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January 24, 2006

Tim Machowicz, 517-651-6217
Mary Dettloff, 517-335-3014

Enjoy Sled Dog Races at Sleepy Hollow State Park

Sleepy Hollow State Park will host more than 100 sled dog teams at its annual sled dog races Feb. 4-5. The races, organized by the Mid-Union Sled Haulers, begin Saturday at 9 a.m. and continue every hour until 2:30 p.m. The first race features three-dog sled teams, each running an individual-timed race for the fastest time. Saturday's races also include five-dog and seven-dog sled teams. Sunday's races run from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Additional events for both days include skijoring, with individuals on cross-country skis tethered to sled dogs; weight pulls and mid-distance races.

The Mid-Union Sled Haulers (www.midunionsledhaulers) is a nonprofit organization promoting sled dog racing in a family atmosphere. Their sleds, measuring eight feet long and weighing less than 40 pounds, are made of white ash, hickory and birch, lashed with rawhide or nylon at the joints to ensure flexibility. The dogs are driven by voice commands from the driver with the entire race depending on the intelligence and obedience of the team, particularly the lead dog.

All events may be canceled if there is not sufficient snow or the trails are too icy. Please contact the park at (517) 651-6217. Pets are not allowed in the race area to ensure the safety of the racers and spectators.

Sleepy Hollow State Park is located about 15 miles northeast of Lansing. From US-27, take Price Road east approximately five miles to the park entrance. A 2006 Motor Vehicle Permit is required to enter the park. Daily permits are $6, while annual permits -- valid at all Michigan state parks and recreation areas -- are $24.

The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural resources for current and future generations.
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