Bayfield Chamber and Visitor Bureau

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Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race

February 4-5, 2017 • 10am each day


Hearts race and pulses quicken as the teams head into the starting chute, the breath of the anxious dogs filling the air with steamy blasts. Then, as the sun rises over the frozen heaves of Lake Superior, the signal is given and they’re off in a blurred fury of brilliant colors and snow, charging ahead into the raw wilderness to the encouraging calls of their mushers. Which team has what it takes to brave the icy challenges that lay ahead? Who will be crowned this year’s champion? How good is that hot spiced apple cider going to taste when you make it back to town at day’s end?

It’s all part of the excitement of the annual Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race, a shorter and, some would add, much more festive version of the famous Iditarod dog sled race. Pick your favorite dog sled team and cheer them on as they race around a challenging course of hills and flats, through the forests and over the ice. It’s an unforgettable experience for young and old, spectator and racer alike. Perhaps even more exciting, you can actually be part of the event by volunteering in any one of a number of race positions.

“The best thing about a sled dog race is that you can feel the excitement in the air!” says John Thiel of Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing. “The dogs love it, the mushers love it, the volunteers love it and all that energy ignites the crowd.” Thiel has been involved in helping to plan the race for 19 years.

The 22nd Annual Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race will be held on Saturday and Sunday, February 4 and 5, 2017. Races begin at 10 am on both days, with half of the total race distance completed each day. There are two main races: an 10-dog, 80-mile race and a 6 dog, 60-mile race. There’s also a 40-mile Sportsmen’s Race, a 6 to 8-mile Family Race and a 6 to 8-mile Youth Race (16 and under). Multiple spectator locations are available with amenities including a warming tent, concessions and bonfires.

The start/finish line is located 15 miles north of downtown Bayfield at the Echo Valley Gravel Pit on Highway 13 with the course following The Sand River Trail System of Bayfield County. Programs with a map of the course will be available at the Visitor Center of the Bayfield Chamber and Visitor Bureau (42 S. Broad St. in Bayfield) and on the race grounds.

Additional race activities include a “Meet the Mushers” Dinner open to the public at 6:00 pm on Friday, February 3 in the Bayfield Lakeside Pavilion, and the awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon immediately following the races.

Interested in our Voluntourism Packages?

Let us take care of the details! Combine your relaxing vacation in Bayfield with the excitement of volunteering at the Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race. You can choose from a range of volunteer positions.



2017 Rules & Regulations (PDF)
2017 Required Equipment (PDF)


We couldn’t make this happen without the support of our sponsors!
There are various levels of sponsorship so take a look and see if one might be a good fit for you.


Visit our lodging page to book your stay in Bayfield now! You can choose from some of the best bed and breakfasts in Wisconsin, cozy Bayfield hotels, cottages and cabins and more.


Historical Information

2016 Schedule of Events

2016 Race Map

 2015 Race Results

2015 Race Map

2014 Race Map

2013 Final Race Times (PDF)
2013 Race Map (PDF)

2012 Final Race Times (PDF)
2012 Race Map (PDF)

2011 Race Times (PDF)


2017 Master Musher Sponsors

        CF_Design_forWeb     bayfieldinn                       Legendary Waters

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2017 Trail Support Sponsors





2017 Doggy Biscuit Sponsors






2017 Sled Dog Friend Sponsors