Please read our Covid-19 Health Updates

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: What changes have you made in response to Covid-19?

    As a result of our research and regional guidelines we are addressing this health crisis with the following protocols:

     

    1. We have reduced our tour capacity to accommodate 8 people or less.  We may increase the number slightly to accommodate a larger family if necessary as long as the regulation numbers permit.

    2. We are no longer permitting a guest to ride in the guides sled as a passenger as social distance cannot be maintained.  Unfortunately as a result we cannot accommodate odd numbered groups of adults as we do not permit solo sleds.  Families with children that are an odd number may be permitted if we can double up children on the sled.  Please inquire directly with us info@northridgeranch.ca if you have questions

    3. We have installed hand sanitizer in our outhouse toilet and encourage all guests to use it.

    4. We have closed our warming hut/change area and encourage guests to change in their vehicle if necessary.

    5. Social distancing is everyone’s personal responsibility and will be enforced during the lesson and at break time.

    6. We require keeping your gloves/mittens on at all times and refrain from personal contact eg. handshakes and hugs

    7. Guides, staff and customers are required to wear a properly fitted face mask at all times (those under the age of 2, have trouble breathing or are unable to remove the mask without assistance are exempt as per regulations)

    8. If radios are used on the tour they will be sanitized prior to use.

    9. Flow of guests coming and going will be monitored.  Anyone that does not have a reservation will not be permitted on site.

    10. We no longer lend out additional winter clothing or blankets.  Guests need to come prepared.

    11. We sanitize all high touch surfaces prior to guest arrival and after the tour goes out.

    12. We have added a large outdoor garbage can that can be used to dispose of garbage – specifically disposable masks and disinfectant wipes etc.

    13. We have an onsite, touchless thermometer that we may use.  If customers have a temperature of 38 degree Celsius or higher they will not be permitted to participate.

    14. All guests are required to perform a self-assessment prior to arrival and sign a Declaration of Compliance – Covid-19 upon arrival as an added layer for personal accountability around reducing the spread of Covid-19 and compliance with regulations.

    15. Guides and staff will not be taking photos of guests with guest cameras/phones.  If a guide/staff take a photo with their own camera it will be shared via email or text after the tour.

    16. We take the health and safety of our family and our guests very seriously.  Those that are not acting in the best interest of their own and others health will have their tour cancelled with no refund.

    Please note that our protocols are dynamic and are subject to change at any time.

     

    The winter of 2020/21 will be our first time operating with Covid-19 protocols, so please be patient with us.  If you notice anything or have any feedback for us around what we are doing, please kindly let us know what we should consider to improve via phone 705-788-2828 or email info@northridgeranch.ca.

    Thank you and please be kind and patient with each other.

    Brad, Leah, Brea & the furry K9 Crew

     

  • Q: With regards to Covid-19….is dogsledding a safe activity?

    Dogsledding at North Ridge Ranch is a fresh air experience that is enjoyed in small group numbers, where social distancing can be done.  We think it is a best case scenario for getting families and small groups of friends that love dogs, being outside and enjoying the beauty that Muskoka has to offer.

  • Q: How many dogs will be on my team?

    We usually run anywhere between 5 – 8 dogs per team depending on the conditions and size of customers.

  • Q: How fast will the dogs go?

    On average we run the dogs at about a 15km/hr pace although their top speed is over 30kms an hour.

  • Q: Are the dogs friendly?

    Yes, some are a little timid of strangers, but the majority love to be pet.

  • Q: How many people go on a sled?

    2 customers/sled, one person riding and 1 person driving the sled. A guide is on their own sled in front of the group.  As a result of Covid-19 we no longer permit a guest to sit in the guides sled as social distance cannot be maintained and we want to keep "bubbles" together.  If children are involved the number of passengers may vary. We DO NOT offer a solo sled option.

  • Q: How much distance will we cover?

    One Hour – approximately 10 kms

    Half Day – approximatey 20 kms

  • Q: How many sleds go out at once?

    On average, 4 guest sleds and one guide sled leading.  This number can vary depending on demand and requirements.

  • Q: Will we see wildlife on the trail?

    Not likely. While we are fortunate to share the wilderness with Moose, Fox, Deer, Wolves, Bear and numerous smaller animals and birds we don’t often see them. We do frequently see their tracks however so we know they are there!

  • Q: What are the trails/scenery like?

    We predominately have access to 100's of acres of private mixed bush trails that have some gorgeous towering pines, hills, flats, and turns.  The scenery is wonderful.  There is no ice travel on our tours.

  • Q: How far are you from Toronto?

    About a 2.5 hour drive

  • Q: What is your cancellation policy?

    In order to receive a full refund, cancellations need to be made more than 30 days prior to your scheduled tour.

     

    If you need to cancel less than 30 days for any reason and we can fill your spots there will be a 90% refund (10% administration fee).

     

    As a response to Covid-19 and in the interest of public health, if your spots cannot be filled you will be given the choice of receiving a non-transferable gift certificate that can be used the following winter (2021/22) or a 50% refund.

     

    If North Ridge Ranch needs to cancel at any time due to unsafe conditions we offer 3 options: 1/ try to reschedule 2/ issue a gift certificate that can be used at a later date 3/ issue a full refund

  • Q: How should we dress?

    • Layers is always best in winter, with good winter boots, and a winter wind/water proof outer shell, hat & mitts and you will be set!
    • Dress for the outdoor temperature being 10 degrees colder then actual temperature to account for wind chill while on the dogsled.
    • Ski googles or sunglasses to protect your eyes are strongly advised.
    • If you wish to bring a blanket for the passenger this is strongly advised.
    • 2 sets of Hot pockets/hand warmers are a good idea to keep your fingers and toes warm during the ride.
    • North Ridge Ranch does not provide any blankets or winter clothing.
    • Personal hand sanitizer and facemask/covering is recommended
  • Q: Are children allowed?

    Yes!  However children 17 years old and younger must be accompanied by an adult and parents need to be able to answer yes to the following 3 questions:

    1. Is my child able to tolerate sitting in a sled for the duration of the tour and keep warm and comfortable in the winter?
    2. Am I comfortable with the risk factor involved in dogsledding?
    3. Am I able to properly dress and care for my child before and during the dogsled tour regardless of the temperature and conditions of the day?
  • Q: Can children drive the sled?

     Generally no.  If the guide permits a child to drive, the child would need to be at least 16 years old, mature and over 100lb.  The final decision is always at the guides’ discretion.

  • Q: Are there special rates for children?

    Yes, children 12 and under receive a discount off the adult rate.

    Children 3 and under are free.

  • Q: What kind of shape do I need to be in?

    You certainly don’t need to be a marathon runner, but you also can’t be really overweight. Dogsledding is an active team sport, so you need to be willing and able to help out your team on the hills by pedalling or walking behind the sled.

    Having a good amount of coordination and balance is key to driving a dogsled.

  • Q: Can people with disabilities be accommodated?

    We certainly are willing to do what we can to accommodate a variety of needs.  Please contact us directly if you feel you require any accommodations and we will be happy to work with you.

  • Q: Can I dogsled if I am pregnant?

    We do not allow pregnant women on our tours as passengers or drivers.  The potential risks are just not worth it.  Please come dogsledding once your baby has been born.

  • Q: Are we allowed to bring alcohol or cannabis on the tour?

    Alcohol and cannabis are prohibited on all tours.  We also reserve the right to prohibit anyone from participating on a tour if they have been consuming Alcohol or cannabis  prior to the tour.  No refunds will be issued.

  • Q: Do children have to wear helmets?

    As with all adventure sports inherent risks are involved when dogsledding.  We do not provide or require helmets on our tours, but you are welcome to bring helmets for yourself or your children.

  • Q: Do sled dogs like to pull?

    Yes they sure do.  Dogsledding would not be a sport without the forward drive of the dogs.  If you have ever experienced the excitement and energy of the dogs before they leave on a tour, you will know that pulling is something they want to do.

  • Q: What do sled dogs eat?

    Our sled dogs eat Canadian made Inukshuk Professional  Dog Food.  In the winter they eat the 32/32 formula and in the "off" season they eat the 30/25 formula.  Inukshuk is a high grade kibble that is made to meet the protein and fat needs of working dogs.  https://www.inukshukpro.com

    In the winter our dogs also get a warm soup to help with hydration.  It is hot water that is baited/mixed with meat for flavour and extra fat.

    In the summer our dogs get lots of fresh, cold water to keep them hydrated and cool.

  • Q: Do the dogs live outside all year?

    Yes.  They each have their own doghouse that they call home when they are not on tour or free – running.  The houses provide shelter from the wind, rain, snow and sun.  They are bedded with straw in the winter to keep them warm and wood shavings in the summer to keep them comfortable.  Alaskan huskies are bred for their adaptability to the outdoors so they acclimatize well with the different seasons.

  • Q: Why do you tether your dogs?

    We tether our dogs to keep them safe and organized.  It is important to know the “ins & outs” of each dog. When they are tethered you know how much they have drank, ate and the quality and quantity of their poop.  We do free run our dogs when we are in the kennel and able to supervise them so they are not tethered all the time.  It would be unsafe and irresponsible to leave a large number of dogs free running all the time though as fights can easily be started and escalate quickly if not supervised.  We recognize that chains/tethers are not appealing to the human eye, but for the dogs it allows a visual-barrier free environment for them in which to live safely with their pack.

  • Q: Can I bring my pet on tour with me?

    No.  Our dogs have a strong pack mentality and any outside animal in their space creates excitement and curiosity that takes away from their focus.  Having another animal on tour that is not a part of North Ridge Ranch is unsafe for that animal and our dogs.  Please leave your pets at home or contact us in advance to make arrangements for your pet to stay in our home while you are on tour.

  • Q: Can I drive a sled without a passenger?

    No.  We do not offer a solo sled option. All customer sleds have at least 2 people - a driver and a passenger.

  • Q: English is not my first language.

    Can I still drive a dogsled?

    A strong ability to understand and communicate in English is essential for all those hoping to participate as a driver on our dogsled tours.  We offer a detailed lesson at the beginning of the tour so everyone knows what they need to do to safely drive a dog team.  The guide reserves the right to deny anyone the opportunity to drive a dogsled if they are not confident that a person has understood the instructions or is capable of safely driving one of our teams.  You do not need to speak or understand English to be a passenger on a dogsled.  If you have any concerns please contact us prior to your tour to discuss alternatives and options if you are unsure about your conversational English.

Welcome to North Ridge Ranch.  We are very happy you stopped by and hope that we can share the magic and adventure of dog sledding with you in Muskoka.  Huntsville, Ontario is where we call home and have had our kennel for over 15 years.  Owners and Operators Brad & Leah Fetterley and over 60 amazing Alaskan Huskies make up a dynamic team that are excited to take you on an unforgettable dog sled tour through the wilds of Muskoka.

North Ridge Ranch  |  Huntsville, Muskoka, Ontario  |  705-788-2828

 Huntsville, Muskoka, On |  705-788-2828