TINA L. SCOTT
Looking for a relaxing outdoor winter activity? Why not a sleigh ride? Not far south of Merrill, Jack Devett of Merrill drives a team of North American spotted draft horses pulling a sleigh through the beautiful snow-covered countryside. Whether for a group of two or a dozen or more, he can accommodate 12 adults per sleigh (more people if the group includes children) and has multiple sleighs available, as well as another team of horses. Sleigh rides are usually about 90 minutes and take riders across fields and gentle hills, through wooded areas, and into a small clearing where they stop for a bonfire about midway through the ride. While the horses have a rest, groups warm up around the fire, can roast hot dogs and marshmallows (guests need to bring their own food and pack out whatever they bring in), and enjoy conversation and laughter. Peggy and Dennis Griffin of Willow Springs Garden host the sleigh rides, allowing for a warm location to wait before and after the rides in a recently constructed building by their round red barn, and the sleigh rides meander through their acreage. Sleigh rides are available any day of the week through the end of February but must be scheduled in advance by calling 715.675.1171. Be sure to dress warm, bring blankets to tuck in around your group, and enjoy one of Wisconsin’s most beautiful seasons. Christmas might be over, but a winter wonderland is still ours to enjoy.