Travel Wisconsin: Dog-Friendly Winter Activities

Wisconsin's Afternoon News



On February 3-4. Bayfield hosts the 23rd annual Apostle Island Sled Dog Race.


-The event includes two main races: a 10-dog, 80-mile race and a 6 dog, 60-mile race. The races take place on both days, with half of the total race distance completed on each day.

-Other weekend events include family and youth races and a “meet the mushers” dinner that’s open to the public the night before the race on February 2.

-Multiple spectator locations are available with amenities including a warming tent, concessions and bonfires.


Stop by the Madison Winter Festival to see the Elver Park Skijor Race, an exciting race where experienced and novice skiers compete with their dogs on a skijor loop.

-The term “skijoring” comes for the Norwegian word for “ski driving,” and can be described as a blend of cross-country skiing and dog sledding.

-The skier is attached to their dog with a belt and towline, the dog then runs ahead as the skier skis.

-Madison Winter Fest will take place February 3-4, 2018, with the skijoring race taking place on the 4th. Dogs and owners will make a short 2 km loop around Elver Park, with all dogs receiving a special treat at the end of the race.

-Other events at Madison Winter Festival include:

-A candlelight ski and snowshoe tour, the Frosty 5K run/walk, ice hockey, snow carving, ice skating, sledding and more!


The Barkie Birkie takes place on Thursday, February 22, the first day of events at the American Birkebeiner in Hayward.

-The Barkie Birkie is the skijoring event of the annual Birkebeiner. Spectators can watch 100 skiers and their furry friends compete in the 3K sport category, for beginner racers or the 5K expert category for experienced teams.

-The race course loops through the city of Hayward, starting and ending downtown.

-Stay for the classic Birkebeiner race, the largest cross-country ski race in North America.

-Cheer on skiers in the Kortelopet (Korte), which is the 29K half marathon distance, and the classic 55k Birkebeiner (Birkie) race. 

-The American Birkebeiner event is more than a series of races, it has become a premier sports destination for outdoor enthusiasts. People travel to the area to ski the famous Birkie trail throughout the winter season.


For more, check out

Print this article Back to Top