Our most popular vacation option!
Enjoy a deluxe 4-night Northwoods get-away with your spouse, friend or family member in a lovely lakeshore home-style lodge. Features 3 days of guided dogsledding and a variety of other snow-country fun. Suited for complete beginners & all ages. Rental parkas & boots available as needed. These "BETTER" trips accommodate up to 6 guests. They're ideal for couples or pairs, but singles, 3-somes or 4-somes are welcome to register (& if you put together a group of 6, you'll enjoy your own private trip at a discounted rate.) NOTE: In comparison, our "GOOD" trips include about 8 guests. Our "BEST" trips are limited to 4 guests.
Dogsled instruction & training (& lots of time with our huggable 4-legged friends!)
Dinners prepared by our chef & served in your cabin dining area by your guides
Breakfasts prepared to your preferences in your cabin kitchen by your guides
Evening fireplace socializing & stories with your guides and other guests
A special welcoming dinner & trip orientation with your guides on your first night
Send-off breakfast on your final "Mushers Graduation" morning
Dinners and first-day luncheons are generally prepared and served at Wintergreen (and catered for dinners at Timber Trail). We know exactly what our guests want after an invigorating day of dogsledding -- an interesting, tasteful meal with fresh top-quality ingredients. We call it "comfort food with class." Guests are welcome to bring their own wine or other adult beverages. We're happy to accommodate any dietary preferences or restrictions.
Last year, nearly half of our these trips were booked by pairs of couples or family groups as their own private, custom dogsled vacations. On the other trips, 80% of the guests came as couples (ave. age 42), 20% as pairs of friends. While mealtimes are social, these trips offer couples time to themselves mornings/evenings as they choose in their private suites or cabins.
Sample Itinerary (may vary with trip dates)
DAY 1: Arrive in Ely early afternoon by car or airport taxi shuttle. Stop at Wintergreen store for any rental clothing needs, continue to your lodge for check-in and site tour. Meet your guides & sled dogs. Welcoming dinner at 6 pm followed by trip orientation session and clothing check.
DAY 2: Sunrise kennel care (optional) followed by breakfast and "Dogsledding 101" training. The big moment arrives as your guides helps you launch your team and accompanies you on a dogsled training trip. Midday lunch in lodge, skills review, extended rest break. Afternoon dogsled trip. Return to lodge 4-5 pm. Treat & water your dogs. R&R. Dinner. Optional socializing around the fireplace.
DAY 3: Kennel care & breakfast. Depart on full day of mushing with trailside campfire lunch and rest stops at scenic sites. Your Wintergreen guides accompay you on skis, providing tune-up tips on your mushing skills and sharing natural history info along the route. Return to lodge late afternoon. Treat & water your dogs. Optional skiing/snowshoeing or R&R. 6 pm dinner. Optional evening activates include Finnish-style sauna, campfire gathering, fireplace stories, and/or 'film fest' to view the National Geographic documentaries on Wintergreen adventures.
DAY 4: Now that you "knows the ropes," the guides will plan the day based upon your interests -- choose between easy or challenging trails and a longer or shorter routes. Scenic stops might include the ice caves, the Murphys Falls overlook, the river bluff, the old growth forest and you may opt to include time for skiing/snowshoeing or to try "ski-jouring" (being towed on skis by a sled dog). Return to your cabin mid to late afternoon (or earlier if one or both pairs of guests would like more R&R in their cabin). Dog treats. Celebration dinner. Time to yourselves or optional evening activities which include (depending upon trip dates) "What's for Dinner?" program at the International Wolf Center to observe the wolves feeding or fireside arctic stories with Wintergreen director Paul Schurke.
DAY 5: Kennel care (optional), "bon voyage" breakfast buffet, "Mushers Graduation" event, kennel visit to bid your dogs adieu, check-out mid to late morning (or earlier if your travel plans require). OR if you'd like to extend your stay an extra day or two, we can often arrange for you to continue the same lodging at discount rates. If you weren't able to visit Ely's International Wolf Center (www.wolf.org) or North American Bear Center (www.bear.org) during their winter hours (Fri/Sat 10-5) before your dogsled trip, we can sometimes arrange a special visit to the wolf viewing area or bear exhibits on your check-out day.