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5 Outstanding Ski Resorts in Ohio for Exhilarating Winter Fun

Most people don’t think of ski resorts when they think of Ohio. However, the state has a snow belt, and most of the ski resorts in Ohio are clustered in or near that area. The beauty of skiing in Ohio is that the weather is cold enough that if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate with enough natural snow, machine-made snow can provide the conditions you’re looking for.

All Ohio ski resorts offer not only daytime skiing but also nighttime skiing. If you’re looking for great family fun, ski resorts in Ohio provide exactly what you’re looking for. The ski season runs from mid-December to mid-March.

Ski Resorts Near Cleveland Ohio

Alpine Valley

Located in Chesterland, Alpine Valley is a small ski resort in Ohio. It gets the most natural snow of any of the Ohio ski resorts. It’s located in the snow belt and is the only resort in the state that benefits from lake-effect snow.

With an average of 120 inches of natural snow every year, you can be sure that you’ll have the kind of skiing on powder that most people dream of. Call ahead to find out trail conditions, and you could enjoy between one and two feet of new-fallen snow. 

With 230 feet of vertical drop, 72 acres, 25 trails, and 7 lifts, you won’t be surprised to learn that there are an equal number of trails for beginner, intermediate and expert skiers. Along with downhill skiing, this popular resort has an Xtreme half-pipe and Polar Blast tubing park.

Additionally, enjoy night skiing every day of the week. You can get food, drink, and a warm-up at Alpine Valley Lodge. Ski lessons and rentals are available as well.

Alpine Valley | photo via @dustyfur

Lodging Options Near Alpine Valley

There are no lodging options at the Alpine Valley resort, but the surrounding area has a nice selection of places to stay:

  • Bass Lake Inn — If you enjoy a quiet retreat with a Jacuzzi tub to soak away the day’s exertions, this is the place for you. Well-behaved and supervised children are welcome. You can dine at the inn if you want lunch, dinner, or brunch on the weekend. It’s located in Chardon Ohio. 
  • Punderson Manor — Located in Newbury, this lodge has two-bedroom cabins that are perfect for families, as well as rooms in the main lodge. The Cherry Dining Room offers family-style cooking for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Brandywine & Boston Mills

Brandywine and Boston Mills are sister resorts situated only five minutes apart. Based in the Cuyahoga Valley, they offer the ability to easily ski at two resorts on a weekend getaway. Tickets to the resorts are interchangeable. Between the two, they have a lift capacity of 20,000 people an hour. 

Brandywine

Brandywine has the largest lift capacity of any ski resort in Ohio. It’s a newer resort than Boston Mills and the 8 lifts (5 traditional and 3 carpet lifts) are smoother and faster. It will, however, be more crowded. With a 240-foot vertical drop, the 11 trails offer everything from novice to black diamond thrills.

Whether you’re a beginner or just want to improve your skills, there’s a multitude of lesson options for both skiers and snowboarders. Also, night skiing is offered every day, and the resorts are open until 1 a.m. on college Fridays. The Polar Blast Tubing Park is a popular option with 20 lanes the size of three football fields. 

Brandywine Ski Resort | photo via @rharvz

Boston Mills

Smaller and less hectic than its sister resort, Boston Mills has 7 trails and 7 lifts (6 traditional lifts and one surface lift), as well as a towrope. It’s home to the steepest slope in the state known as Tiger.

Tiger run has lots of moguls and is known to be challenging. All levels of skiers are catered to at this Ohio ski resort, from beginner to expert.

Lodging Options Near Brandywine and Boston Mills

No accommodations are offered at either resort, but plenty of lovely places are located close by:

  • Cuyahoga Valley Inn — On the National Register of Historic Places, this inn is a unique place to stay in Richfield Ohio. With four well-appointed and cozy rooms, it’s a place more geared toward couples or adults. Breakfast is a lavish affair that combines protein and carbs. Staying here is a great way to turn a ski weekend into a romantic getaway. 
  • Shady Oaks Farm Bed and Breakfast — In Northfield Ohio, this lovely bed and breakfast is an all-suite accommodation. A family suite can house up to four people, and well-behaved and supervised children are welcome. A treat with tea and coffee is served every evening. Breakfast is available from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and is a multicourse offering.

Ski Resorts Near Columbus Ohio

Snow Trails

Located between Columbus and Cleveland in Mansfield Ohio, Snow Trails is the only family-owned ski resort in Ohio. It was the first ski resort to open in the state and has been operating since 1961. It’s also located in the coldest area of Ohio, which makes snow-making possible when needed.

With a 300-foot vertical drop, it’s the premier resort for beginning skiers in Ohio. Beginners especially appreciate the carpet conveyor lift that transports them to the top of the beginner’s slope when they’re not quite ready for the chairlift. Personalized lessons are tailored to their skill level too. 

But don’t worry, Snow Trails isn’t all about beginners. While 60% of the trails are intermediate, 20% are expert. In addition, the resort has 3 terrain parks, 6 tubing lanes, and adaptive skiing. The whole family will enjoy the day.

Lodging Options Near Snow Trails

Snow Trails doesn’t have on-site accommodations, but here are a couple of places that are close by:

  • Spruce Hill Inn & Cottages — Located adjacent to Snow Trails, you can’t get any closer than this to the resort. Enjoy a four-person cottage where you can come back from a day on the slopes to soak in a Jacuzzi bath! Spruce Hill has lots of amenities and extra space for gathering, and specialized options let you customize your stay. 
  • Mohican State Park Lodge — This family-friendly lodge offers comfortable rooms, an indoor pool, and a game room to keep the kids entertained. If you don’t want to leave after check-in, dining is available at the lodge for all three meals. 
Boston Mills | photo via @tythomasmikol

Mad River Mountain

Mad River Mountain in Zanesfield is the largest of the ski resorts in Ohio and has been around since 1962. Located an hour from Akron and 100 miles south of Detroit, it offers a great place to enjoy some exciting outdoor winter entertainment.

With an average snowfall of 36 inches, the 120 snow-making machines are often a necessity. This ski resort in Ohio has 20 trails, 12 lifts, and an elevation of 1,400 feet.

The trails are 22% beginner, 34% intermediate, and 44 % expert, allowing skiers of all skill levels to enjoy their time on the slopes. The resort has 2 terrain parks — one for beginners and one for advanced skiers — and the Avalanche Tubing Park is a popular attraction.

Lodging Options Near Mad River

Although accommodations aren’t available at Mad River, there are a couple of places nearby:

  • Scioto Inn and Suites — Whether you want a deluxe suite, a mid-size suite, or a small suite, the level of luxury will be all that you desire. Located in Urbana, the short drive is well worth it to enjoy all the amenities the inn has to offer. The prices are affordable, and the standards are very high. Restaurants are within walking distance, and children are welcome. 
  • The Cabin at Maple View — Book this lovely cabin that sleeps 4 people and is located in Urbana. It’s adorable, well equipped, and gets rave ratings. The price is reasonable too.

Get a Season Ticket to All the Ski Resorts in Ohio

Everyone enjoys a bargain. If you’re skiing in the Northeast area of Ohio, the Epic Pass is a good deal. It can be used at four of the above resorts — Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine, and Mad River. These passes must be purchased within a given time window for the entire season.

The ultimate pass for Ohio includes not only access to the resorts but also 20% off food, lessons, rentals, lodging, and more. You even get Epic Coverage, which refunds you for injury, job loss, and illness. On top of that, the pass offers discount tickets for friends and family. 

FAQ About Ski Resorts in Ohio

How many ski resorts are in Ohio?

There are 7 Ohio ski resorts — Alpine Valley, Big Creek Ski Area, Boston Mills, Brandywine, Mad River, Nutting Winter Sports Complex, and Snow Trails.

What is the largest ski resort in Ohio?

The largest of the Ohio ski resorts is Mad River Mountain.

Is there skiing in Hocking Hills?

Although Hocking Hills State Park doesn’t have trails for skiing, it does have several miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails.

More Winter Things to Do in Ohio

Are you looking for more Ohio winter things to do? You can enjoy a handful of winter activities in Toledo. Or, maybe you would prefer to spend your time doing indoor activities in Dayton.

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