 1915 Endurance Expedition on a ski-mountaineering trek across Antarctica’s South Georgia Island. 

2014: Paul & colleague Dave Freeman, National Geographic’s “Adventurer of the Year,” retraced Pres. Theodore Roosevelt’s 1914 first descent of the mythical “River of Doubt” in the western Amazon.

2015: Wintergreen Northern Wear is repurchased by Sue & Paul and they begin rebuilding the business after recent new owners let it go. Paul's & Will Steger's best-selling 1986 book, North to the Pole, is re-released in an updated "Legacy Edition" by the Minnesota Historical Society.

2016: The History Channel films at Wintergreen for a proposed documentary on polar expeditions. Paul & Sue lead a dogsled trek across the high Arctic's Svalbard Island, host an Amazon visit with members of the Roosevelt family, and host a trek across Tanzania in East Africa with the non-profit adventure program they helped found, Wilderness Inquiry.  The rebirth of Wintergreen Northern Wear now supports nearly two dozen staff.

Wintergreen guide Amy FreemanOur Dogsled Staff and Expert Guides

We are very proud of the "Wintergreen Team," which includes founder/director Paul Schurke, our dogsled guides, our chef, food service and housekeeping staff (and of course our "4-legged" kennel staff!). They are dedicated professionals, most of whom have been with us for many years.

Our guides are not only superbly skilled instructors, but are also gifted naturalists and educators who enjoy sharing northwoods lore with our guests -- about timber wolves, moose & bear, winter stars, northern lights, the Ojibway Indians of this region and the French Voyageurs who once traveled these woods.  Time and again, our guides have been ranked "best in the business."  In fact, our guides Dave & Amy Freeman are rated National Geographic "Adventurers of the Year" and were featured on the NBC Today Show for their "Year in the Wilderness" trek & have authored a new book on their wilderness advocacy adventure.

Our guides are multi-talented: LynnAnne is building her own timber frame home.  Ellen & friend Van run a Community Supported Agriculture farm (CSA) to provide vegetables for our northwoods community (& host a summer "picnic operetta" in their fields!). Becca also runs a CSA with help from guides Meagan & Elliot. Christina is an ordained minister who serves inner-city congregations.  Brian guides summer bicycle trips in Alaska and biked back to Wintergreen from Juneau last fall. Courtney's family lives off-grid deep in the woods. Bria guides mountain climbing trips for the National Outdoor Leadership School. Peter is an Arctic guide in Svalbard, Norway. Wintergreen guide Brian Kaeter

Paul's schedule allows him to spend time with most Wintergreen groups and he is often able to share stories about his arctic expeditions. He is the lead instructor on most of the advanced dogsled camping trips and all of the arctic programs.  Paul received the Explorers Award from the International Center for Exploration, the "Adventurer of the Year" award from Outside Magazine and the Environmental Hero Award from the National Wilderness Society. Paul is also a nationally-recognized speaker whose motivational and adventure talks have been featured by the National Association of Campus Activities.  Learn more about Paul's speaking presentations HERE

In their post-trip evaluations, our Wintergreen guests repeatedly rave about our staff -- and rightly so! Here are a few of the accolades: "our guardian angels," "exhibited the utmost professionalism, skill & good cheer," "extraordinarily caring," "extremely attentive and caring," "totally interested in our having fun & being safe (and never making me feel like a nervous urban mom)," "catered to our every need," "very passionate about what they do," "very respectful of each other, the guests and the dogs," "athlete, educators & entertainers and great cooks too!," "great role models for my kids."

Wintergreen guide Ellen Root

Wintergreen Guides:

Paul, Susan, Bria, Peter & Berit Schurke with Dave Freeman, Amy Voytilla Freeman, Ellen Root, Meagan Jaskela, Isaak Ridge, Brian Kaeter, Joe Gleiter, Luke Kaneb, Virginia Wightman, McKayla Bull, Elliot Diana, Tristan Weisz, Summer Goebel & other occasional staff, interns and guides-in-training.
 

Guide Profiles:

ELLIOT DIANA Woods craft & camping came naturally to Elliot Diana growing up in New England.  In 8th grade he paddled his region’s “Boundary Waters” counterpart – the Allagash, Maine’s renowned wilderness river system.  At the University of Vermont, he secured an ecology degree and crafted his guide skills leading rock climbing, backpacking and mountain biking trips for the college outdoors club.  He interned with the Wintergreen team the past couple seasons & gained his ‘wings’ as a fully fledged guide this winter.  When he's not in the woods, he's plucking strings -- Elliot plays a mean mandolin and commands an impressive repertoire of folk songs & bluegrass tunes. His favorite sled dog is Pingo and his favorite ice cream is Moose Tracks with it’s irresistible combo of fudge & peanut butter.  

LYNNANNE VESPER  In 1993, when LynnAnne Vesper joined us for a January Interim wilderness dogsled & ski expedition during her senior year of Gustavus Adolphus College, she had no idea how the experience would define her life.  Smitten by the Northwoods & winter, she carved out a life here that (in addition to guiding for Wintergreen for over 20 seasons!) includes an eclectic mix of talents & interests: crafting her own timber frame home from the ground up; learning & teaching Swedish, French & Finnish; performing both wind & string instruments including the nyckelharpa chordophone; writing a newspaper column on low-impact “green living” and, currently, preparing for her next career as a speech-language pathologist. Her boundless curiosity has brought a refreshing, innovative and engaging edge to our ‘end-of-the-road’ community and her superb trail and people skills have made her the “go-to” guide for summer & winter adventures in our border country.  Her favorite Wintergreen dog is Larry, our kennel partriarch, and her favorite ice cream is Rocky Road.

MEAGAN JASKELA made her way to Ely from Spring Lake Park, MN.  Her first big adventure was in high school on a “Survival Trip.”  They did everything wrong, even eating oatmeal for every meal for 7 days.  To this day, Meagan still hates eating oatmeal. Despite this ridiculous experience, Meagan found a passion for the outdoors.  She graduated from VCC in Ely with a degree in Outdoor Education. Her first ever winter trip was a 3 day solo on Disappointment Lake in the Boundary Waters.  Meagan joined the Wintergreen team in 2012, first as a part time guide, then as a full time, full season guide. Her first camping trip with Wintergreen was a cozy -43 degrees, with an encouraging wind chill of -63.  Somehow, she still came back for more. She now guides with her two pet dogs, Tovo and Hugo, who can be found joining Meagan’s groups, playing with the sled dogs, and napping on couches after a long day’s guiding. Her favorite dogs are, of course, Tovo and Hugo.  Her favorite sled dog, on the other hand, varies depending on which dog deserves some extra affection, and her favorite ice cream is snow.

JOSEPH E. GLEITER is all the way from Oregon - Oregon, Illinois that is.  In first grade, he went kayaking with his dad for about an hour. It was magical.  It got him hooked, and he knew that he wanted to continue seeking new adventures. In 2016, he through hiked the Pacific Crest Trail.  On his way home, he stopped at Wintergreen, picked up a week of work, then another. Now he’s in his second year as a guide. Last summer, he backpacked across Israel, picking up a taste for the local cuisine and seeing life in a new perspective.  Next up, he’s preparing for a cross continent bike trip starting in Germany. His favorite sled dog is Alice, and his favorite ice cream is all ice cream.

McKAYLA BULL hails from Indianapolis, IN, on the southern edge of the Midwest.  Her first time at Wintergreen was as an excited 9 year old on a Parent-Child trip.  There she met her all time favorite sled dog, Tamarack. Now that she’s guiding at Wintergreen, she feels like she’s completing a circle, bringing children into their passion for winter and the outdoors as her guides did for her.  In all, McKayla took 5 or 6 trips here as guest before working as an intern for 2 short seasons while in college. Now that she’s out of school, she’s in her first season as a full guide. McKayla graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies.  She delivered the student commencement speech to 3400 of her peers at her graduation ceremony. Her next step will be moving to Miami to work as an English teacher. McKayla’s favorite dog will always be Tamarack, but she’s picked up a fondness for our yearlings Bob and Mullet, and her favorite ice cream is Vanilla.

LUKE KANEB started his adventures in the Northeast.  He was born in Massachusetts, and in 6th grade he went on his first winter camping trip in the White Mountains.  There he went ice climbing for the first time. Luke later headed all the way to California to earn his degree at Santa Clara University.  Last summer he was guiding scuba diving in the Bahamas. Now he’s back for his second season as a guide at Wintergreen. This summer, he’ll be working with llamas as a guide in the Utah Rocky Mountains.  North, south, east, and west, Luke is seeking adventure in every environment and region, handling the heat of Florida and the freezing temperatures of Northern Minnesota with ease. His favorite sled dog is Hendrix, and his go-to ice cream is coffee cream.

ISAAK RIDGE is originally from New Brighton, Minnesota.  His first big wilderness experience was in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area just outside of Ely.  He and his family paddled to Big Moose Lake. Isaak remembers discovering a spider web that stretched four feet in diameter and finding crayfish in the stomach of a bass they’d caught.  His fascination for wildlife is still strong today. He spent summers while in college as a float plane canoe guide in the Atikaki Provincial Park in Manitoba. Isaak graduated from Michigan Technological University with a degree in Biology.  He’s now in his fifth season at Wintergreen. Isaak loves getting hands on and into the nitty gritty parts of backcountry living. He can fix a canoe; he can repair a dog sled - in the woods or in the garage. He’s always looking to be a part of the solution to any problems that arise.  Isaak’s favorite dog is always the dog that is behaving best the day you ask him, and his favorite ice cream is chocolate peanut butter swirl.

BRIAN KAETER is from Shoreview, Minnesota.  He came up to Ely for his first Boundary Waters trip when he was 14 years old.  His group ended up wrapping their canoe around a rock, and had to get creative. They banged it back into shape and wrapped it with duct tape.  It’s no surprise that Brian came out of this experience with an ability to turn around any negative situation. He went to North Dakota State and earned his degree in Geology.  He’s been at Wintergreen 3 years now. In the summers, he travels up to Skagway, Alaska and guides bicycle tours. There, he’s picked up a passion and a skill for bikes, whether it’s road bikes, mountain bikes, or fat tire bikes for riding in the snowy Ely winters.  Brian’s enthusiasm for biking carried him on a bike touring journey of over 2,000 miles from Skagway, down the Alcan highway, all the way to Montana. His favorite dog is Finnegan, and his favorite icecream is Moosetracks.

AMY FREEMAN Minnesotan born and raised, Amy Freeman started out in St. Paul.  She was 13 on her first Boundary Water Canoe Area trip. She recalls making all the classic rookie mistakes: bringing too much gear and routing across too many portages, but she loved it all the same.  She attended Macalester College in St. Paul for her undergrad before getting her masters at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Now she’s witnessing the wilderness in fantastic ways. In 2014, Amy and her husband Dave were awarded National Geographic Adventurers of the Year for their North American Odyssey.  By sea kayak, dogsled, and canoe, Amy and Dave crossed North America. From Washington up to southeastern Alaska, across Canada to the Great Lakes, and down the east coast to the Florida Keys, Amy and Dave traveled through the wilderness for 3 years. Amy has been part of the Wintergreen team on and off since 2006. Her favorite sled dog is Inuk.  She doesn’t eat much ice cream, but her favorite dessert is the mocha frosted tres leches cake made by Dave Gossage, the Wintergreen chef.

TRISTAN WEISZ is from Grand Forks just across the Minnesota-North Dakota border.  He took his first ever Boundary Waters trip in the east side of the wilderness area, catching his first ever lake trout on Gunflint Lake.  From there he was, well, hooked. He’s finishing his degree at VCC here in Ely in Wilderness and Park Management with an additional backcountry guide certificate.  This is his first season at Wintergreen as an intern. Tristan enjoys finding new ways to cross the border into Canada in the BWCA - he’s canoed, he’s swam, he’s even skinny dipped to Canada.  He hasn’t managed to choose which sled dog his is favorite, but his favorite ice cream is definitely double fudge cookie dough.

DAVE FREEMAN Originally from just outside of Chicago, Dave Freeman had his first major trip at around 13 years old.  He and his family took on the challenge of a canoe trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It was a classic trip except when a black bear wandered into their campsite, and they had to scare it off by banging pots and pans.  Undeterred, Dave has become an adventurer, taking on amazing challenges time and again. Most recently, Dave and his wife Amy spent a year living in the Boundary Waters, drawing attention to the importance of protecting this area from copper sulfide mining.  After spending a year bearing witness to the wilderness, they wrote a book titled Year in the Wilderness that came out September 2017. Dave has been working with Wintergreen on and off since 1999. His favorite sled dog is Sage and his favorite ice cream is the sweet taste of mint chocolate chip.

(WORK IN PROGRESS: PLEASE RETURN AS WE ADD MORE PROFILES OF OUR STELLAR DOZEN+ WINTERGREEN GUIDE TEAM!)
 

Wintergreen's 4-Legged Staff -- "Our Beloved Doggers!":

Acorn, Agnes, Alice, Alfy, Basil, Bella, Bernie, Betty, Bob, Bowie, Bugsy, Carrot, Cashew, Cedar, Cinnamon, Charlotte, Chill, Chive, Curly, Domino, Douglas, Ethyl, Finegan, Franky, Frazer, Gabriel, Gracy, Hendrix, Hillary, Hobbs, Inga, Inuk, Isis, Jack, Joplin, Juno, Jupiter, Kale, Kayuk, Kazan, Larry, Lena, Lewis, Lomi, Louisa, Lucy, Luna, McKenzie, Millie, Mishka, Mudro, Mullet, Okra, Ole, Pak, Pecan, Pingo, Pippy, Ramona, Ricky, Sage, Sisu, Stoney, Sven, Taiga, Thomas, TinCanMike, Toby, Viggo, Willow, Whoopsy, Yoik (plus 2 new puppies, Frodo & Baggins!)  

 

 

 

 
 
 

The comments below are excerpted from the many thank you letters 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.

2016 Guest Comments

As long as I have memories, I will have memories of my many Wintergreen adventures.  My #1 all-time favorite trip/adventure/vacation.  Love you all! Sandy R.

I love Wintergreen’s large wide sleds and was very grateful to be able to share a sled with my husband. Melissa S.

Far more fun than I ever expected.  Gives me bragging rights with my relatives and friends!  Gary P. 

Your sleds and organization are truly geared for riders of any skill level. Elmer W. 

The scenery was very picturesque. Eating lunch by the water was pure bliss. The dogs were so, so friendly, loving and beautiful. The sauna was fantastic along with the experience of jumping in the lake. The people we shared our vacation with were extremely warm, kind and fun. We really appreciate you accommodating our request for our own bathroom and for Silk Soy Milk. Thank you! Darlene T. 

It was more fun than we ever expected, great food, great adventure, great scenery, wonderful guide and tour group, and an all-around awesome experience. Beth J. 

We expected a lot of fun gliding along the lake or on the trails.  We didn't expect the thrill we'd get over getting over obstacles, going down hills and cutting through the woods along the scenic river rapids.  But, it was those things that made the experience extra awesome and memorable. Missy R. 

Our recent visit was everything and more than what we expected.  Thank you again for a wonderful trip.  All of your staff were very friendly and accommodating.  The food was great.  Complements to the chef.  Our guide was extraordinary. Richard & Laura N. 

Our great guides had a very deep knowledge of the Northwoods area and natural sciences in general. I always learn something new when I come to Wintergreen each year and this trip was no exception. Doyle P. 

This has been such an amazing experience from front to back. I would do this trip again in a minute! Kristin L. 

Our guide had an inner sense of what we could and could not do. She knew exactly how to support, guide, lead and enable each of us to experience the maximum benefit from this trip.  I cannot say enough positive things about this amazing young woman.  She is wise way beyond her years, and without her, our experience would have been much less positive. Nita S. 

This trip enabled me to see myself as a brave, strong and capable.  I have always loved the north woods, but never believed I could enjoy them in the winter.  This trip changed my perspective completely. Thank you for an awesome adventure! Ann P.

The lodge is very comfortable and homey. The beds and blankets and linens and towels are very comfortable. I liked the bright colors. Everything was clean. The couches and chairs were comfortable. I liked that you had bins for composting and recycling. Mary C. 

The food was great - and there was SO MUCH!  If anyone was hungry for even 10 minutes it was their own fault!  It was so nice that our dietary preference of gluten-free so was easily accommodated, and the majority of the food served was healthy - lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Could you please send me the brand name of the wild rice hot cereal mix (parboiled wild rice, pumpkin seeds, blueberries, cranberries), and where you purchase it?  My daughter and I LOVED it (we liked it as a cold cereal!) and I'd love to order some. Darcie R. 

I wasn't sure that I, a woman in her mid-50s of average fitness, was up to this experience--I came along because dogsledding was something my daughters were excited to do. I arrived with a feeling that I might be in over my head. However, our guides were the best. They were patient & encouraging, gave clear instructions, and shared their love and enthusiasm for their beloved doggers, the BWCA, the outdoors, and Nordic skiing. I ended up embracing the exhilarating challenge of mushing and loving the wintry magical landscapes of the trails and frozen lakes. I'm so glad that I went--it was one of my most memorable travel experiences ever and I'm so grateful I shared it with my daughters. We are now proud Wintergreen alums!  Linda K. 

I loved seeing how my son interacted with the dogs. He has some anxiety issues (and he now has a therapy dog) and it blew my mind at how happy those dogs made him. Nature and dogs are all we really need. Karen B. 

I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF THIS TRIP! The land, the dogs, the people, the food, the accommodations… there wasn’t one thing I would change. Hiking around the Olympic National Park, climbing Mount Rainier, paddling my kayak through lakes and rivers, and now Wintergreen Dog Sledding. This is the kind of experience that makes my life amazing. It will be remembered as a pillar that holds up my sky. Karen B. 

We loved the home-cooked meals and we appreciated that much of the food was locally sourced, including the wild rice. The wild rice soup served at lunch was great. The vegetables that we had for dinner were cooked perfectly. Doug L.

I was worried that it would feel touristy, but there was just the right mix of hands on with the dogs/sleds and good group dynamics and great down to earth guides. Loved the meals -- great comfort food, just right for the physical days we had. Helen J., New Zealand 

Enjoyed more interaction with my dog team than I expected. I actually enjoyed picking up the dog poop, feeding my team, and harnessing up my team. Mike K., CA

What a memorable time! I was so spoiled. I only wish I could have stayed longer and dogsledded for another week!  I was on the Photo Workshop our guides were simply amazing. Such great dispositions with light hearted, helpful and caring personalities.  Trisha L., CA 

We were a little concerned when we arrived and found out all the rest of our group was all related. My husband and I thought we might end up the odd two out. But that was never the case, we enjoyed the company of the rest of our group and our guides made everyone feel special.   The dogs and dog sledding were outstanding! Thank you for a wonderful vacation. Ruth D. 

It was not difficult as I had imagined. The staff made it comfortable for all of us regardless of our physical abilities. Levon C.


2015 Guest Comments

My wife Diane wanted this trip for her 60th birthday. She says its her best present ever!  Thank you!  Steve H. 

My daughter is the least outdoorsy person I know and tends to hate everything my son and I like to do, so it was good to hear her say she was actually having fun. Michelle K. 

Best vacation we've had! Great food, great company, amazing value, and it’s very clear how much love and respect is shown towards the dogs, who are the real heroes of the trip.  Brian P., CA 

We were expecting lots of fun, but we got much more than that. We met some wonderful fellow adventurers, learned about the unusual sport of mushing and the challenges it offers. Best vacation ever! Nothing compares to the freedom of mushing our own sleds. At our age I worried about keeping up with the pups, falling off, getting hurt. But all my fears went away after just a few minutes of mushing. Our guides were great and made sure we were able to handle the challenge. Eva S., CO

My daughter Amee still recites all of the dogs names with amazing accuracy!!! Our hearts definitely remain in your lovely northwoods surrounded by snow. Melissa M., Australia 

We do hope to come back for another visit.  My daughter Molly is saving up for her ticket, including holding a lemonade stand this week during her Spring Break :)  And you just may see Molly on your doorstep in about 10 years asking for a job. Hillary E., CA 

I loved the dogs, the people, the clean crisp air, being out in nature, the peacefulness of it all. We stayed in Ely an extra day, shopping local shops, eating at local restaurants, walking Miners lake and getting to know some of the fine people of Ely. It’s a northern piece of paradise! Kelly B., FL 

I am so glad I booked this trip! Getting to spend spring break with three of my children - two who are in college and grad school was such a treat!  And the time spent was top quality - outdoors, learning new skills, no TV, great conversations - what a gift! John H.

Great variety of fellow guest mushers.  Stupendous guides, with various backgrounds and personalities, great teaching skills, and they allowed us to do as much as we could.  Bruce J. 

Our guides went over and beyond to make sure we had a safe and memorable time. They surprised me with their superior talents (multi), strength, patience, positive attitude and interpersonal skills.  The whole group loved them. I feel they deserve all the credit for Wintergreen's success. Monica W. 

Wonderful, experienced, caring guides. Great camaraderie. Fantastic dogs. Great adventure, but the dogs, they were the highlight; great loving creatures.  The best!  If you’re a nature lover, like outdoor adventure and absolutely love dogs, it’s the only way to go.  I smile every time I see a photo I’ve taken of the dogs on my team. Marc T., PA 

Having traveled extensively throughout my life (I’ve been to all 7 continents) I have to say this experience was FAR BETTER than I imagined it would be.  And I had set the bar pretty high after waiting 22 years to do this.  Crazy beautiful and wonderful from beginning to end. Roberta L. 

I would recommend a Wintergreen Dogsledding experience to anyone who appreciates human & canine interactions with Nature & the special people who live & work to share it. Joe N., WI

Meals were great and well balanced with plenty of food. Special attention was paid to my food allergies-thanks to Amy and your great chef. Celeste A.

No one in Florida believes that you can stay warm in MN but we were quite toasty, even peeling off layers. We loved our boots. Thank you for the birthday mousse! Bonnie F. 

The dogs truly are well taken care of, loved and responsive to all of us. Laurie P.

Our guide LynneAnn is one of the most interesting people I have ever met! She was so knowledgeable and experienced at dogsledding but also very comfortable with us taking the lead with the dogs. It was a great mix of leadership and learning from her. We were able to have fun with her and also know that she was calm and collected in tricky situations. Aubrey A. 

Thank you so much! It was my best experience in Minnesota, and I've been living here for 25 years! Arsena L. 

I absolutely loved the experience and having those days with my daughter away from all distractions. Maya cannot stop thinking about our time with you all and almost daily lets me know that she wishes we were still up there. Northern Minnesota has cracked her top spots for where she might want to live someday. Robert & Maya W. 

We chose the camping trip and the hot tents at the camp sites were luxurious. They made the winter camping experience nice for inexperienced people and made it easy to keep our gear dry.  Trevor H. 

We enjoyed every moment of or stay. Your state is a treasure, filled with incredible beauty. Kevin V.

Katy my daughter really enjoyed herself, which was most gratifying and important to me. She has been raving about the trip to her friends at college which makes me elated. I have wanted her to appreciate the beauty of the BWCA and north woods and this trip totally fulfilled my wishes. thanks! Jack H. 

The food was fabulous. There was plenty of fruit and veggies to balance out the delicious desserts :) Becca did a great job whipping up the campfire lunch when we were out on the trail. Ely MN is an amazing place. The natural beauty is stunning. Both Becca and Amy would point out animal tracks and different types of trees and points of interest. This was an excellent value when you consider that everything was included. The Diamond Willow Cabin was beautiful. The food was outstanding. The scenery was breathtaking.  I LOVED the dogs. They all have such distinct personalities and are so affectionate and sweet. We wanted to take a few home with us, but I don't think they would like Phoenix AZ. Lynn V.

I’m very grateful for all of the thoughtful attention: my granddaughter’s red igloo birthday cake; our picture with Paul and the movie of his arctic adventure; the attention to our comfort on the trails in the unseasonably cold weather; all the extra fun my granddaughter enjoyed e.g. the puppies, poking her head into the beaver mound, tobogganing, cross country skiing, tending to the dogs after the run, the sauna and lake dipping (she photographed the later); the very nice other guests; the simple, clean and bright home-like lodge  In fact everything about the lodge life, sledding, and dog care was an invaluable lesson in the joys of teamwork and community. Cynthia M.


2014 Guest Comments

It's obvious the guides love the dogs as if they were their own. They know the dogs' parentage, histories, preferences, personalities, likes & dislikes, abilities, and care very much that each dog gets the attention it needs and wants. Especially touching was the extra attention that Banjo received to try to make her comfortable despite her shyness. Audrey S.

We just had the trip of a lifetime! We are tuckered out, but smiling. The scenery was spectacular. The meals were excellent. Our guide was exceptional. We loved every minute. Thank you for providing such a wonderful experience.  Joe & Maria L.

I was unprepared to experience the power of the dogs, as well as experiencing their absolute joy in pulling.  Their personalities, and work ethic were awesome to witness.  Finally, like a good recipe, the right mix of dogs, in the right position, makes all of the difference in a smooth running sled team. Andy E.

Our guide Meagan was simply outstanding in every possible way!  She was exceptionally knowledgeable, took time to share lots of great ecological points and information about the region, was very personable, and truly seemed to love her work.  That all came through in her smiles and enthusiasm.  I could not have asked for a better guide to lead our trip and share the experience with.  Joan B.

The guides were also REALLY careful about those of us with food allergies.  That was really thoughtful. Gideon K.

The guides provided great leadership. Really organized, communicated and worked well together as a team. Very friendly/knowledgeable, but provided space. Prepared us well as terrain changed and took proper safety precautions, yet gave our boys enough freedom to have loads of fun. Patient, calm, and dealt well with challenges as they arose. Amazed by their stamina! Kim V.

My son Eric really enjoyed the stops we would make to learn more about nature - tracks, labrador tea, the beaver impact and discussion of the white pines and the north woods.  Stacy E.

It was an amazing adventure for my son Jack and I.  We were both so sad on the way home that the experience was over.  Everything was over the top.  As Jack said..." I felt like I spent the last few days in a snow globe."  It was truly magical. Jon D.

Thank you again! You are all such wonderful people. I am so glad we could make it out there and support what you are providing for the public! It is truly a unique place, group of people, and set of dogs. If my sister and I could, we would have taken your dog Isis home with us!!! :) What a sweetheart!  Ian W.

I thought I would enjoy the trip but the experience exceeded my expectations.  For me it was the experience of dogsledding on the lake (beauty and serenity) and then the challenge of traversing a few of the trails.  Also, to be able to spend time with the dogs, feeding and harnessing the dogs.  LynnAnne was concerned with my wife's and daughters boots and was so kind to bring boots from the lodge for them to wear.  The guides did a terrific job each day.  I can not say enough about them.  Doug L.

I had no idea how wonderful it would be to bond with our amazing sled dog team and share this experience with my daughter.  It was truly magical -- even picking up the poop!   We were very touched and appreciative when Paul went to the trouble of retrieving Covy from another team on our second day so that we could keep the same team of dogs.   Our guide Ingrid was very sweet with all the children.  It was nice to have a great babysitter and guide. Andrea C.


2013 Guest Comments

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.


2012 Guest Comments

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.


2011 Guest Comments

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.


2010 Guest Comments

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.
Bill H.

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!
Catherine G.

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.
Melissa M.

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.
Henry F.

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!
Jackie A.

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.
Franny H.

I've been with six other mushing operators and you have the best kennel operation -- the most organized and efficient I've seen.
Lewis E.

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".
Robin H.

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.
Ron D.

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.
Lisa M

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.
Bob J.

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 :-)
Larry N.

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!!
Martha O.

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.
Peggy L.

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.
Gerri H.

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.
Katy R.

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!
Liz M.

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
Kemia S.!


2009 Guest Comments

"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

blueredgirls.jpg“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 daughter’s 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!"
Larry Rand

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.
Katie Folger

“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!"
Nancy Akinson

"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 don’t 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.
Renata Hoca karladogweb.jpg

“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,
Sonja Berry

“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!!)
Diane Fitzgerald

“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.
Steve Lucas

“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!!!
Melissa Bailey

“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.
Bonnie Vesperbeth.jpg

“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!!!
Hope Cottrill

“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.
Judy Ernst

“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!
Hundarna

“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.
Kim Kaiser

“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.
Sylvia Nybergbestdaddaughterweb.jpg

“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.
Kyle Bitters

“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.
Mary Russell

“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 can’t fake!
Karen Mendoza

“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.
Sandra Roberts

“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?
Carol Russell

“At the end of the trip, LynnAnn downloaded everyone’s 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!
Bonnie New

“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?
Mary Amos

“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.
Kathy Loeffler

“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.
Jorg Farias

“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.
Ming Tai-Huh

“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!!!!
Gannon

“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!!
Joli Boise

“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!
Sue Lee

“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


2014 Guest Comments

Our 65 pure-bred Canadian Eskimo dogs are the centerpiece (and key staff members!) of Wintergreen Dogsled Vacations.

This breed, the original sled dog of the high Arctic (and now commonly referred to as the more politically correct name: Canadian Inuit Dog), is considered to be the "Sherman Tank" of the mushing world. The breed evolved with the Arctic cultures which employed them as draft animals. These dogs absolutely live to pull. In fact, the pulling instinct is so strong that they need little training. We first harness our young dogs at about 8 months of age, team them up alongside a seasoned veteran for training, and within minutes they dig their feet in and their line goes taught as that intense pulling instinct clicks on like a light. They're pulling career extends 10-12 years and then they retire to a condominium cooperative near Naples, FL (just kidding! actually, they get the run of the place at Wintergreen).

The Rich History of the Wintergreen Dogs

Canadian Inuit dogs were the mainstay of arctic transport for thousands of years. But when the snowmobiling frenzy swept the arctic in the late '60s, the dogs fell into disuse and the breed all but disappeared. Now, however, the breed is making a comeback in Greenland and the eastern arctic as villagers have taken a renewed interest in this central element of their cultural heritage. Because of their strength and ability to thrive in extreme conditions, Canadian Inuit dogs were selected to power the first expeditions to reach the North Pole (Robert Peary 1909) and the South Pole (Roald Amundson 1911). In fact, they have been employed on virtually all non-mechanized polar expeditions since, including the 6 North Pole expeditions that Wintergreen has been involved with.

Wintergreen's breed stock were secured from four main sources. We purchased our first team of Inuit dogs from an Inuit hunter on the island of Igloolik (near the mouth of Hudson Bay). Then, in 1992, we were selected by the Australian government as their kennel of choice to provide a new home for the last team of working dogs still in use at an Antarctic research station. Those dogs, which originated from Inuit dogs brought to Antarctica over 50 years ago, have fit in fine with our kennel. The transition was the subject of an award-winning National Geographic film called "The Last Husky." In 1993, we received a team of Inuit dogs from a family in Baffin Island. More recently, we've brought many Inuit dogs back with us from our trips with the Polar Eskimos of northern Greenland.

The Working Sled Dogs of Winter

Canadian Inuit Dogs are one of four main working breeds of the far north, which also includes the Siberian Husky, the Malamute and the Samoyed. The Siberian Husky and their mixed breed cousins (commonly called Alaskan Huskies) are the fastest and thus are the breed of choice for racers, though they range only 40-60 pounds in size. The Samoyed breed was developed as a sled dog by the Samoyed people of the Russian arctic. But during the last century, European and American dog lovers were more attracted by the breed's beautiful white coat and today Samoyeds are commonly found in the pet show circuit than in harness.

Malamutes are the largest of the pulling dogs and typically weigh more than 100 pounds. They were developed by the Malamute people of western Alaska (a culture that no longer exists) and became famous for pulling the '49ers and their supplies over the Dawson Trail during the Alaskan Gold Rush. They remain popular today as family pets and pulling dogs. But because their sheer size makes them unwieldy for novice mushers to handle, they are rarely used for recreational dogsled programs.

Averaging 75 pounds, the Canadian Eskimo Dog falls between the Malamute and Husky in size. That means they've got the beef and build for back country travel but can still be comfortably handled by most beginners. Most of them are extremely personable. Like their cousins the arctic wolves, they have extremely strong pack instincts. The pack hierarchy is always changing. Therefore some of them will not run together without sparring over dominance. Reading these changes in the pack hierarchy and pairing the dogs up appropriately is part of the challenge and mystery of working with these amazing animals. For more breed information, you'll find on Amazon "The Inuit Dog of the North Pole," written by breed expert Genevieve Montcombroux with forward by Wintergreen director Paul Schurke. Wintergreen's dogs are prominently featured in the Discovery Channel documentary on the Inuit dog, "Dogs of the Midnight Sun." 

Our Dogs: Olympic Athletes with lots of Personality

At Wintergreen our 65 Canadian Inuit Dogs comprise the largest kennel of this breed in the U.S. People often ask, "How do you tell of your dogs apart?" That's easy because each dog has such a distinct personality. Our guests are always surprised how distinct and unique each dog is. As we say here at Wintergreen, working with a team of 6 dogs is like working with a team of 6 people. Each has his/her own needs and abilities. They'll work together and get the job done but maximizing their performance regards good leadership. That's what mushing is all about. You basically become the coach of a team of Olympic-caliber athletes.

And they truly are athletes. An Inuit dog will pull at least twice its weight in payload at a pace of 4-6 mph for hours at a time. Their thick double coats and tough demeanor allow them to thrive in extreme conditions. In fact, the colder it is the harder they pull. They're accustomed to eating snow for moisture and, when night comes, they curl into a ball, wrap their tails over their noses, settle into the snow and sleep soundly. Come daybreak, they all pop up with the slightest hint around camp that sleds are being loaded and anxiously paw the air seeking to be the first to be harnessed. Wintergreen guests are continuously amazed at how hard these dogs work and how much they love it.

And dogs that love to pull are lucky to be at Wintergreen because they enjoy a very long pulling season. We begin cart training in October when the weather cools. By late November we've got sufficient ice and snow to switch to sleds. And then they're in use at least five days a weeks during our program season in the Ely area from December through March. Come April and May, many of the dogs are used for our expeditions to Hudson Bay and other far north destinations. That means many Wintergreen dogs may only have to endure 4 months (June-September) of downtime.

Care & Feeding of the Wintergreen Dogs

During the pulling season, our kennel menu includes a stew made from a mixture of fat, meat and a special high-protein dry dogfood specially formulated for working dogs.. The Inuit breed is so tough and durable that they almost never experience ailments of any kind. Even foot problems are very rare. And since one of Wintergreen's guides happens to be a veterinarian, any concerns that do come up are immediately looked after.

The Wintergreen kennel facility is unique in many ways. To assist with socialization during the off-season, many of our dogs are rotated into large open pens where they can romp freely with their colleagues.  Inside the enclosures, each dog has its own insulated house and feed/water stations. As a courtesy to other residents on our lake, the exposed sides of our kennel have 8-10 foot wooden sound-abatement walls.  Our industrial sprinkler system and shade pallets erected alongside each house protect them against sun and heat.

We are not in the business of selling dogs. We breed our own dogs but plan litters only for our own use. We never cull (put to sleep) dogs because they are not needed or because their performance is not adequate. Wintergreen subscribes to the dog care principles of the organization called PRIDE (Providing Responsible Information on Dogs' Environment). We also support many area animal rescue leagues with donations towards their fundraising auctions of Wintergreen dogsled trips & tours.  The wonderful groups we support include Contented Critters, Animal Allies Humane Society, and Home for Life animal sanctuary.

Wintergreen is the only lodge designed for and devoted exclusively to recreational dogsledding. Our fleet of sleds includes 3 sizes. On lodge-based trips, we use our "solo" sleds driven by one person with a 2 or 3-dog team, and our "duo" sleds with extra-wide platforms on the back that allow 2 persons to stand comfortably side-by-side and drive the sled together with a 4-6 dog team. On camping trips we use our "freighters," which are driven by 2 people with a 6 to 8 dog team.

Remember, Wintergreen features a complete "hands-on" experience. You'll not only be mushing your own dog team but you're also welcome to be as involved as you'd like in the harnessing, feeding, bedding and caring for your team.

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"a Top 10 small outdoor business"

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"a Top 6 U.S. adventure lodge"

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"The perfect dogsled destination"

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"Best in the business"

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"A Top 10 Minnesota lodge"

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"A Top 10 adventure bargain"

Wintergreen supports preserving wildlands & enabling disadvantaged people to enjoy nature with two non-profits we helped found: SaveTheBoundaryWaters.org

Happy TrailsHappy Trails!

Ready to enjoy what our guests tell us is their "best vacation ever"? Call us anytime toll-free: 877-753-3386 (877 Sled Fun). If Yukon answers, tell him you're looking for one of our 2- legged staff. We hope to share a Wintergreen experience with you!

 

Contact us anytime, we’re happy to answer all your questions!

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