Want to take your cross-country skiing up a notch? Try skikjøring (pronounced skee-JOAR-ing), where skiers are pulled by a dog, horse or motor vehicle—for some fast fun.
A cousin to dog sledding, skijøring tethers a skier to one or more dogs wearing chest harnesses. It can be a simple winter walk with the family dog, or a competitive race with three dogs pulling the skier.
Long popular in Alaska and Scandinavia, the sport is fast growing in upstate New York. Cross-country ski areas have opened miles of trails to the sport—spawning skijøring clubs, clinics, racing events, and outfitters who will even provide dogs.
Some basic equipment, an eager canine or two, and a pair of cross country skis puts you well on your way with this inexpensive sport. Typically an active, healthy dog that weighs at least 35 pounds can skijør, from Labrador Retrievers to Border Collies and even Standard Poodles. Thick fur and ice resistant pads are important, especially when bushwhacking. Just be sure dogs are welcome at the trails you use.
Check with individual ski areas to see if they have trails for skijoring and find information on events across New York.
We guarantee you won’t have to walk the dog when you get home!