Canyon Sled Dog Challenge



The lack of snow on the Pine Creek Rail Trail coupled with a forecast that calls for the temperature to rise to 55 degrees this Saturday, Feb. 24 have led organizers to cancel the inaugural Canyon Sled Dog Challenge.

Instead, a special free event for the public will be held at the Darling Run Access to the Pine Creek Rail Trail at 9 a.m. this Saturday. To get to the Darling Run Access, take Route 6 to Shippen Township, turn onto Route 362, drive about 1.5 miles, turn right, enter the access area slowly and park.

Mary Beth Logue, a mid-distance sled dog racer who lives in Trout Run, Pa. will have her six-dog team of Alaskan huskies and equipment at Darling Run. "I will give short presentations about mushing and people will have the opportunity to dress like a musher and stand behind a sled so a friend or relative can take their photo," she said. "It may be a nice day for people to visit with my sled dog team and then get out and enjoy the Pine Creek Rail Trail."

Volunteers from Second Chance Animal Sanctuaries will be at the Darling Run Access with beverages and snacks available for purchase with all proceeds to benefit the animals in their care.

"My dogs are friendly so people can walk up to them," she said. "Its tradition that a litter of Alaskan husky puppies be named based on a theme. The six dogs with me in Wellsboro will be from the Wrangell-Elias National Park litter. McCarthy, Wrangell, Blackburn, Bonanza, Chitina and Elias are named for places in the park."

Logue got into sled dog racing when she and her husband motorcycled to Alaska in 2001. "We saw a sled dog demonstration in Denali National Park and I was hooked. It is my passion."

She trains her own dogs and has entered her team in mid distance races of 30 to 150 miles in New England, Michigan, Maine and one in the Allegheny National Forest in Warren County, Pa. Each race has its own rules,” Logue said. The number of races she enters in any given year is dependent on if there is enough snow to hold the event. “In the past several years there hasn’t been that much snow so some years I have gone to one race and other years, none."

At 11 a.m., this Saturday Logue will have her dog team, sled and equipment on display at the Burnin’ Barrel at the Ansonia Valley Inn in Shippen Township (GPS Address: 5440 Route 6, Wellsboro, PA 16901). This will give people a second opportunity to meet this musher and her dogs and dress like a musher and stand behind her sled to have their photos taken. The Burnin' Barrel will open at 11 a.m. for lunch. There will be three varieties of Straub beer on tap and on special as well.

The organizers of the Canyon Sled Dog Challenge include the Pennsylvania Sled Dog Club, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Bureau of Forestry and the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce. "We are planning to hold the Canyon Sled Dog Challenge in 2019 if there is enough snow," said Julie VanNess, chamber executive director. For more information, call the chamber at 570-724-1926 or email

2017 interview with event organizer on how she got started with sled dogs.

Please note: Snow will not cancel this event! However, if snow is limited, the club will make the call by Wednesday, the week of the event, to hold it or not.

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