Here you will find a list of frequently asked questions!
Are reservations required?
YES! Reservations must be made in advance. Please call as far in advance as possible.
- First and last names
- Two contact numbers (at least one must be a cell number)
- Age category: Adult (12+ years old); Child (4-11 years old); Toddler (0-3 years old)
- Whether they have any physical limitations (so we can better accommodate them) and the nature of the limitation
- Booking discount/voucher codes
- Which tour you'd like to reserve
- Your first and second choice of available dates; and first and second choice of start times.
How do I pay and when is it due?
What is your Refund/Cancellation policy?
Full refunds are issued only if cancellation notice is received in writing more than 60 days prior to the tour date. No refunds or alternate dates are issued within 30 days of the tour date, except in the case of illness, accident, or family bereavement. When documented proof is received, a full refund will be granted only to the guest seeking the refund, not the group.
Refunds are issued within 90 days of the end of our season.
*Certain packages and programs are subject to their own refund policies.*
Please note that we reserve the right to alter the itinerary and/or activities available of packages based on weather, snow conditions, and safety precautions. We also reserve the right to end a tour early if conditions become unsafe or participants do not follow the rules. Unless we state otherwise, there is no refund if certain activities are not available.
Participants who cause damage and/or injury to equipment, persons, or dogs will be held financially and otherwise responsible for all costs incurred. Payment must be made in full prior to leaving our facilities. If a total cost cannot be provided to you immediately, the cost will be determined and invoiced to you. This invoice must be paid within 7 days of receipt.
M.U.S.H.E.R.S. Dog Sled Tours is committed to excellence in serving all customers including people with disabilities and is in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Click Here for our Accessibility Policy.
What kind of dogs do you run?
The kennel currently consists of 27 dogs, but can fluctuate at any given time from 25 - 35. A few of the dogs are Alaskan Huskies, a breed bred for speed and stamina. The other dogs are either purebred Siberian Huskies or Siberian Husky Crosses.
Many of the dogs in the kennel have been rescued from abusive or undesirable situations, as we here at MUSHERS have open-hearts for those dogs whom do not receive the love and care they deserve. These rescues go through socialization programs to help them rehabilitate. While some bounce back right away to a new environment, others take much longer and can have slow progress with many set backs. For this reason, we ask that you follow the rules of our kennel when visiting so as to not upset any of our dogs!
Can I bring my dog/pet on the sled with me?
Unfortunately, for the safety of our dogs and your dogs, we do not allow pets. There is a great dog boarding facility a few doors down from us, who offers excellent care and attention to each of their boarders. To reserve your pet's home-away-from-home, call (705) 867-BARK or visit Mann's Best Friend Dog Boarding Kennel.
Do you allow service animals?
YES! We do allow service animals. Service animals must be clearly marked; and you may be asked to provide your doctor's letter of permission. All of our staff have been properly trained to assist you and your service animal to make you feel comfortable.
For safety reasons, we cannot allow a service animal to accompany participants on a tour or to roam through the kennel, but you and your service animal are more than welcome to enjoy the property and it's offerings! We will provide a warm and safe environment for your service animal to be housed while you're on tour.
What affects how the dogs will run?
It's important to remember that though sled dogs love what they do and can generally be thoroughly insulted if they do not get to run on the teams, they are not machines. They cannot run constant, all the time, non stop in any condition, just because you've paid to go out on tour. There are conditions that will limit their abilities, create stressful situations, cause them to not want to run at all, or cause them to run so fast you'll never catch them if you let go!
In general, the following conditions will cause a tougher run for the dogs, and subsequently for you, the musher:
- temperatures above -10 C (typical of late winter/early spring temperatures)
- heavy snow fall/rain
- sticky snow conditions
- musher/passenger emotion
- Your team of dogs are working because they WANT to, not because you purchased a 'dog sledding tour'! So be courteous, work with them, it's a team sport requiring team efforts!
For a detailed article about this topic, click here.
How physically fit do I have to be?
Dog sledding is a very physical sport. It requires a high level of energy, and some strength. That said, all of the packages offered are suited around the physical abilities of each participant. Participants do not need to be extremely fit, but a moderate fitness level will come to an advantage.
How much physical work you do will depend on whether you're driving the sled or riding as a passenger. The driver will always do more work than the passenger, but the passenger does not get a free ride. There will still be circumstances where even the passenger will be required to perform a little bit of work.
We make sure to gear your day around your abilities and comfort zone, so even those who are mildly athletic will have an enjoyable experience. Please make sure to tell your guides whether you have any medical conditons (or are on any medications) that can be aggravated by physical exertion and/or extreme weather BEFORE you start your tour.
What about insurance?
M.U.S.H.E.R.S. has a very specific, comprehensive liability insurance package, which fully covers all participants in the activities offered by MUSHERS.
While MUSHERS goes to great lengths to make your experience a safe and enjoyable one, there are inherent risks beyond human control. We take great measures to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries, but your group is also responsible for following the rules we lay out. Failure to comply with these rules will results in immediate dismissal of all activities without a refund. While we want to promote an enjoyable experience, we must also act in your best interest and enforce these rules.
Participants are required to sign a waiver releasing M.U.S.H.E.R.S. of any legal and financial responsibility in the event that there is an accident/injury. Participants are also required to sign, in compliance with, the rules laid out by M.U.S.H.E.R.S. to ensure maximal safety.
How much am I included in?
Do I get to drive my own team?
Yes. The average team consists of 6 dogs, and two people per sled. One person drives, while the other rides as a passenger in the basket. There are opportunities through-out the tour for trading. Before beginning your tour, you will be given a 15-25 minute tutorial that teaches you to the rules and dog sledding 'how-to'. This tutorial is detailed for everybody's safety, you must pay attention!
Participants under the age of 12 years may not drive a sled. Participants between the ages of 12 and 16 years will require approval by the head guide. Approval is granted at the sole and personal discretion of the guide based on the child’s size, weight, age, behaviour, and athletic ability. The head guide reserves the right to withdraw his/her permission at any time through-out the activities, should they see fit.
Will there be some one in front of us showing us where to go?
Yes. All tours run with a guide and guide team in front of yours. When on the trails, you'll be following in single file behind the guide and their team. Your teams will follow the team in front, so you don't have to worry about steering the dogs, just your sled!
I booked my tour, now what? - INFORMATION PACKAGE
Once you have booked your tour, either by phone, email, or the website, you will receive a confirmation email. This email will have the information you provided to us. Please make sure all of it is correct, and there are no mistakes. If there are, please email us back with the correct information. If you purchased your tour through a group buying website, you should respond to this confirmation email with the voucher codes that you purchased, so we can cross you off our master lists.
Inside of this email will also be our Information Package in PDF format for you to download. It contains the following: our rules, our liability waiver (which you need to print, sign and BRING WITH YOU), your passenger tickets, information about dressing for dog sledding, a packing list for each tour, and directions from Sudbury, North Bay, and Toronto. Be sure to read this package very carefully, as it has important information that you'll need to know.
What should I wear/bring?
A list of clothing and items to bring is emailed to the person who books the tour. That person is responsible for sending it to all members of their group. Failure to wear the appropriate clothing for your package may result in not being allowed to participate. Safety first! A detailed description of how to dress for winter activities can be found HERE.
How soon should we arrive?
You MUST arrive 15 minutes in advance of your tour. Use this time to hand in your PRE-SIGNED liability waivers, to use our outhouse washroom facilities, and to dress for the weather! Because we schedule our tours back-to-back, we will not be postponing the start of your tour because you are not ready. Tutorials commence at the tour start time. Failure to be present for your tutorial will result in you not being allowed to participate. You will not receive a refund if this is the case.
Should I tip my guides?
Like any service industry, our guides appreciate a tip for outstanding service. As a general rule, most of our guests tip about 15%, the same as a server. Some tip more considering that your guides are important to providing a safe and fun-filled experience as possible.
What other activities can I enjoy while I'm in the area? Where can i stay overnight?
Since we are approximately half way between Sudbury and North Bay, you can enjoy a variety of different activities and diverse overnight accommodations within an hour's drive. To see what Sudbury has to offer, click HERE. To see what's available in North Bay, click HERE.
Do you have indoor facilities?
Yes. When you arrive, a staff member will come outside to greet you (if they do not, please come knock on the door). You will be invited into our home where you can relax comfortably before your tour starts.
When does your season open?
In the past, we have been opening our sledding season based on having enough snow before Christmas. In the future, we will not be doing this. Our snow falls are coming later each season. Therefore, to avoid disappointment and the need to reschedule, our sledding season will be opening January 13th and closing March 3rd (inclusive).
We MAY open earlier if snow and trail conditions allow it; but more likely we will extend the closing date as March approaches (if we feel it is safe to do so).
What if there's no snow or it's raining?
There are days where we will still run, even if it's raining. If you do not hear from us regarding a cancellation, then your tour is scheduled to run and we expect you to be here on time and dressed for the weather. In the event that there is not enough snow, or weather conditions are unsafe, on the day of your tour, you will be notified by a high priority email regarding your tour cancellation, which could arrive as late as 12 hours before your tour is scheduled to run.
We will try to provide you with as much advance notice as possible to assist you in your travel plans, but tour cancellations are a judgement call and are made in the best interest of your safety. They are often last minute and inconvenient for everybody. This email will also have a return notification on it, so we will be notified when you have read it.
Included in your email will be a list of dates, times, and seats available to reschedule your tour. Please respond to this email ASAP with your reschedule date.
If within two hours of sending the email, we have not received notification of you reading the email, we will call you and each number listed in your reservation until we get in contact with some body. If we cannot speak to some one directly, we will leave a voice mail informing you of the tour cancellation.
We understand how frustrating it is to have your tour cancelled last minute, or possibly several times. It is equally frustrating for us to have to do it. We WANT to meet you all, we WANT you to come dog sledding, and most of all, the dogs WANT to be on the trails. But, for yours and the dog's safety, we have to make a judgement call in your best interest.
What about road conditions?
In the event that the highway or roads on which you are traveling are closed due to bad weather or accidents, we expect to receive a call from you as soon as possible to notify us of your late arrival (or non-appearance). We will reschedule you to a later date, subject to availability.
If you happen to be driving from far, and you're close enough to our facilities that it's too late to turn back, we will accommodate you in the best way that we can when you arrive. That may mean waiting a few hours for other tours to finish; it may mean accompanying another group on a different tour than what you purchased; or it may mean modifying the itinerary of the tour you purchased to accommodate. Refunds will not be provided.
If the roads are still open, we expect you to be here on time and prepared for your tour. It is important to remember that this is a winter sport and that if you are driving from a distance, you should watch the weather carefully in the days leading up to your tour, then plan your driving schedule accordingly.
Can children participate?
To a certain extent, YES. Some packages allow children to participate in the activities we provide; others do not. Please refer to each individual package for age restrictions. Child participants are classified as anyone between the ages of 4 and 11 years old; while toddlers are 0 to 3 years old. Please note that an extra 'hand' should be brought along in case young children do NOT wish to participate in the dog sledding, so that the remaining adult still can.
Can children participate alone?
NO! Children may not ever participate alone. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied at all times by an adult.