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ABOUT SUOMI HILLS KENNEL
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Suomi Hills Kennel was founded in 1993 by Joel Kersting. He was given a few dogs and a sled and immediately fell in love with the mushing experience. Joel raises and trains almost all of Suomi Hills Kennel's dogs. All of the dogs are friendly and sociable. Socialization of the puppies begins when they are only a few days old. Training to pull begins when the puppies are about 4 months old; however, the dogs usually don't join the working team until they are at least one year old.
Joel Kersting, Professional Musher Veela Joel loves his dogs Mushing
In order to meet other mushers and share the joy of sled dogs, Joel started going to races in 1994. A list of races entered by Suomi Hills Kennel teams can be seen here.

Most often the musher was Joel; however, Stephanie Kessler, Mike Leedahl, Jessica Leonard, and Rachel Leonard have also raced Suomi Hills Kennel Dogs.

3 Suomi Hills Kennel teams finishing the Mid-Minnesota 150 race Before long people started asking if we could give sled dog rides. Always excited to share the sled dog experience we often said, "yes". Eventually different organizations asked Joel if he could come talk about sled dogs. Again he often accommodated.

To view a list of organizations that have received rides or presentations click here.
The summer of 2004 Joel and the dogs accepted a job with Alaska Icefield Expeditions in Skagway, Alaska. AIE gives sled dog tours on the Denver Glacier for guests from the cruise ships that dock in Skagway. View some of the photo from Alaska below.
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Mountains of Alaska Hiking above Sheep Creek Camp Cabin on Sheep Mountain Whale off the coast of Alaska Coastal mountain near Juneau Alaska
Tutshi Lake Puppies peeking from their house Tutshi Lake Curly on the Denver Glacier after a storm Dropping dogs at Tutshi Lake
Dear Joel - "We have returned back in Cyprus after an amazing experience in the Ice field expedition in Alaska with your dog sledding team. It has been an unforgettable experience wish we will be able to do it every year. Best Regards & thank you." - Louis & Pauline Loizou, July 2008
Running dogs on the Denver Glacier Running dogs on the Denver Glacier Dog camp on the Denver Glacier, Skagway, Alaska Dog camp on the Denver Glacier, Skagway, Alaska after a storm Running dogs on the Denver Glacier
Giving tours on the Denver Glacier New Truck 2009 Alaska Highway at the Liard River Prasing the dogs after a fun tour Riders ready to go
Free time on the Denver Glacier Mountain Valley, Skagway, Alaska "Just got back from Alaska and wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our dogsledding adventure with you. We went on a 5pm tour from Skagway and have been on cloud nine ever since. It was heaven being up at camp with you and your dogs. We sang your praises all over the Norwegian Pearl and than some. It was an expreience I will remember and treasure forever. Thank you for sharing it with us. You were a great guide." Regards from New York! - Claire & Mike
Praising the dogs after a fun tour Joel - "I want to thank you for the wonderful experience we had on the Denver Glacier the first of September. We had tried to go at the Mendenhal Glacier but they were booked up. But I am glad because there is no way they could top what we saw and did in Skagway. It has been a life long dream of my wife to go dog sledding and the experience in Alaska was everything she hoped for. The time you took to talk with us about your experiences just made it that much better. We wish you the best and may God's richest blessings be upon you."
Thanks, Douglas

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SUOMI HILLS KENNEL
Joel Kersting - Professional Musher
60587 Osprey Ave. • Swatera, MN 55785
Phone: 218-244-1265


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