Guide to Ohio’s 4 Ski Resorts
Ohio may be part of the Midwest, but its landscape has plenty of hilly areas ripe for skiing. The state has five public ski areas of various sizes so Buckeyes throughout Ohio can learn to ski and practice their skills.
All the ski resorts within the state are north of Columbus with three situated outside of Cleveland. Of the five resorts, four are owned by Vail Properties and are part of the Epic Ski Pass.
On the other end of the spectrum, Snow Trails has been under the same management since it opened in 1961. There’s an additional ski hill owned and operated by the Cleveland Ski Club. Big Creek Ski Area is only open to those who are members, or to members’ friends and family.
Because snow isn’t abundant in this part of the Midwest, all of Ohio’s ski resorts rely on snowmaking abilities. Fortunately, Ohio usually gets plenty of cold weather in the winter which means many opportunities to create snow.
Most operate from December through March, but some have delayed opening the last several years due to warmer than anticipated temperatures preventing a solid base.
With their small size and limited capacity, most Ohio resorts require online booking ahead of time. None have accommodations on site, but they’re all near both small and major towns so there are plenty of choices a short distance away.
Ski Areas around Cleveland
Even though they were initially developed as independent resorts, Boston Mills and Brandywine Ski Resorts have been linked for the past two decades so guests can purchase one lift ticket for both resorts. The two are a quick five-minute drive from each other and both have separate styles. Boston Mills might be regarded as the more professional of the mountains while Brandywine has varied terrain and a section of easier runs.
Boston Mills has the steepest slope in the state, moguls, and seasonal competitions on 7 trails. Brandywine has 11 runs, an impressive lift capacity, and snow tubing. Even though lift tickets provide access to both resorts, the two don’t always operate on the same schedule.
As the snowiest ski area in Ohio, Alpine Valley Resort is always a popular destination. Its 120 inches of snow each year far outpaces the rest of the area and on occasion, the resort has been able to open as early as November. The resort has 72 acres of skiable terrain, a terrain park, seven trails, and gentle slopes.
Mid-Ohio Ski Areas
In 1961 Ohio was graced with its first ski resort. Snow Trails has been owned and operated by descendants of the Carto family since then. The resort’s location was selected as the best opportunity for both snow and snowmaking ability. It’s the highest elevation of all the state’s ski areas at 1,475 feet. Located an hour north of Columbus, the 60 acres of skiable area has three terrain parks, 17 trails, and a tubing park.
Mad River Mountain is the state’s largest ski resort with 144 acres. It has a total of 20 trails and two terrain parks, plus plenty of things to do beyond skiing and snowboarding. The Loft Bar and Grill is a perfect spot for a quick bite or apres-ski libations, with its excellent view of the slopes. Then take a thousand-foot-long ride at the largest tubing park in the state.
With the variety of terrain at Ohio’s ski resorts, skiers and snowboarders have plenty of options for a ski experience no matter what their level of skiing might be. And with many of them connected to the EPIC ski program, those skiers passing through the state can take a moment to sample the choices.