Unleash your winter wonderland spirit this season by exploring Ontario’s outdoors on a dog-powered sled. We had the pleasure of filming an episode of Fido & Wine in the picturesque Haliburton Highlands with Winterdance Sled Dogs — owned and operated by husband and wife team Hank DeBruin and Tanya McCready-DeBruin, with “help” from their 4 young dogsledding children. They also have about 150 huskies in their family, and baby, these dogs were born to run! With a staff of friendly guides to take you out, this is one adventure that we think you’ll love.
At Winterdance, you can discover the thrill of dogsledding by learning to drive a dogteam. They offer 2-hour, ½ day, full day, moonlight, or multi-day dog sledding trips, as well as private tours. This popular destination opens in December (when Mother Nature says “mush!), and is always open by Christmas. One trend that owner Tanya has seen the last couple of years is people buying getaways for their entire families: they come up for a few days over the holidays, rent a cottage and go dogsledding, skiing, etc. These families give each other the gift of winter fun rather than putting presents under the tree. Sounds good to us!
The first thing you’ll notice is that the dogs can’t get enough — cue the bouncing and yipping — and the excitement is contagious! Then suddenly, it’s just the sound of sled blades on snow as the intensely focused dogs take off. Being on the sled and carving up the adventurous trails surrounded by the solitude of nature makes you feel alive. It manages to be exhilarating and peaceful at the same time.
To see our fabulous footage from Winterdance and to watch owner Hank DeBruin cook up a stew for them, trailside (in a cooler, no less!) visit this link: