Newly opened sled dogs trails ready for four-footed friends

4 August, 2014

TWO former cross country tracks at Dinner Plain have been reopened to provide dog sleds space to train in preparation for the sport’s premier event next month.

Around 70 mushers and more than 350 sled dogs are expected to take to the trails for the 21st annual Dinner Plain Sled Dog Challenge on August 9 - 10.

Alpine Shire Council Manager Economic Development Clayton Neil said the iconic event attracts mushers and their dogs from around Australia and internationally.

“The Dinner Plain Sled Dog Challenge is Australia’s original and most prestigious sled dog race, offering up an unparalleled experience for racers and spectators alike,” he said.

Council’s Senior Ranger Darryl Farmer said entry to the event included access to Dinner Plain’s trails for the week before and after the race, so village residents and visitors will see an influx in dogs during that time.

“We have reopened two trails at the end of Appian Way that have been closed for years, and these will be cleared to allow for dog sleds and skidoos,” he said.

“We are encouraging sled teams to focus their training activities along Appian Way and to the right on these new trails, and ideally steer clear of the upper village trails to allow for cross country skiers.

“We are also reminding everyone who brings their dogs to Dinner Plain at any time to ensure they clean up after them, and they must have a valid Dinner Plain dog permit.

“Mushers also need to park their dog trailers at the Scrubbers End car park and we strongly urge spectators not to bring dogs that aren’t competing in the event.”

The two newly opened trails, Misty Tickle and Blade Runner, are at the end of Appian Way, on the southern side. These trails were rated as black cross country trails when in use, as both have small steep sections.

Council is planning for more areas to be opened up for use by mushers and dog sleds in the future.

For more information visit sleddogchallenge.com.

Dinner Plain dog permits are available at Council’s Bright Office, by calling (03) 5755 0555, or online here.


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