A friend of mine went dog sledding with Expedition Wolf in Riviere Rouge, Quebec last year. Since then, she tries to get everybody she knows to go with her. It tool a bit of convincing for me but I had the time of my life. At least once in your life you have to go to Expedition Wolf in Riviere Rouge which is 2 and a half hours from Montreal. It is the coolest, most exhilarating, fun, memorable,entertaining, and greatest experience you will ever have.
The people at Expedition Wolf are professionals and it shows. Their foremost concern is always the health of the dogs, Many of the directives have to do with making sure the dogs will be safe and have a good experience too. The dogs themselves want nothing more than to go sledding and get very excited and eager when they see the handlers coming down the road with a bunch of people out for a good time.
There is an art to keeping an eye on customers without their feeling like they are being treated like children, bossed around, or not trusted. Expedition Wolf is very good at making sure no one gets out of line or does anything that could get them or the dogs hurt but the customer never feels he or she is not trusted with things. All this also makes for a very kid friendly experience if you have kids.
The trip starts with the customer leading different dogs to different sleds. The reverse process happens at the end of the trip when the dogs are unharnessed and lead back to their doghouse.
Instructions are given on how to dogsled safely. Where to stand on the runners, when to stand on the brake, always have at least one hand on the sled, when to get off and help the dogs up a hill, how to stop, and so on.
Off you go. Each sled has one musher and one passenger. A musher works more than I thought I would have to. Helping push the sled is a bit of work, so is braking a sled pulled by dogs who are just happy as hell running down the path. One thing that is obvious is the dogs are well-trained so they will stop when asked to and start up when it is time to do so. Your sled is never out of control.
There is a stop halfway so the dogs can rest and so people can get a rest, some hot chocolate, some Maple Leaf maple cookies, juice, water, and so on. On the return trip the passenger becomes the musher and the musher becomes the passenger.
When the dogs start getting antsy and excited again it is time for the return trip.
The return trip is just as fun and you are not just retracing your steps.
There was time at the end of the day for us to visit with the dogs and pet them. Again, things are closely but not oppressively supervised so you do not get in any awkward situation if you listen to the directives.
Expedition Wolf in Riviere Rouge also has a shelter and a rehabilitation program for abandonned dogs. I am sure that too is well-managed.