Want to try a new outdoor adventure this winter? Try skijoring!
What is skijoring? It’s a creative combination between cross-country skiing and dog sledding. Skiiers gear up, then attach a harness to their torso which is connected to a line attached to a dog or two, and off you go! It’s a much faster way to view Maine’s beautiful back country, and provides great exercise for dogs as well. People skijor for both sport and leisure. Many different dog breeds adapt well to skjioring, especially those with endurance. You don’t have to be experienced with sled dogs to skijor. Many skijorers have successfully trained their canine companion to skijor with practice.
Where you can skijor in Maine
Maine has several places with skijoring trails. Near Saddleback Mountain you can skijor 2.5 miles of world class trails at Rangeley Lakes Trails Center. The Bethel Nordic Ski Center at the Bethel Inn has a 1 mile long dog trail. Also in Bethel, Carter’s XC Ski Center offers an incredible 68 miles of skijoring trails. In Bridgton, Five Fields Farm has 12.5 miles of skijoring trails. Harris Farm XC Ski Center in Dayton offers 25 miles of trails. Sugarloaf Outdoor Center in Carrabassett Valley offers 6 miles of dog trails, and Quarry Road Recreation Area in Waterville offers 3 miles of trails for skijoring.
Want to try Skijoring?
If you don’t have your own dog (or a dog trained for skijoring) you can try out skijoring at New England Dogsledding (207-731-6888) in Mason Township, in the Bethel region.
Prefer to check it out first?
There are several places in Maine where you can watch skijoring. The CAN-AM Crown International Sled Dog Race in Fort Kent introduced the 10th Mountain Skijor Races in 2015. The races were hosted on the Fort Kent Outdoor Club’s world class nordic trails. Races are 5k, 10k and 15k distances and attract participants from New England and Canada each year. The New England Sled Dog Club and the Down East Sled Dog Club host skijoring events each year as well.