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Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race

2021 Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race has been Canceled

BAYFIELD, WI (October 16, 2020): The 26th Annual Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race will not take place in 2021. The Bayfield Chamber & Visitor Bureau is officially canceling the event, which would have taken place February 6 and 7, 2021.

The Bayfield Chamber & Visitor Bureau has made this difficult decision for the same reasons the 2020 Bayfield Apple Festival was canceled. With the main purpose of this event being to draw spectators, the safety of Bayfield area residents, employees, and visitors is at risk during this COVID-19 pandemic. Bayfield’s population is 487. Bayfield County does not have an ICU, and houses only 3 ventilators. We cannot afford to gamble the health of our residents, employees, and visitors.

The race is admired by visitors and organizers alike. “Of all of the events we coordinate during the year, this is my favorite.” said David Eades, Executive Director of the Bayfield Chamber & Visitor Bureau. “The energy at the spectator sites as the dogs are entering the chute or passing the checkpoints is simply amazing.” Jen Dale, ‘Trail Boss,’ is a local musher and owner of Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing and has been involved with the race for nearly a decade. “It is very sad to not be able to hold this race but it is the right decision for our community.”

The Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race is an annual event, held the first weekend in February. The event attracts families and mushers from all over the midwest for a weekend of outdoor fun, great food, and camaraderie. There are two main races: a 10-dog, 80-mile race and a 6 dog, 60-mile race. There’s also a 40-mile Sportsmens’ Race, a 6 to 8-mile Family Race and a 6 to 8-mile Youth Race (16 and under). The event is organized by the Bayfield Chamber & Visitor Bureau with help from many volunteers.

Bayfield Chamber & Visitor Bureau encourages families to take part in socially-distant winter activities instead of spectating the race this year. Try mushing for yourselves, or check out some world-class nordic ski trails. Fat bike through the hills and flats of the Bayfield Peninsula on the Mt. Ashwabay trail system.

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2020 RACE RESULTS: Download Here

Join us for an extraordinary wintertime adventure! Pick your favorite sled dog team and cheer them on from start to finish as they race the challenging course of hills and flats, through the forests of the Bayfield Peninsula. Keep warm with coffee and hot chocolate beside the bonfire as you wait for your team to return. It’s an unforgettable experience for young and old, spectator and racer alike. And an absolute must for any winter sports enthusiasts or dog lover!

The 26th Annual Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race will be held on Saturday and Sunday, February 6 and 7, 2021. Races begin at 10am 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 Sportsmens’ 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 fires to keep warm by.

The start/finish line is located 11 miles north of downtown Bayfield at the Echo Valley Gravel Pit on State 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 Bayfield Chamber and Visitor Bureau and on the race grounds.

Additional race activities include a “Meet the Mushers” Dinner open to the public at 6pm on Friday, February 5th in the Bayfield Lakeside Pavilion, a “Musher Mixer” at the Bayfield Inn on Saturday, and the awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon immediately following the races.