While researching attractions near the Omni Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, we stumbled on the website for Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel. We love unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and dog sledding seemed like a perfect fit!
Because we care very much about animal welfare and wanted to feel confident about the ethics of this tour, we spent quite some time researching dog sledding in general and Muddy Paw in particular. As soon as we arrived on site, we felt confident that the dogs truly love running the sleds and that the caretakers at Muddy Paw adore these pups.
We decided on a 5:30pm tour, since we thought it would be especially cool to sled in the dark. Our tour guide met us with a flashlight to walk us to a small welcome center where we signed our participant release waivers and bundled up for a cold ride. We dressed in our ski gear and wore several layers of warm clothes, since we’d be on the tour for an hour in the freezing air. Then our guide took us to meet the sled dogs- the kennel has approximately 100 dogs in total, and our sled would be pulled by around a dozen of them.
Because the evening was so dark, it was super cool and spooky to see the dogs’ eyes reflecting the little light there was. As our guide was selecting dogs for our tour, it was clear that the pups all wanted to be chosen- they definitely love running the sleds!
After all the dogs were harnessed, we sat in the sled basket and our guide stood at the rear so he could steer. We took off down a hill and onto a flat path lined by trees, with the moonlight and stars peeking through. The dogs were so cute- one kept turning around to get approval from the musher for a job well done.
They pulled us for a mile or two out, made a turn at the end of the path, and ran us back to the welcome center, which gave us about an hour total on the trail. They ran at a clip that was fast enough to be exciting, but not so fast that it felt dangerous (especially in the dark!). After an hour in the snowy weather, we were very glad we had dressed so warmly, in addition to using hand and foot warmers. We helped unhook the dogs and pet them goodbye as they retired back to their houses for the night.
Overall, we had a wonderful time with Muddy Paw and wholeheartedly recommend it to any animal lovers looking for a unique travel experience.