Changes are in place for 2021.  Check out the details!

Wednesday, Feb. 24: 9-11am, Birkie Ridge
Thursday, Feb. 25: 8:30-11am, Birkie Ridge

An opportunity for the dogs to show off their “Barkie Fever”!  The 2021 Open-Track, self-timed event will be have many Covid19 precautions in place to enable a safe event for the dogs and their handlers.  Five racers will start individaully in every 15 minute time period.

Skijoring combines cross country skiing with dog power. The skier is attached to his/her dog with a belt and towline. The dog then runs ahead as the skier skis. Skijoring is a team sport which allows both human and canine counterparts to exercise and enjoy the great outdoors.

Skijoring is derived from the Norwegian word skikjøring meaning ski driving. The sport has been around for hundreds of years and originally started using reindeer and wooden skis. The sport also uses horses, but dogs are now the most common animals used in skijoring.

Most medium size dogs (30 pounds and up) who are trained properly can be candidates for skijoring.


2021 Barkie Birkie Registration has Closed

Online registration closes on Monday, February 22 at 11:59 pm or when the race is full (120 racers), whichever comes first.  Skiers must be at least 13 years old on race day.

 January 4 - January 28January 29 - February 22
3 Mile Skijor$45$50
2 Mile Skijor$45$50
1 Mile Skijor$45$50

Dog Requirements

All dogs must be sufficiently fit to be able to complete the course without risk of injury.

Dogs must be healthy and have up-to-date vaccinations.

Event Details

Getting to the Race

The 2021 Barkie Birkie will take place at the Birkie Ridge Trailhead just north of Seeley, WI.  Please pull into Birkie Ridge and follow the parking signs for the Barkie Birkie (immediately to your right).

Covid Precautions

  • Masks are required in the start and finish area.  You may remove your mask on course, but please keep it with you for the finish area and emergency situations.
  • No medical team will be onsite- please be prepared for your event.
  • The number of racers are limited at the start, finish, and on-course at any time.  You may only start your race during your pre-chosen time.
  • No spectators are allowed.
  • All racers are asked to self-time their race.
  • Bib pick-up is by driveup. Racers will also receive their finisher medal at bib pickup.
  • No indoor space is available.
  • There will be no awards in 2021- skijour for the pure fun of it!

General Rules

  • Entry is limited to one person + 1 dog.
  • Skijorers may ski using either skate or classic technique.
  • Dogs must be treated humanely at all times.
  • Dogs must be controlled and kept from other teams.
  • Loose dogs are not permitted at any time.
  • Aggressive dogs are prohibited from the event.
  • Waste is the dog owner’s responsibility and before or after the race it must be picked up immediately.

Equipment Requirements

  • Skate or classic skis are allowed.
  • Metal ski edges are not permitted.
  • Skijor belt is required and must be padded.
  • Towline must use internal bungee.
  • The distance between the skijorer and the dog should be between 7 feet and 13 feet and 8 inches.
  • A pulling style dog harness is required with padding around the neck area.
  • Each dog must wear a snug fitting dog collar.
  • Under no circumstances can the towline be attached to the dog’s collar or any harness not specifically designed for pulling.


During registration, each participant will choose a 15 minute start window.  A maximum of five teams may be assigned each 15 minute time slot.  The Barkie Birkie Race Chief will start each team within that time frame in order to keep teams as spread apart on the course and at the start/finish line as possible.

There is not a large warm-up area, so please arrive to the venue ready to get on course.

Start Format

  • The race will be an “interval start”, with five teams starting within a 15 minute time slot.
  • Teams should arrive at the start line no more than 5 minutes before their race slot and may arrive anytime in their 15 minute window.
  • Skijorers must provide their own handler if there is any concern about maintaining adequate control in the start area. Due to Covid19 precautions, we discourage the use of a handler, if at all possible.  Handlers may not stay in the start/finish area while the team is on course.
  • The front tips of the skijorer’s skis must be behind the start line prior to the signal to start. The dog may start “lined out” ahead of the start line.
  • The skijorer’s race bib must be visible to race officials.


  • A passing skijorer must execute a pass only when conditions are safe.
  • The skijorer must shout “Trail”, “On your left”, etc. before attempting to pass.
  • The skijorer being passed should slow and move to the side of the trail, if possible.
  • The skijorer being passed should stop poling and hold their poles behind, low, and away from the passing team.
  • Skijorers must exhibit care, good judgment, and fairness whenever passing occurs.


  • Skijorers must exit the finish area as soon as possible.
  • No finish line food or beverages will be available.


The 2021 course is found at Birkie Ridge Trailhead.  A 1-mile loop may be completed 1, 2, or 3 times.


Northern Lakes Cooperative


New to the Sport?

Many ski shops and outdoor shops can help you fit and purchase skijoring equipment.

Skiers may skijor on the Seeley Hills Trails, Seeley, Wisconsin. From County OO take old Hwy OO to the trailhead.

Save the Date

Future Birkie Week Dates:

2021: February 25 – 27

2022: February 24 – 26

2023: February 23 – 25