Sled Dog Races in Northern Wisconsin: Bayfield and Iron River

Sled Dogs Looking back, getting ready to race

Sled Dog Races in Northern Wisconsin: Bayfield and Iron River

Pre race jitters. Teams of dogs barking and jumping with excitement. Mushers getting gear ready. Yes. You can feel the excitement and anticipation in the air. The dogs live for this. They love to race and RUN! And what an amazing thing to watch.

If this is your first sled dog race, get ready because you are in for a wild ride. 

Ever Wonder Where to find Sled Dog Races in Northern Wisconsin?

Sled dog racing sounds like something you would only see in a movie doesn’t it.  Not the case in Northern Wisconsin this winter. There will be two sled dog races in the Ashland, Washburn, Bayfield, and Iron River areas in February and both are worthy of a trek into the great outdoors to behold this competitive test of strength, endurance, and will.

Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race in Bayfield Wisconsin

Apostle Island Sled Dog Race (AISDR)

The first weekend in February Bayfield Wisconsin hosts the 24th Annual Apostle Island Sled Dog Race (AISDR) and is expecting as many as 60 teams from across the United States and Canada.

It’s reason enough to visit Bayfield in the winter to see the beauty of snow covered Lake Superior.  This picturesque town is overflowing with charm and character any time of the year. But there is something about sipping your morning coffee overlooking a snow covered street that exudes the definition of relaxing winter getaway. Add in a dog sled race for excitement and what more could you want?

Northern Pines Sled Dog Race

The Northern Pines Sled Dog Race will begin and end in Iron River Wisconsin at the beautiful Northern Pines Golf Course and Event Center. Teams will be racing through breathtaking Bayfield County and parts of its National Forest.

Sled Dogs Racing near a forest
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

The Iron River Chamber of Commerce website says:


This sprint race is an exhilarated down hill run through the golf course entering the Bayfield County Trail system and the Tri-County Corridor. Spectators will experience the excitement of the race from vantage points on event center grounds and along the trail route.”


Another reason to attend is getting to meet to meet a local celebrity and talented dog sled racer. Talia Martens was a 2018 Junior Iditarod Sled Dog Race Competitor and is racing in the 80 mile Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race in Bayfield, Wisconsin as well as speaking at the musher dinner at the Northern Pines Sled Dog Race on Friday night in Iron River Wisconsin.


Of course this is the perfect excuse to get your family into the great outdoors in the middle of a Wisconsin winter. There will be free family-friendly events taking place before and during both races. Above all, there will be ample opportunity to see the excitement of the dogs and racers and dream about how exhilarating it must feel to be a musher for a day!  

Couple smiling at each other in the snow
Photo by: Daniel Silva Gaziola
Unique events like these are what make Northern Wisconsin the best place to travel year round.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your cold weather adventure.

Take your doggie on vacation.

Take your people on vacation.

Husky with Blue Eyes Laying in the Snow
Photo by Simon Rae

Most importantly, head to Northern Wisconsin for your perfect Winter vacation!  


If you are looking for dog friendly accommodations look no further than Mission Springs Resort in Ashland Wisconsin. Our location off of HWY 13 North and a mile from U.S. HWY 2 makes us the perfect home base for your Northern Wisconsin vacation.