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Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge
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Reviews (32)
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Reviewed 1 January 2013 via mobile

Mere words can not describe the experience. The smell, comraderie, excitement and sound of the dogs is electrifying and addictive. And this is said by someone who really does not like dogs.

I came alone on the first trip of the year for the 4-day lodge to lodge trip and had a wonderful time. The food is excellent. You can participate in as much or little of dog care as you want. Being middle age and in good shape, I did not find it to be too physical. Occasionally, we would have to step off the sled and jog beside it to help get the sled up the hills. One could kick as if on a scooter instead. A repeat customer told me this rarely occurs on trips later in the year do to the trails being more snow covered and smoother. However, it will be colder later in the year.

I rented boots and parka and was comfortably warm. They are well organized and know what they are doing. They go out of their way to customize the trip to your abilities, needs and wishes. It was just two of us on our last day and we went into the Boundary Waters to look at pictographs, try our hand at cross country skiing, skijoring (pulled by dog on skis), zip sledding (1-man sled) and hiking. Throw in the Finnish sauana and I safely can say I experienced much more than I could imagine.

If you are on aware of who Paul Schurke is, google his name. Wintergreen is royalty!

If you are remotely interested in dog sledding, I highly recommend Wintergreen.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank worth-voyageur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul S, Owner at Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 7 September 2017

We're delighted you enjoyed your Wintergreen dogsledding experience! Thanks so much for sharing your kinds comments. We hope to share another dogsled vacation with you. Happy trails! Paul & Sue & the Wintergreen team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2012

I went on a 4 night lodge based dogsled vacation and had a blast. I went as a solo traveller and was welcomed by the other guests and guides. The cabin was super comfy, the food was super delicious and the guides were so knowledgeable and gracious. What an incredible opportunity to learn about mushing, sleds and dogs. The staff know their stuff, go out of their way to help and really make sure you have a good experience at every turn. From getting the dogs ready in the morning, to gear, to ice caves, and stopping run away sleds it is clear that this is a place run by professionals who know their stuff and love what they do.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank Nerdpack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul S, Owner at Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 7 September 2017

We're delighted you enjoyed your Wintergreen dogsledding experience! Thanks so much for sharing your kinds comments. We hope to share another dogsled vacation with you. Happy trails! Paul & Sue & the Wintergreen team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2011

My husband and I had an amazing experience dog sledding with Wintergreen.

What piqued our interest was watching Samantha Brown dog sledding with Wintergreen on the Travel Channel. I then proceeded to check out other outfitters from Ely to Grand Marais. After a lot of research Wintergreen is clearly in a class of their own versus other outfitters. They have monumental history, experience, professionalism and passion in what they do. The design of their sleds was also a selling point as my husband and I could share a sled standing side by side. So we figured if Wintergreen was good enough for Samantha Brown, National Geographic, etc. they are good enough for us too.

Before embarking on a several day journey we decided to try a day trip first. They were very accommodating with our reservations. We were treated like family the way Sue and Becka welcomed us into their lodge for orientation. We provided them with our age and physical abilities in advance so they could design a custom day trip dependent upon our capabilities and wants/needs. Sue and her furry companion Izzie were our guides for the day on cross country skis in front of us and Becka followed our sled. We started out on the lake to let us get accustomed with the sled and let the dogs rid some energy. We then proceeded onto trails and had light snowfall that made for a serene setting. There were times when going uphill we had to pedal kick or one person would get off the sled to give the dogs a break, but it was not demanding and made you feel part of the team. We did take a tumble or two in the snow but that was part of the fun! The dogs Clark, Sweet Pea, Kirsch, Jack and Jill were amazing. My husband was especially fond of Jill and wanted to take her back home with us.

We are in our mid-forties and mid-fifties so if we can do this, just about anyone can. As a matter of fact, we have been back now for a week and we still can’t stop talking about how much fun we had – to each other or to anyone that will listen. We are now trying to enlist friends for a return 3 or 4 day trek.

Sue and Becka were wonderful guides, photographers and historians. Paired up with those beautiful dogs, they gave us memories that we will cherish forever.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank mngolfergal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul S, Owner at Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 7 September 2017

We're delighted you enjoyed your Wintergreen dogsledding experience! Thanks so much for sharing your kinds comments. We hope to share another dogsled vacation with you. Happy trails! Paul & Sue & the Wintergreen team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2011

I stayed at Wintergreen for a 4-night dogsled trip with a friend. What a blast! It was beyond freezing (-20 degrees during the day and -46 degrees at night), but our rooms were warm and cozy, and we stayed warm on the trail thanks to many layers and plenty of exercise! Beautiful scenery, excellent guides, outstanding food and oh, the dogs!! We couldn't get enough of them.

You need to be in good shape for this trip, and don't be afraid to get slobbered on or fall in the snow a few (or many) times. That is a big part of the fun! The accommodations are basic but very cozy, and the upstairs part of the lodge is especially private and relaxing. But the focus here is the scenery, the fresh air and the dogs. You can take part in as little or as much of your team's care as you like. But believe me, by the end of the trip, you'll want to spend as much time as you can with those mutts! They are just so lovable.

Unforgettable trip... made me feel glad to be alive!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Shelly6319
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul S, Owner at Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 7 September 2017

We're delighted you enjoyed your Wintergreen dogsledding experience! Thanks so much for sharing your kinds comments. We hope to share another dogsled vacation with you. Happy trails! Paul & Sue & the Wintergreen team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2010

My boyfriend and I ventured to Ely, MN from Feb 23 - 28, 2010 for one of Wintergreen's beginning camping trips. This included the first and last night at the Wintergreen and Timber Trail lodge (respectively) and three nights camping in the Boundary Water Wilderness Area. We came for an adventure and unique experience and boy did we get one!

The first night at the Wintergreen Lodge featured a group dinner with the other guests and guides. The guides gave a presentation about what to expect from our 3 nights of camping and went over some basic tips on how we could make ourselves more comfortable at night. They came to all of the guest rooms and did a gear check to make sure everyone was outfitted properly for the days ahead.

The dinner we had on the first night was excellent and abundant. One of the guides markedly said, "Leave your diet at home ... you'll need all the calories you can get." I laughed a little to myself when I heard this, but he turned out to be right.

I will say that this vacation is not for people who prefer to lounge by the pool drinking rum punch all day. You get out there and you WORK. From sun-up to about 9:30 pm, you are active. Setting up camp takes about 2 hours and involves gathering firewood, punching a hole in 2ft of ice so you can boil water over the fire, feeding the dogs, setting up tents, getting gear together, making meals, and really (lets face it) ... trying to stay warm. During the day you are mushing with the dogs and pushing the sled when it needs to be pushed, breaking trail, and running alongside the sled when your dogs need a break.

Our first night of camping saw an almost record low temperature of -27oF. The next night it was -21oF, and the night after that it was -15oF. It is hard to describe what that kind of cold feels like. Simply saying, 'its cold' doesn't do it justice. Its the type of cold that really makes you rethink your reasons for being out there on a frozen lake, with a dogsled parked outside your tent, in the first place.

The guide we had on our trip (4 guests total in the group) was great. Everyone really came together and worked as a team to get things done quickly and before the sun set. And in spite of the cold, I can't remember a time in recent memory when I have laughed so hard and for so long as I did on this trip.

This is the type of trip where you really see what you're made of. It is challenging and rewarding. You come away from it feeling like you've accomplished something and feeling nostalgic for the people you met and the experiences you had. It also re-emphasizes how beautiful America really is and how you don't have to travel half way around the world to find peace and solitude in your environment.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank meyvin21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul S, Owner at Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 7 September 2017

We're delighted you enjoyed your Wintergreen dogsledding experience! Thanks so much for sharing your kinds comments. We hope to share another dogsled vacation with you. Happy trails! Paul & Sue & the Wintergreen team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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