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Boreal Community Media

Get ready for 2018 Gunflint Mail Run!

Dec 15, 2017 05:50AM ● By Editor
Photo courtesy of Hella Buchheim

By Kristen M. Rebollo from The Cook County News Herald - December 15, 2017

Families seeking the ultimate winter adventure destination are invited to Grand Marais and Lutsen on Saturday, Jan. 6 and Sunday, Jan. 7 to see world-class dog sledding at the Gunflint Mail Run, watch cyclists gearing up at the second annual Norpine Fat Tire Classic, and to try a dog sledding adventure of their own.

The Gunflint Mail Run marks the start of the dog sled racing season in the Midwest. The race will start and finish at Trail Center Lodge, 7611 Gunflint Trail, on Poplar Lake. (For non-locals, Trail Center Lodge is approximately 30 miles up the Gunflint Trail.)

The two-day event consists of two legs of equal distance, separated by a mandatory layover, and two race classes: a 12-dog, 100-mile race, and an eight-dog, 65-mile race. The minimum purse for the 2018 race is $10,000 and will be divided among the winners of both races. For more race details, see Anyone who’d like to volunteer for the race can contact Cathy Quinn at [email protected].

Trail Center Lodge is a great place to watch the race, according to Sarah Hamilton, co-owner of Trail Center and GMR race director. “It’s fun to see the dogs as they arrive back. If you want to see the dogs on the trail, check out the north end of the trail: we have a spectator area at the Old Blankenberg Pit, where the 12-dog teams turn around,” she says. Great viewing is also available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday at Big Bear Lodge and Rockwood Lodge, and early Sunday morning when many racers are coming in. 

Try dogsledding with an expert guide
Visitors who want to try a dog sledding adventure of their own should check out Points Unknown. Proprietress Linda Newman offers 1.5- to 3-hour rides — some at night, so visitors can see the area’s starry skies and possibly some Northern Lights.
To find out about local events involving sled dogs and learn about other dog sledding outfitters and guides, visit: 

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