Skijoring

Outdoor recreation for you and your dog!

Kick the winter blues as you kick your skis, all while being pulled over the snow by your dog. "Skijoring" refers to any sport in which a skier is pulled over the snow by a dog. The word comes from the Norwegian Skikjøring: ski + Kjøring (driving). Skijoring does not require a Minnesota ski pass.

Check snow conditions.

Photo of a woman and her two dogs skijoring

Skijoring Tips

Remember, you're not being towed; you are skiing with the dog. Since all dogs have the instinct to pull, being able to handle and direct your dog is important. Being able to cross country ski competently, including being able to stop, makes the sport both enjoyable and safe for both you and your dog.

Skijoring Etiquette

  • Do not use trails designated for Classic/Skate skiing, or active snowmobile trails - stick to designated skijoring trails.
  • Do not let your dog run loose (including on the trail, in the woods or around the parking area.)
  • Be in control of your dog at all times.
  • Be aware of your dog's behavior, especially around other dogs, people and wildlife.
  • Use trail courtesy. When passing from behind, call "Trail—on your right/left."
  • If being passed, move to one side and pull yourself close to your dog.
  • Use proper equipment, including your skijoring gear (belt, shock-cord bungee lines and harness). Do not use a choke collar while skijoring.
  • Remove dog waste from trail and parking area.

Find a Skijoring Trail

Itasca State Park

Itasca State Park has 7 miles of packed trail specifically designated for skijoring. Map of skijor trails and parking This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Trails:

  1. Wilderness Drive North (from Lake Ozawindib/Wilderness Drive road junction) to Two Spot Trail Junction (2 3/4 miles; 4.4 km)
  2. Two Spot Trail (2 1/4 miles; 3.6 km)
  3. Wilderness Drive West (from Two Spot Trail corner) to Nicollet Trail Junction (2 miles; 3.2 km).

Parking:

To access parking and skijoring trail area, take Wilderness Drive approximately 2 1/2 miles past the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center. Parking is available along Wilderness Drive North, at the junction with Wilderness Drive and the road to the Lake Ozawindib boat access.

Hayes Lake State Park

Hayes Lake State Park grooms the entire road from the blacktop all the way back to the group camp. One lane is designated for cross-country skiing only; the other section of the groomed trail is for skate skiing or skijoring.

Lake Bronson State Park

Lake Bronson State Park designates a half mile of hard packed campground road for skijoring, from the Bible camp to Two Rivers campground.

Zippel Bay State Park

Zippel Bay State Park grooms 6 km (3.7 miles) of ski trails especially for skijoring. Map of skijoring trail This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.