As a lover of the outdoors and, I’d like to think, a pretty adventurous guy, dog sledding seemed like an activity I’d really enjoy. So, in typical Drenalin Adventures fashion I decided to give it a try with zero prior knowledge. I mean, a sled? Some dogs? What could go wrong?
With this mindset, my wife, Deanna, and I were off to Haliburton Forest, where we would try dogsledding for the first time. With the weather app becoming more and more discouraging each day I checked it, it seemed necessary to pack for any and all possible weather themed issues. From freezing rain to temperatures far below freezing, mother nature was eerily dangling the idea that weather might be the down fall of this trip.
I badly wanted to get the full dog sledding experience; and as much as I knew it was something I would enjoy, I could easily see hypothermia ruining what would have been a great trip. I brought everything I could think of, goggles, hats, gloves, coats, snow pants, a mountain of wool socks, and with that we were on our way. I was gradually becoming more excited for the trip the closer we got to Haliburton Forest; dog sledding really seemed like the perfect “rugged Canadian activity”.
After a five-hour drive, we reached our destination. Just looking around at the gorgeous scenery made the trip worthwhile for me. We were surrounded by forest in all direction, peaceful except for the distant sound of dogs barking. Every branch and twig blanketed with a thick layer of newly fallen snow intensely reflecting the light coming from the clear sky. Contrary to what I had expected, the weather was beautiful. Cold, don’t get me wrong, but appropriate for dog sledding. Icicles had accumulated along the roofs of the cabins scattered around the reserve. It looked exactly as you would imagine it would: a perfect cozy aesthetic.
First things first: figure out what we were doing. We headed to the front desk of what looked to be the main cabin out of the assortment. There we were met by Teagan, who shared with us a bit of information about the reserve, it really was an incredible place. With over ____ acres of property and endless activities to take part in, it was somewhere I could see myself revisiting again and again without getting ever getting bored.
After talking with Teagan, it was time to start the tour. We met with our guides who took us through the process and sorted out our sleds. It was, as cautioned, completely chaotic. A swarm of hyperactive dogs surrounded us, all barking while not-so-patiently waiting to be harnessed. Once we had our dogs in check we were ready to go. My wife and I got settled in a double sled and we finally started sledding. By this time, it had really started snowing, contrary to what I had thought: the snow almost made the experience more enjoyable. The forest was already gorgeous; especially if you are someone who can appreciate the beauty of nature. It wasn’t uncomfortably cold or windy, it was absolutely perfect.
To really put the cherry on top of an already amazing day, our tour guides took the time to tell us a little bit more about the kennels as well as meet a few more dogs. Considering Deanna and I are both dog people we were ecstatic to be able to spend more time with these adorably fun-loving dogs. Haliburton kennels really did an excellent job training their huskies to be the best they can be. It was an absolute pleasure to be able to learn more about the amazing work that goes into making every aspect of Haliburton Forest truly spectacular.