Running + Dog Power = Cani-Cross!

Due to the lack of natural snow this year, the Barkie Birkie will be held at a new venue this year! Lace up your running shoes, and join us for a cani-cross race at the infamous Kortelopet Stadium in Seeley, WI! The runner is attached to his/her dog with a belt and towline. The dog then runs ahead as the participant runs. Cani-cross 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. While we may not have much natural snow, we can still have fun competing in a cani-cross event!

Most medium size dogs (30 pounds and up) who are trained properly can be candidates for cani-cross racing.

Event Options

Choose from 3 different events! 5K, 3K, or 1K!

The 5K is for fast, experienced teams that can finish a 5K race in 25 minutes or less.

The 3K is for teams that can complete a 3K race in 25 minutes or less.

The 1K is for teams new to the sport or just looking for a fun experience.  Teams have 25 minutes or less to complete 1K.  No awards will be given for the 1K, but all participants will receive a finisher medal.

Race Courses

All races will start and finish at the Hwy OO Trailhead in the Kortelopet Stadium in Seeley, WI.

  • 5 km at 9:15am: 5 km teams will run south-bound on the Birkie trail and complete one full cut-through lap, clockwise. After completing the cut-through lap, team will run north-bound on the Birkie trail to the finish.
  • 3 km at 9:45am: 3 km teams will complete an out-and-back on the Birkie Trail, beginning south-bound and returning north-bound.
  • 1 km at 10:15am: 1 km teams will complete a shortened out-and-back on the Birkie Trail, beginning south-bound and returning north-bound.

Note: Final race course(s) and distances are subject to change due to conditions.

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

All races will start and finish at the Hwy OO Trailhead in the Kortelopet Stadium in Seeley, WI.

Parking is available at OO in the north and south lots at the Samuel C. Johnson Family Outdoor Center. Please use the Key Log Crossing to access the Kortelopet Stadium from the north side.

General Rules

  • Entry is limited to one person + 1 dog.
  • 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. Volunteers will be present to help remove waste during the races.
  • Runners may enter a second (or third) dog in different distances, but are only eligible for 1 podium award.

Equipment Requirements

  • Cani-cross 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 10 feet.
  • 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.



All participants will be awarded finishers’ medals at the finish line immediately following each race!

Awards for the top 3 finishers will be presented outside of the Samuel C. Johnson Family Outdoor Center to the following teams:

  • Women’s 5k
  • Men’s 5k
  • Women’s 3k
  • Men’s 3k

*note: awards are based off of skijorer’s gender, not the dog’s gender


Presenting Sponsor of the Barkie Birkie

Northern Lakes Cooperative

Gold Circle Elite
Gold Level Sponsors of the Major Birkie Events Year-Round

Kwik Trip
Tamarack Health
Republic Services
Backroads Coffee
Earth Rider Brewery
Timber Ford


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.