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Training Trails - USA

Updated: 02 January 2015

CanadastarEuropestarScandinavia

[back to Country Index]

To submit information about public training trails in your area, please send details to info

Skijor Trails Near Lake Tahoe Ca/Nv

Paige Meadows
From Highway 89 a little over a mile south of Tahoe City take Pine Ave. to the west then right on Tahoe Park Heights then right on Big Pine then left on Silvertip to park at the end of Silvertip.

This area has no set track but it does have a nice series of long meadows that have lots of local XC skier traffic on light touring and backcountry skis. There are no snowmachines allowed in the area. There will be loose dogs but usually plenty of open space for everyone. For the sled musher it may be an interesting place to try but getting through the trees from the parking area to the meadows for the first quarter mile could get a little dicey. A scouting trip on skis would be recommended.

Mt. Rose
Just north of Incline Village on Highway 28 turn east on Highway 431 and proceed about seven miles and look for a road with a gate and a utility structure just before the summit of the highway on the north side of the road.

Because the base elevation is 8900 feet the road is usually skiable by the end of November and often a month before that. There is usually a snow machine track on the road but the snowmachiners don't use the road much and there is lots of open space for everyone.

The road is very safe but there is some avalanche danger in some areas so be wary and knowledgeable about what conditions favor avalanches. The road climbs gently for about three miles and steadily steeper for the next three to the summit of the Mt Rose Relay Station at 10100 feet.

The first three miles are good beginner backcountry skijor track. There is one windblown section about a mile up the road that often has exposed rocks early in the season and late in the season the gate may be buried and the road hard to see. Spectacular views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains.

Brockway Summit
Brockway Summit is on highway 267 between Truckee and Kings Beach.

This road is groomed for a snowmachine touring outfit and is part of the local parks and recreation. There is limited parking so the snowmachine traffic is never heavy and they tend to go by in groups and it may be hours between encounters especially early morning.

There is a groomed track about fifteen feet wide that winds twenty mountainous miles to Tahoe City with a few side tracks to local lakes and mountain tops. Usually groomed about twice a week depending on conditions, the trail can get washboarded and rough between grooming and other times it can be every skiers dream. Usually skating skis are the outfit for this track. Down the Rim Trail at Diamond Peak XC

Diamond Peak XC Center
Diamond Peak XC is about five miles up highway 431 from highway 28 near Incline Village. [photo at right: Down the Rim Trail at Diamond Peak XC looking toward Lake Tahoe.

This XC ski area is dog friendly and offers about 60K of mostly mountainous groomed track . A trail pass for you and your dog is required. There are loose dogs out on the trail and other skiers so be as accommodating and courteous as possible.

Boise Area
About 14 miles out of Boise, Idaho up Bogus Basin road lies endless trails for sledding, skijoring or pretty much anything. They are not groomed and the possibilitys are limitless. 20 miles and upward is possible, with great camping spots everywere. 30 minutes out of Boise with little crowds makes this system great. For info email Tren Long at heedicus@hotmail.com , or go to http://www.skijor.bravepages.com

Lake County Forest Preserves
2000 North Milwaukee Avenue, Libertyville, Illinois 60048-1199
Phone:  (847) 367-6640 / Fax: (847) 367-6649
E-mail:  forestpreserves@co.lake.il.us
Web Site: www.LCFPD.org 

The Lake County Forest Preserve District has a dog sledding park at one of their forest preserves in Lake County, IL. All users and dogs must be registered and fees paid prior to use. Residents pay $50 annually and non-residents pay $100. The access to the trail is on Yorkhouse Road just east of Delany Road. This is in the Gurnee/Wadsworth area. There is a 6 dog team limit and no motorized vehicles allowed.

From the parking lot, you must cross open farm field to reach the defined trails to the north. While the trails are not yet detailed for length, there are many opportunities to change routes as the trails wind and cross themselves routinely. This is as good as it gets in this area.

Specific information about the dog sled area is available on our website. A permit application is available online at http://www.lcfpd.org/preserves/index.cfm?fuseaction=preserves.viewActDetail&object_id=129 along with a bit more detail about the area.

Huntington, Indiana - "Kil-So-Quah" Reservoir Campground
Maintained by the HAW Sled Dog Club
E-mail deshabos@fwi.com or phone (219) 356-9434 for more information.

Over 6 miles of looping trails, which can, by taking a haw or a gee here and there be made into 3 miles, 4.5 miles, 6.2 miles, 1 mile, etc. without any head-on passing or duplication of trails.

The trail is a multi-use trail shared by hikers [occasionally] and mountain bikers [often during summer/fall season].  Do not use the trail if it is wet and muddy.  Use common sense, and clean up after yourself and dogs. Our club has scheduled times when we will be there, always beginning at 9:00 a.m. We welcome other mushers to come and visit.

Maps available from the contact listed above.

Can-Am Crown 20-Mile Sled Dog Training Loop
Fort Kent, Maine
Stan Flagg, 834-6670, stanflagg@sjv.net
Web Site: http://can-am.sjv.net/loop.html

Can-Am Crown's 20-mile sled dog training loop in Fort Kent, Maine, now has about two feet of groomed snow cover. There is no charge for use of the loop, and all mushers and skijorers are encouraged to use the trail to train and condition their dogs.

The course is signed, and water is available near the 9-mile and 12-mile marks. Local mushers have been running the loop, which takes them about two and a half hours. The development of the training loop originated as part of a $28,000 grant awarded to the Town of Fort Kent from the Maine Department of Conservation's Recreational Trails Program. Private landowners have granted permission for use of the trails as a sled dog training area, not for use by ATVs or snowmobiles, except as necessary for trail maintenance. ATV riders and snowmobilers are requested to avoid the training loop so as not to endanger dog teams and jeopardize future use of the trail.

The training loop starts in Fort Kent at Glendale Siding (now Robert McBreairty & Sons), which is 1.2 miles west of the Violette Settlement Road on Rte. 161 ( the St. John Road). The loop runs west along the Heritage Trail (abandoned railroad bed) for 3.5 miles, then turns off the Heritage Trail to take mushers over a roller coaster course which crosses Wheelock Lake, runs just south of St.Almond Pond, and loops down thru the Spaulding Pond area. Can-Am trail boss, Dennis Cyr, has set up a small cabin for a rest stop and campsite at Spaulding Brook, 12 miles out on the trail. The course then continues on to the pastures of Guimond Farms, to the east branch of the Violette Settlement Road, and finally runs west parallel to the Heritage Trail for 1.5 miles to the starting point.

This is a very scenic, but challenging trail -- an ideal training ground for anyone planning to run a Can-Am Crown race. In fact, much of the training loop (about 14 miles) is also used by all three Can-Am Crown races.

Baldwin, Michigan
Last Chance Retreat and Trails

Contact: Linda Lange, 4906 S. Forest Hill Dr., Baldwin, MI. 49304
E-mail: mushmutts@hughes.net

Sandy, forested trails on 100+ acres of mature growth forest with lots of intersections for gee/haw training, lots of hills, trails 7 ft. wide or more. One mile off of county road to camping site/lodge/trail head. Property bordered on two sides by USDA-FS land (with non-motorized trails). 30 amp electric and firewood available for campers. Two rooms to rent on site with shared bathroom and kitchen/dining area. Large cabin to rent within 3/4 mile of trailhead. 20+ miles of groomed winter trails. Individuals or small groups.


Mio, Michigan - Huron National Forest
Call 517-826-3291 for more info. Ask for John.

Large network of trails located in the Huron National Forest. Trails include non-maintained seasonal roads, logging trails and horse/hiking trails. Most have a good sand base for fall training. The area is also excellent for winter camping.

Duluth Area

Ah-Regah Kennels, Mahtowa, Minnesota
E-mail: ahregah@q.com Phone: 218-389-6818

Ah-Regah Kennels has up to 7 miles of roller groomed trails at your disposal for training.  You have options of 4.2, 5.4, 6.3 or 7 miles in which to train.  There is a separate parking area available in our field with trail access.

E-mail or call for more information.


Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

A couple more skijoring trails: [Thanks to Mark Johnson for providing this information.]

Fort Snelling State Park
You can skijor at Fort Snelling State Park on the Mendota (or Sibley) Trail. The Mendota trail is on the south/east side of the Minnesota River. The trail is an out and back trail (no loop), about 4-5 miles long. When the Park can groom the trail, they pack it--no tracks. (No skijoring on the other side of the river where the trails are set with tracks.) No time restrictions for skijor use (during normal park hours). A Minnesota Ski Pass is required. Dogs must be under control (and skijorers should be too), and poop must be cleaned up.

The trail is a multi-use trail so there may be skiers, biker, hikers and other dogs on the trail.

Parking is available at the south end off Black Dog Road (under the Cedar Avenue bridge). A State Parks permit is required for that lot. On the north end there may be parking available at the MN/DOT commuter lot by the St. Peters Church. The trail is through the tunnel from that lot.


Rum River Central
Anoka County Parks will be allowing skijorers to use the cross-country ski trail at Rum River Central Regional Park on Sundays this winter. The park is in the town of Ramsey at the intersection of Rum River Blvd. (Cty. Rd. 7) and 179th Lane; about 6.5 miles north of Hwy. 10 on Hwy. 7. There is approximately 2.7km of groomed (skate & classic) trails.


Three Rivers Park District (763) 559-9000

Dogsledding and skijoring are permitted on designated trails within Three Rivers Park District. With the exception of the multi-use trail at Baker Park Reserve, a special-use permit is required; call the Reservations office at (763) 559-6700 for further information, permits and maps.

Crow-Hassan Park Reserve (5 miles) / Elm Creek Park Reserve (11 miles)
These are designated sections of snowmobile trails, open for dogsledding and skijoring weekdays during daylight hours and weekends/holidays from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. These trails are packed. A special use permit and annual Park Patron permit are required. Use caution as snowmobile trails are heavily used on weekends and holidays.

Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve (3 miles)
The designated trail is shared with horseback riders (no snowmobiles) and is open during daylight hours. This trail is not packed. A special use permit and annual Park Patron permit are required.

Baker Park Reserve (4 miles)
This is a multi-use trail for dogsledding, skijoring, mountain biking and snowshoeing. No special use permit is required, but parking fees apply for all vehicles. Access is available from the parking lot on County Road 201, south of County Road 24.

http://www.threeriversparkdistrict.org/trails/trails_skijoring.cfm


Gateway & Luce Line Trails, maintained by Minnesota DNR
Trails are old railroad grades with parallel horse trails. Horse trails are groomed for skate skiing and dogs are not prohibited. Skiers, walkers, loose dogs, horse and road crossings on both trails. Gateway trail goes from Oakdale (Hwy 36 & I-694) to Stillwater/Pine Point Park. No snowmobiles allowed. Luce Line trail starts at Stubbs Bay (of Lake Minnetonka) in Wayzata and goes west to Winstead (?). Snowmobiles are allowed.

The Luce Line Trail is a crushed limestone surfaced trail built on an old railroad bed that starts at Parkers Lake in Plymouth. From Parkers Lake to Stubbs Bay (about 7 miles) it is closed to motorized use, including snowmobiles and ATVs, but is open to running, walking, biking and cross-country skiing. There is a horse trail that parallels the limestone surface which is also closed to motorized traffic in this area. There are several road crossings between Parkers Lake and Stubbs Bay with the longest unbroken section being a stretch about 3-miles long which runs from Old Long Lake Road near the Wayzata Country Club to Willow Drive just west of the town of Long Lake. There are three bridge crossings in this stretch, one over US 12, one over the Burlington Northern railroad tracks and one over Orono Orchard Road; all have closed bottoms and fenced sides but all can be free of snow during warm and/or low snow conditions. There is a lot of foot traffic in this area, particularly dog walkers and occasional cross-country skiers. The horse trail in this area is very challenging with a lot of short, steep hills and a narrow path. It's a favorite of local mountain bikers in the summer and fall.

The stretch from Old Long Lake Road to Willow Drive is well protected from the sun in most areas so there's often snow there when it is gone everywhere else.

In regard to the trail west of Stubbs Bay, there are a lot of aggressive (very fast) snowmobilers who can be a danger to slower moving traffic. Most are really great about slowing down and/or pulling over for dog teams but there are a few who just go rocketing by so teams have to gee-over really fast.


Rochester Area

Douglas State Trail
Runs from Rochester, MN to Douglas, MN - 13 miles one way

Out and back. Some road crossings, but works well to be dropped in one area, and then picked up as far out as you like. Snowmobile trail side by side with XC Ski Trail. Keep your teams on the snowmobile trail. Terrain is level to slightly rolling. Old railroad grade. Some bridges to cross also. No motorized carts or ATVs allowed. Because it is so straight, you can see and hear snowmobiles approaching.

NH Mushers Association
NHMA is a non-profit organization with a primary mission of uniting all mushers running dog(s) in the state of New Hampshire for the purpose of maintaining and promoting statewide trail access privileges. We maintain a listing of trails and the conditions on the Trails section of our web site.


Phillips Brook Backcountry Recreation Area
Near Stark, New Hampshire

Dogsledding has always been a popular sport at Phillips Brook. The yurts are all dog friendly and set up for lining out and turning teams. The many miles of trails we maintain are dog friendly and offer many chances for 3-15 mile runs. A favorite is bringing the dogs for trail running with overnight stays at Little Dummer Pond Yurt where the team can be kept in the truck, with an old timer in the yurt, or mushing to the high yurts and lining out the team with plenty of room at both South Summit and Cow Mountain Yurts.

Errol Rapids Yurt offers a unique chance to run on Lake Umbagog on the Mushing Trails of Mahoosuc Mountain Guides when their big dog teams are not using the trails. They must be contacted and their approval obtained prior to use.

In soft snow the up hill sections of Cow Mountain can be hard work and there are stream and bridge crossings to make on Bear Brook Trail that require checking the trail or with us prior to use. Contact us if you would like to hire a sled dog guide for a ride or yurt overnight adventure with a great team in the North Woods.

Check out www.phillipsbrook.org  for maps and pictures. Its time to put New Hampshire and Phillips Brook on your map and schedule and stay where you mush.

Bashakill Fishing & Waterfowl Area, Westbrookville N.Y.
Runs between the towns of Wurtsboro and Westbrookville N.Y. located in Sullivan County.

This consists of a old railroad bed that travels through the countryside with water on one side and fields and hills to the other. The trail is adequate for cart and sled work and several distance runs can be obtained by starting from distance point along the way ranging from 2 mile round trip to a 5 1/2 mile round trip to the longest being 20 miles. Entrance to the trail can be accessed from South Rd. in Westbrookville and then follow the signs. You can see the trail from the road and if you can't find it you've got no business being out there with dogs!! There's always plenty of parking as this is not a heavily used area in the winter.

Submitted by B.K. Manning dogman@frontiernet.net


Winona Forest, Loraine, NY
10,000 acres of State and County owned forest. Over 50 miles of wooded trails and dirt roads (most are open to dog teams) Site of the Tug Hill Challenge Sled Dog races in Jan. Trails are groomed by WERA (Western Edge Recreation Association) for Skiing, Snowmobiling and Dog Sledding. With a annual snowfall of 20 to 30 feet, trails are often open from Dec 1 to as late as April.

Submitted by Larry Obrist, Lake Effect Sled Dog Adventures, Lacona, NY Phone: 315-387-2610, E-mail: lobrist@tcenet.net

Cle Elum Trails
Cle Elum, Washington, USA
Mikki Douglass, Cle Elum, Washington, USA
Email: threedouglass@yahoo.com

Sled Dog and Skijoring opportunities on the Cle Elum Ranger District.

Northern Wisconsin Dog Mushers Association trail, between Cornucopia & Bayfield  Northern Wisconsin Dog Mushers Association trail system is now open from the Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race starting area between Cornucopia and Bayfield in the gravel pit on Highway 13. People can email me (wear@wolfsongadventures.com) if they want maps or call the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce at 715-779-3335 for more information.

There are loops at 6, 10, 15, and 30 + miles. Trail signage is good for the first couple miles and the trail is packed until it snows again.

Submitted by John Thiel


WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN

Cornell/Lake Holcombe
In the area of Cornell/Lake Holcombe there are two good trails with little to no traffic. I train my dogs here, and would like to bring other teams here to train together.

The first trail is Moonridge Trail. Total length is 12 miles. It is an old gravel logging road kept graded in Winter. It is always hard packed and fast, beautiful scenery.

The second is Deerfly Trail. This one is over 20 miles and not plowed. They are located about 40 miles North of EauClaire. Contact Paul Giencke at 715 239 6535 or e-mail: PaulieG@centurytel.net 


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