This year, the Kearney Dog Sled Races will have mini-tour rides provided by Chocpaw Expeditions. Chocpaw has been a part of our local community providing tours into Canada’s Algonquin Provincial Park and other locations in Northern Ontario for over 40 years
We spoke with some of the employees of Chocpaw to get some insight into their program and how they run their kennel.
Chocpaw is made up of Alaskans with lines from some of the finest kennels in the country, Butcher, Buser, Runyan, Wright, Redington, Jonrowe, Beck, Killam, Cotter, Dunlap, Attla, Mcneil, Drake, etc. These lines now form the basis of their breeding program. The dogs are not pretty in the way of a show dog but they are true working dogs and they are magnificent. They do what they are bred to do and what they enjoy, which is to run and adventure into the Algonquin wild.
Chocpaw’s 1 to 6 day Dog Sled Expeditions are geared for participants looking to get a “Hands-On” Experience. They teach you to drive you own team of sled dogs. Chocpaw’s sleds are equipped for two people per sled allowing riders to take turns driving and sitting in the basket. They provide the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to enjoy the Canadian winter, and to develop a working relationship with each team of sled dogs as you travel through the Algonquin wilderness.
You must be able to work with other people and be willing to participate in all aspects of the expedition. From the beginning of the program, you are required to assume responsibility for your dog team; from safety on the trail, to their care and maintenance at camp. Chocpaw takes time to be sure you have adequately prepared for your trip in all respects, and provide you with an information package, including a clothing and equipment check-list, well in advance of the trip. They supply all necessary sledding equipment and an abundance of food, making accommodations for dietary preferences or restrictions where possible. All programs begin with a thorough instruction in dog sledding and winter trekking skills at Chocpaw’s office in South River. Chocpaw encourages you to bring many easily changeable layers, lots of warm, dry socks, and to contact them if you have additional questions about how you should prepare for your trip.
Chocpaw’s kennel is made up of 30 dog team’s. This allows for a variety of group numbers ranging from 2 to 50 clients in a day. There are 6 hot camps that can hold a range of 2 to 21 people at one time, which gives ample opportunity to create either a intimate dreamy getaway, or a wil group adventure.
If trekking out into negative temperatures for an extended period of time isn’t for you, besides dog sledding expeditions Chocpaw Expeditions has been providing recreational and educational canoeing, and hiking adventures in Canada’s Algonquin Provincial Park and other locations in Northern Ontario. They are also a provider of trips for the ‘Duke of Edinburgh’s Award’.
When the dogs running days are coming to an end, Chocpaw Expeditions have dogs available for adoption to both recreational mushing homes and pet homes. Their golden oldies now enjoy a life of relaxing and free running off tether with their retired friends while they wait for their new homes. Chocpaw dogs living in the retirement are free to a good loving home. They come with their up to date rabies shots and papers, and lots of love to give. If you are interested in the companionship of one of Chocpaw’s golden oldies please enquire with their staff.
Check out Chocpaw’s website www.chocpaw.com for more information. You can also reach them at 705-386-0344 or by email [email protected]. Chocpaw Expeditions facebook page is also full of images of the dogs and examples of the services they offer.
We are happy to have Chocpaw Expeditions partnering with us this year to create the most enjoyable 25th Year possible for the Kearney Dog Sled Races. Rides will take place behind Kearney O’Neil’s Pub in an approximately 0.5 mile loop to give a small taste of what our dogs and mushers experience on the race trails. For more information on longer tours, contact Chocpaw or speak to representatives during race weekend.