If you’ve never gone dog sledding with kids, it’s a must-try adventure, with or without snow. Yes, even without snow, you can still go dog sledding. It’s a different experience, of course, but it’s still very much a crowd-pleaser with kids.
I went dog sledding two years ago in Michigan. As you can imagine, there was a lot of snow. I got to both be the musher, driving the dog sled, and take my turn sitting in the sled, just enjoying the views. It was fantastic. This particular adventure was part of a press trip, so I didn’t have my kids with me. However, ever since that experience, I’d been wanting to take my kids dog sledding.
When I stumbled upon Arctic Paws Dog Sled Tours in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, I knew I had to make a reservation and get up there for a tour (it’s about four hours from Washington, DC). I found time for the two biggest dog lovers in my clan (12 y.o. Clare and 8 y.o. Molly) to come along with me to meet the dogs and take a tour through the Poconos.
I’d been watching the Arctic Paws website for weather updates, and unfortunately, there’d just been no snow in the Poconos. It’s been a tough winter. As I later learned from the owners, they’ve had just four snow days all winter for sled tours (they only operate on the weekends). When we got 30 inches of snow in Washington, DC in February, they didn’t get any.
Fortunately for us, when there’s no snow, they still do training runs with the dogs. It’s not quite the same, but it was still very fun. They hook up the dogs the same way, but instead of hooking them up to a sled, they hook them up to a utility vehicle (kind of like an all-terrain golf cart).
Then, it’s time to go, and the dogs are off and running. They’re probably not getting as much exercise as they would pulling a sled. They’re not actually pulling the utility vehicle. They’re just running ahead of the vehicle. Still, you can tell that they’re having fun. And, we had fun too just taking in the scenic views and the waterfall at the turnaround point on the trail. Such a must to go dog sledding with kids.
While my kids loved the snow training tour as it’s called, they probably loved meeting the dogs even more. The owners have more than two dozen huskies, many of which are rescues, that take turns on the dog sled and training tours and you can tell that when it’s time to go every single one of them wants to be picked.
My 12 y.o. became fast friends with Kody, a five-month-old Alaskan Klee Kai. Seriously, so cute. Truly though, all of the dogs are so friendly. They all love getting pets and loving on you. We already can’t wait to go back, and hopefully, next year there will be snow. 🙂