Dogsledding carries on an ancient tradition of animal-powered competition, taking its rightful place alongside chariot races and hansom-cab demolition derbies. Team up with nature with today’s Groupon: for $249, you get a 45-minute winter dogsled adventure for two with cocoa and cookies at Hilltown Wilderness Adventures in West Chesterfield (a $500 value).
Hilltown Wilderness Adventures harnesses canines to snug sleighs, sending dog-drawn mushers on exhilarating adventures through the foothills of the Berkshires. Pairs of bipeds join nine alaskan huskies for a meet and greet, petting the pooches, feeding them snacks, and exchanging phone numbers. Then, before taking the reins, guests are coached by experienced dogsledders, led by Marla BB—whose experience as a dogsled-racer in Alaska and other frozen climes has garnered the attention of Valley Advocate, Animal Planet, and PBS. During the dogsled run, the sleigh slices swift tracks into snow packed by brawny paws as mushers slink around trails carved into 17 acres of picturesque mountain terrain. After the ride, canine captains can sip on hot chocolate or nosh on homemade cookies before thanking their dogs with a friendly handshake or a piggyback ride.
Hilltown Wilderness Adventures
The proprietor and chief guide behind Hilltown Wilderness Adventures, Marla BB, invites patrons to hitch their dreams of adventure onto the backs of her alaskan huskies for mushing, skijoring, and outdoor excursions in the Berkshires. Her hallmark attraction is mushing through both snowy hills and on dryland tracks—a unique offering for the region that has earned her attention from media outlets such as Mushing magazine and Animal Planet.
The skijoring and sled-dog school teaches novices how to captain a team of dogs either in a sled or on skis, which can give them a way to skip long ski-resort lift lines. Marla also leads day excursions through DAR State Forest, Chesterfield Gorge and Westfield River, and the Deerfield River Watershed, keeping bikers, hikers, kayakers, and bird watchers safe as she is a certified wilderness first responder and an expert in swift-water safety and rescue.