Ole Miss Outdoors prepares for dog-sledding trip

Posted on Nov 28 2017 - 8:00am by Rachel Ishee

On Jan. 14, a group of 10 Ole Miss students and Oxford residents will embark on a weeklong trip to Ely, Minnesota, as part of an Ole Miss Outdoors dog-sledding trip.

The trip costs $600 for students and $650 for community members. As of now, all spots are filled, but there is a waiting list in case students drop out or there are any changes.

“This has been an extremely popular trip, especially because it takes place over the winter break,” said Shannon Richardson, assistant director of Ole Miss Outdoors. “And, of course, the Canadian Eskimo sled dogs are incredibly adorable.”

This is not the first dog-sledding trip OMOD has taken in recent years.

“About eight years ago, OMOD led a dog-sledding trip to Algonquin Provincial Park in Canada, and it was one of the best trips in our program’s history,” Richardson said. “The participants experienced a wonderful adventure, and it was truly an experience of a lifetime.”

She said the reason OMOD would not be traveling to Canada again this year was because of the difficulty crossing the border on the previous trip.

“We decided to stay in the United States this time, and we chose Ely, Minnesota, for our destination after reading the awesome reviews on the Wintergreen Lodge,” Richardson said.

Known as the nation’s dog-sledding capital, Richardson said Wintergreen Lodge is one of the best destinations to experience dog-sledding for the first time.

“Wintergreen is the most experienced dog sled outfitter in the business and the only lodge operation devoted exclusively to dog-sledding,” Richardson said.

Richardson said the nearby Boundary Waters wilderness area ranks among the top 50 most scenic places in the world. OMOD employee Alison El-Feraly said the trip offers students the chance to travel and see something new.

“I think this is a one of a kind experience that most people living in the state of Mississippi never get the chance to do,” El-Feraly said. “If I had the opportunity to go, I would take advantage of it.”

On the trip, students will be able to do much more than just dog-sled. Watering and feeding the sled dogs, campfire picnics, a Finnish sauna and a visit to the International Wolf Center are all experiences that will be offered during the weeklong trip.

Richardson said people don’t have to be experienced dog-sledders to attend to trip.

“This trip is appropriate for participants of all backgrounds and abilities. The Wintergreen staff caters experiences for every individual,” she said. “The OMOD trip leaders are Alison Walker and Francis Liaw, and they are experienced second-year graduate assistants.”