RANGELEY — Rangeley Lakes Trails Center has kicked off the new year off by offering dog sled rides on weekends, and expanding single-track trails for snowshoeing, Trails Center manager Carol Sullivan said.

The dog sled experience is offered by Rangeley local Anthony Colello and his Rangeley Region Sled Dog Adventures. Colello has been running his sled dogs for over nine years and for the last few years has done a program with the kindergarten-to-fourth-grade children from the Rangeley Lakes Regional School. It has been so well received that the Trails Center decided to team up with him to offer dog sled rides on a regularly scheduled basis for the public.

The dog team is a very people-friendly bunch that show their enthusiasm with barks, yips and howls until the sled speeds off with riders on board for the “thrill of a lifetime,” Sullivan said.

For those looking for a more serene adventure, snowshoeing trails of different lengths offer treks of just a few kilometers to day-long outings with views across Saddleback Lake to Canada and unspoiled terrain that can be especially beautiful in winter. Picnic tables are scattered throughout the trail system offering a chance to rest or enjoy a snack or picnic, she said.

The Rangeley Lakes Trails Center, located at 524 Saddleback Mountain Road, is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Snowshoes and classic Nordic skis/poles/boots are available for rent. Light refreshments and hot beverages are available at the round yurt that serves as the lodge.

More information and up-to-date trail conditions can be found on their Web site at www.xcskirangeley.com

To reserve a time for a dog sled adventure, call 864-4309. More information about Colello and Rangeley Region Sled Dog Adventures is available  at www.rangeleydogsled.com

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