White Oak Dog Sled Race


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Attention: The 2017 White Oak Dog Sled Race has been officially canceled due to weather conditions.
Posted: 2/28/2017

To all mushers, veterinarians, road crossing crews, sponsors, law enforcement officials, other volunteers, and the public:

Thank you to all of you for your support of the 2017 White Oak Sled Dog Race! People are wondering if the race is a go or no-go, based on our recent weather here in the northland.

Yesterday two of us ran the trail on a snowmobile. Thank you to volunteer Steve McNamara who took the time to run the trail and stop occasionally to give us time to remove obstacles and take pictures.

As you may know, as of two days ago, the original weather forecast for our area was that we were supposed to get 3-5″ of snow. Then, yesterday, it changed to 1-2″. Sadly, we woke up this morning to see that we had received NOT EVEN ONE SNOWFLAKE. All of the snow bypassed us and went south! So I am sad to inform everyone that our race has “gone south” as well. =( There are too many bare areas and ice fields on the first 12 miles of the trail, and the weather report for race day, March 4th, is showing a high temp of 46-48 degrees, depending on which weather site you use. All of that ice makes the route unsafe, and the bare sections will be even larger on race day.

So the White Oak Sled Dog Race is cancelled for 2017. Mushers will be receiving refunds of their registration fees in the very near future. Please contact me if anyone has any questions. ~ Robin

Join The White Oak Society, March 4th 2017, in a celebration of winter, history, and canine companions!

There will be three races featured this year:

The first race will send mushers and their teams 23 miles to the Itasca County Fairgrounds in Grand Rapids, where they will take an hour and 30 minute layover. Then they will head back again to the White Oak Fur Post, for a round trip race of 46 miles.

A second race will run 23 miles to a Finish Line at Itasca County Fairgrounds in Grand Rapids.

white oak sled dog race, 2015, white oak sled dog classic, minnesotaThe third, (“Big Dog”) race will run only 12 miles from the White Oak Fur Post to a Finish Line at TK Automotive in Cohasset. “Big Dogs” include such breeds as Alaskan Malamutes, pure-bred Siberian Huskies, and Samoyeds.

Be sure to bring your camera! The Official Awards ceremony will be held back at the White Oak Fur Post and Learning Center at 5:00 p.m.

Vet Checks

Musher Vet Checks will be held from noon to 6:30 p.m. on the day before the race. No appointments are needed. Visit the 2017 Vets Page.

Join us for Dinner on Friday, March 3rd!

A full dinner will be served, including salad, spaghetti, garlic bread, and beverage, all for only $5.00.

March 3rd – Mandatory Musher Meeting at 7:00pm

Join Us For Breakfast!

Breakfast Saturday Morning 7am-9am ($5.00). Pancakes, French Toast, Scrambled Eggs, Sausage, Oatmeal, and Beverage.

THE RACE IS ON! – March 4th at 9:30am!

The fun starts at the White Oak Historical Site just north of Deer River, Minnesota. Join us March 4th at 9:30am for one of the White Oak Society’s most exciting events of the winter season!


Race Purse and Prizes:

There is a Guaranteed Minimum Race Purse of $2,500 for the 2016 race.*

  • 46-mile race 1st place prize:
    $250 value French Canadian Capote + Cash Prize
  • 23-mile race 1st place prize
    $250 value Hand-Forged Engraved Knife + Cash Prize
  • 12-mile race 1st place prize
    $250 value Jacuzzi Suite Gift Certificate + Cash Prize

Last place musher in each race will receive a red lantern displaying the race name and date.

* Total Purse value subject to change.


Race participants may download our Race Rules, Registration Form, and Liability Release Form (for Mushers under 18 years of age) below:

Download Race Rules and Registration


2017 Race Sponsors
A special thank you to all the 2017 race sponsors and supporters! – Official List

2017 Musher List
Meet the Mushers who signed up to participate in the 2017 White Oak Dog Sled Race!
2017 Mushers

2017 Race Vets
This year’s race veterinarians are Dr. Gregg Sonstegard, Dr. John Reichert, Dr. Katie Baratto, and Dr. Kendall Sawyer. – Read More




  • Watch this video from the 2011 White Oak Sled Dog Race
  • Check out the action at the finish line in the 2014 Dog Sled Race!

Historical Articles

Race Maps – (Click to Enlarge)

Map - Sled Dog Race - Deer River to Grand Rapids East
Deer River to Grand Rapids West
Map - Sled Dog Race - Deer River to Grand Rapids East
Deer River to Grand Rapids East

Download Large Size PDF (2MB)

11 thoughts on “White Oak Dog Sled Race

  1. NUMBER OF DOGS…UPDATE REGARDING THE MARCH 4, 2017, WHITE OAK RACE! Teams running the round trip 46-mile race from the White Oak Fur Post to the Itasca County Fairgrounds and back will be allowed to run with 8-dog teams (minimum of 4 dogs in harness at finish line). This is a change from the Race Rules. The Rules will shortly be updated to show this change.
    ~ per Robin Oberton, Race Marshall

  2. Thank you for asking! Yes, here is the way to register online.

    (1) From the race home page, print and complete the registration form (and the under-age-18 liability release if applicable).

    (2) Scan or take a picture of the completed form(s) and email as an attachment to: krystalkennels@gmail.com

    (3) Also attach a PHOTO of yourself that will be used on the race web site.

    (4) Pay the appropriate registration fee online by credit or debit card or PayPal using the “Donate” button on the White Oak Society web site. The “Donate” button is shown on several pages of the site, including right-hand sidebar of this page.

    You will receive a confirmation email when your registration form, photo, and payment have been received. We look forward to having you join us at this year’s race!

  3. Hey Nick. Mark and I are planning to race the White Oak too but have the same question. Can we register by email or something?


    1. During the 2016 White Oak races, all teams will be required to have a maximum of 6 dogs, and a minimum of 4 dogs. Every team must finish with at least 4 dogs in harness. For future races, the number of dogs could change, but for 2016 it will be 4-6. Thanks for asking! See race rules at: http://whiteoakhistoricalsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/White-Oak-Dog-Sled-Race-Rules-v-2015.pdf
      Also see 2016 White Oak Sled Dog Race listing on Sled Dog Central for more details: http://www.sleddogcentral.com/schedules/lower48/midwest/WhiteOakSledDogRace.htm

  4. Your dog friendly lodging option in Deer River would be the White Oak Inn & Suites. Many of the mushers entered in the White Oak Sled Dog Race stay at this Inn, which is only about a mile from the Race Start. Also, the White Oak Inn & Suites is one of our race sponsors! Dog friendly lodging in Grand Rapids would include the Itascan Motel, Super 8, AmericInn, and Timberlake Lodge, to name a few. Some of these offer dog-friendly rooms at no extra cost, and some have a small charge of $10-$15 for this service. You would want to check with them for more details. See you at the race!!

  5. Robin, I think I’ll pass on working to plan this year’s race. I’ve enjoyed planning all 21 races we’ve planned in the past. You have a great group that enjoys working together and you have produced good races.

    Please know that I am available as a resource if needed.

    I’ll see you on race day if we’re in Deer River.

    1. Yes, handlers are allowed to help at the layover check point at the Itasca County Fairgrounds. This is permitted by race rules and by the Race Marshall’s direction. Thanks for asking!

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