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“The Heart of Mushing”

Alaskan Tails of the Trail with Mary Shields
Ranked #2 of 71 Tours in Fairbanks
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: I invite you to visit my home, when you come to Fairbanks. I can introduce to my big , friendly huskies, (incase you need a dog- fix while you're away from your own dog) and explain what it's like out on the winter trail camping at 30 ° below zero. I will compare the camping with the routine on the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest ( I was the first woman to complete the race back in 1974, the second running.) And I will share tales of the 1,200 mile dog sled journey in Siberia, the greatest adventure I've experienced so far. Of course you'll check out the garden and go in the cabin and have some home baked refreshments, (You may have seen the cabin on the Home & Garden show) I feel so lucky to live here and I love to share my life with travelers.
Reviewed 22 September 2017

We were treated as valued guests in Mary's home. The pace was thoughtful, we moved from one setting to another - the garden to the dog yard to the campfire to her kitchen - and it was all seamless and natural. The mood was friendly and open; and the information, stories, and reflections just priceless. Mary is an inspirational person -- as a young musher and as an older person. She also knows dogs in ways visitors will find fascinating. It's hard to emphasize what an essential Alaska experience this is. I hope everyone who has the chance goes to visit Mary Shields and her wonderful dogs.

1  Thank jwilberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mary S, Owner at Alaskan Tails of the Trail with Mary Shields, responded to this reviewResponded 25 October 2017

Thank you for your kind words. I enjoyed sharing this fall time together. Mary

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Reviews (481)
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60 - 64 of 481 reviews

Reviewed 20 September 2017

Our family group of 12 adults from both the East and West coasts started our vacation in Alaska with our visit to Tails of the Trail. It could not have been a better start. While certainly the opportunity to directly interact with Mary's dogs (and puppies!) was a highlight, it was having time sharing Mary's story that was very special. She makes her home so warm and accessible. It is not just the story of her experience in the Iditarod, which is amazing, but how she came to Alaska as a young woman, her courage, and her life's work caring for the wilderness. We didn't have any young children with us, but we all agreed this would be a very special experience for our children and grandchildren.

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1  Thank Steve D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mary S, Owner at Alaskan Tails of the Trail with Mary Shields, responded to this reviewResponded 25 October 2017

Thank you for bringing your wonderful family together for fall time with my puppies who are now getting so big and sharing a wonderful day, and the beginning of your Alaska trip. Happy Trails, Mary

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Reviewed 17 September 2017

We were a group of 12, six couples staying 2 nights in Fairbanks the beginning of September (we stayed at the fun Aurora Express B & B in Fairbanks). Our one free day we visited with Mary Shields in the morning and did the Riverboat Discovery in the afternoon. Mary was so thoughtful about wanting to make sure our visit was tailored to what our group wanted. Spending time with the puppies and her other dogs was great and sitting around her kitchen table with mugs of coffee and fresh baked cookies and hearing her stories was just perfect. She made us feel at home and like fast friends and seemed very sad when we had to leave! She is an inspirational, adventurous, brave woman!

Thank LoveToTravel524
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mary S, Owner at Alaskan Tails of the Trail with Mary Shields, responded to this reviewResponded 25 October 2017

Thank you for coming to visit and I am glad to have met such a wonderful group of friends. Happy Trails, Mary

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Reviewed 11 September 2017

What can we say about Mary Shields that hasn't been already said. My wife and I turned out to be the only two people on that day and it turned out to be one of the best experiences of our life. Mary is many things - a pioneer, a trailblazer, a champion. She is so passionate about what she does. We had a great time with the dogs - Smokey was my favorite but they were all so great. We also got to cuddle two super cute puppies who were just 10 days old. Later, Mary shared stories of her Iditarod race over tea and lemon cookies (which she baked herself). Her story is one of fighting against the odds and winning - something that will inspire us forever. Her passion for the sport, for the dogs, for nature is so strong, it makes you think about yourself. She was also kind enough to gift us her book and DVD. We left with so many lovely memories. Thanks for such a fantastic experience. I couldn't not recommend it more strongly. If you had just one thing to do in Fairbanks, it should be this.

Thank BhaktaVinayak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mary S, Owner at Alaskan Tails of the Trail with Mary Shields, responded to this reviewResponded 25 October 2017

Thank you for coming and sharing this experience with the puppies, the dogs, and the small joys of nature around my place in Alaska. As you return home, you carry about of Alaska now in your stories of this visit and your other adventures. Thanks for sharing with others. Warmly, Mary

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Reviewed 10 September 2017

This was an excellent choice.Mary is so inspiring and tells such good stories.Her dogs are loving and funny.One of the highlights is when she gets the guests to howl and the dogs howl back!Her cabin is delightful and warm,the bathroom is clean,her cookies are delicious.Don't miss this!

Thank Yvonne1155
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mary S, Owner at Alaskan Tails of the Trail with Mary Shields, responded to this reviewResponded 25 October 2017

Thanks for coming on my tour, I always enjoy a good howl with the dogs. Happy Trails, Mary

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