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This content was updated for 2019
Local sports clinicians Lowell Greib and Katherine Ahokas of The SportLab in Huntsville, Muskoka are set to lead a series of three exciting skijoring sessions this winter at Arrowhead Provincial Park.
“People new to this activity are more than welcome to come out,” says Greib. “You just need to bring skis and poles and boots, or rent them from the park, get a ski pass and bring your dog.”
Traditionally skijoring is done with skate-style skis, he says, but it can be done with classic style skis. Harness equipment will be provided on loan by Raven’s Watch of Sundridge in the Almaguin Highlands. To participate, Greib recommends your pooch should weigh at least 30 lbs and be full-grown. Greib and Ahokas will teach participants standard dogsledding commands, and ensure participating dogs are okay with wearing a harness. Humans have control of the speed, says Greib, because there’s a latch on the binding belt that detaches when need be.
New to Arrowhead this year is a permanent Skijoring trail now available throughout the entire season.
[Photo by Tracy Ross]
“Our dogs are house pets as well, not necessarily racing dogsled dogs,” says Greib. “They don’t pull the same way. So you can get out and enjoy the sport without feeling like you’re being pulled through the forest at really high speeds.”
Dogs and humans, he adds, work as a team to propel each other along.
The word “skijoring” is derived from the Norwegian word skikjøring, which means “ski driving.” The sport’s origin is uncertain, though Greib thinks it likely came from the cross-country-mad nations of Scandinavia.
Learn Skijoring At Arrowhead Dates 2019:
Sunday, January 20 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Sunday February 3 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Sunday March 3 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm
If you go.
Rendez-vous at: Arrowhead Provincial Park Birches Parking Lot. Look for The SportLab banner.
Trail: Skijoring Trail – P6
Required: Park pass purchase required
What to Bring: Cross-country skis, poles (rentals also available at Arrowhead) and your dog. Harnesses for dogs will be available for loan or purchase.
The SportLab has a limited number of 45-minute lessons for those who want to learn. Call The SportLab at 1-855-776-7852 for details.
For more information on skijoring this winter at Arrowhead, contact Lowell Greib at The SportLab in Huntsville.
Race-skijoring has become a popular sport in snowy countries the world over, often doubled up with dogsledding events. This will be the case at the annual Kearney Dog Sled Races, happening on Feb. 9-10, 2019 in the Almaguin Highlands just north of Muskoka.
To plan your winter visit to the Explorers’ Edge region of Ontario, click here.
Guest Blogger: Karen Wehrstein
A resident of Muskoka, Karen Wehrstein is a freelance writer and published novelist whose work has appeared in the National Post, Montreal Gazette, as well as Muskoka Magazine, What’s Up Muskoka and other regional publications. She lives on thirty acres of beautiful forest near Lake of Bays.