Dog Sledding Tours in Wisconsin: Siberian Outpost

We’re all looking for exciting adventure close to home since COVID is keeping us from ventures afar. I didn’t have to travel to Siberia to experience authentic dog sledding. Siberia Outpost outside Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, delivered more adrenalin than anticipated.

Siberian Outpost: The Call of the Wild

Two Siberian Huskies stand side-by-side on harness line at Siberian Outpost
Siberian Huskies howl at the chance to run in the woods | UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Wittig photo
“15 years and 20 dogs ago, my wife told me ‘no more dogs,'” says Jim Feyen (pronounced ‘fine’) of Siberian Outpost in Malone, Wisconsin.
 
I look around at the eight dogs that are swarming around his feet. “How did you get by that?” I ask.
“What?” he says.
“How did you get over your wife’s demand?” I repeat.
“What?” he smiles, cupping his hand to his ear.
 
Jim has been running Siberian Huskies and giving dogsledding tours for 27 years. His kennels are meticulously clean, his dogs are healthy and happy and his sense of humor is unfailing.

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Pinterest pin with text " Dog sledding in Wisconsin " and dog sled with dogs ahead of it in the snow

Buckle up for adventure

I’m at this Wisconsin dog sledding tour outpost to learn more about sled dogs and mushing. And so we jump right into it by hitching up the team. Each soft-nylon harness is custom fit for the dog, and Jim calls out the name on the harness as he picks each up, “Coco, come!”
 
From the swarm of dogs wandering the heated kennel or running in the outdoor, fenced paddock, Coco appears. She stands for the harness. 
 
“Left,” barks Jim. Coco picks up her left foot and the musher slides her leg into the harness.
 
“Right,” he commands, and the pooch picks up the other foot, and the harness is on. During the process of harnessing 16 Siberian Huskies, Jim tells stories, all sprinkled with his sense of humor, of course. And the Huskies seem as playful as Jim.

Dog sledding in Wisconsin

Most of Jim’s dogs are rescues or surrenders. “Someone calls me and knows someone who must get rid of their Siberian or get evicted from their apartment,” explains Jim.

He also works with an animal foster organization. “Right now, I have 16 running and two in retirement.”

“The vet bills are a killer, and that’s just for checkups,” he says, patting Bear’s head.

Jim's dogs leave prints on his heart

I step back into the warming house while Jim finishes the harnessing. This is where Jim talks with school kids during field trips to Siberian Outpost. There is an antique dog sled, books, posters and photos of his beloved dogs. I’m looking high up at blue harnesses hanging near the rafters. Jim notices my interest when he comes to fetch me.
 
“Those are the retired jerseys,” he explains. “Those are my dogs that I’ve lost over the last 27 years.” I read the sign that says, “Our dogs have left paw prints on our hearts.”

Wisconsin Dog Sledding: The Musher's Pedal

“They’re excited and ready to run,” announces Jim. “Time to get in the sled.” 

The dogs are anxious to get going. Once I climb aboard, we take off to the woods. “We’ll stay on the wooded trails too keep out of the wind,” says Jim giving a few suitable pumps from his foot at the back of the sled. It’s the musher’s pedal, he says.

Then we’re off!

My dog sledding tour in Wisconsin

The wind burns my cheeks as we pick up speed. The dogs dash through the woods on a tight, groomed trail. On his 37 acres of land, Jim has developed over three miles of trails.

“Back here, I have the nicest trails possible,” he touts. “Every snowfall needs to be packed.” Jim purchased a mini-snowmobile trail grooming machine to do the job. He also maintains the trails all summer long by hauling gravel and wood chips and cutting the brush away from the track.

I’m surprised at the feeling of euphoria as we glide over a frozen pond. Just watching the sixteen dogs working in harmony and running effortlessly makes me joyful. If I’d known that dog sledding in Wisconsin was so fun, I would have done it sooner…and more frequently!

Siberian Outpost: Memories that last

After the adrenaline-pumping ride with trees whizzing by, I hang out with the dogs. Siberian Outpost certainly created memories that will last with me forever. I learned so much about dog sledding in Wisconsin and dog handling in general.

At first, I’d been a little nervous being around so many dogs that I didn’t know. But Jim quelled my fears right away. 

“None of them bites,” he assured me and then laughed. “I’m the only one around here that bites.” He points to one of the Siberian Huskies’ ears that has a bite mark out of it. 

“The school kids love that one,” he jokes.

Wisconsin dog sledding at Siberian Outpost

My welcoming committee at Siberian Outpost

“When a car pulls up, they know they are going for a run,” says Jim. “They are always excited when they see someone coming.”

The picture above is of my welcoming committee when I arrived at Siberian Outpost.

Newspapers and magazines around the nation have featured stories about Jim’s dog sledding tours. People have traveled from Germany, Israel and Australia to go dog sledding at Siberian Outpost.

Siberian Outpost is only 30 minutes from Christi’s Inn in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, where I stayed during my winter adventure.

My winter getaway included hiking the Ice Age Trail on Sturgeon Bay in Lake Michigan, eating local cheese in cozy backwoods restaurants and going dog sledding in Wisconsin.

My affordable room in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, at Christi’s Inn.

As is common in the travel industry, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey was provided with accommodations and tours for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the Arizona travel writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.

In addition, this blog, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel, contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, Stacey earns a commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help reduce the costs of keeping this travel blog active. 

Further, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks for reading.

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6 thoughts on “Dog Sledding Tours in Wisconsin: Siberian Outpost”

    • Thanks so much, Lori! I’m glad I conveyed my enthusiasm of the Call of the Wild during my Wisconsin dog sledding tour!

      Reply

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