While dog sledding may commonly be associated with Arctic regions, like Siberia or Alaska, there are actually opportunities to engage in this distinctive activity within more temperate locations as well! If you are looking for a unique way to intimately immerse with the elements and natural world, consider enrolling in a dog sled workshop or multi-day adventure offered through adventure and outdoor companies, as well as resorts and hotels.
For example, Waldschrat Schlittenhundeschule and Huskyhof (Waldschrat Adventure Company) was founded in 1988, the first dog sledding school to be established in Germany. Located just outside the town of Zwiesel, in the Bavarian Forest, Waldschrat is run by long time musher (dog sledder) Thomas Gut. Those new to the activity can learn the art and sport of dog sledding and even stay overnight there. The school also trains competitors. Travel writer and journalist, Adam H. Graham, shared about his time at Waldschrat in a Wall Street Journal article (“Go Dog Wild”, April 12, 2013). He described experiences like learning how to tie knots and ganglines for attaching the team of dogs, feeding the Huskies and cleaning their kennels, being matched to a dog based on common personality and learning how to steer and brake. There at the same time as Graham was a man from Berlin who was addicted to dog sledding because, he said, “it lets me get away from my everyday life… sometimes we just need to turn off our phones and connect with nature.” When Graham got to be the musher of his own sled, he fell off a couple times. But the wipe-outs were no big deal and he was able to run and jump back on to the moving sled. He describes one part of his journey: “Mr. Gut was ahead and out of sight, so it was just me and the dogs, who required little direction on the narrow path. We swooshed through the largest protected forest in Central Europe, passing trickling waterfalls and fragrant pines.”
Waldschrat is just one example of a company that provides such a thrilling wintertime experience. Guides and resorts elsewhere in Germany, as well as in Switzerland, Austria, Northern Italy and beyond also offer several-hour or several-day, dog sledding workshops and trips. Some even offer additional activities, such as winter hiking and snowshoeing with a Husky companion, or even being hooked up to the dogs as part of the running sledge team. Your winter holiday might totally revolve around dog sledding or it may include a variety of activities.
If you are looking for information on walking and hiking, as well as handy rustic to luxury accommodations, in this part of the world, visit TouchingNature.co.uk