Plenty of ski slopes nearby


How does having access to seven magnificent ski resorts within just three hours sound?

But better yet, one of these powder playgrounds, Mad River Mountain, is just 25 minutes from Urbana and two others are only an hour and a half away (Snow Trails and Perfect North Slopes).

Mad River Mountain has opened for the season, so for all you half-pikers, down-hillers, tubers and first-timers alike, now is the time to get out and shred some snow close to home, be it skiing, snow boarding, tubing or even beginner lessons.

Snow-making machines are working overtime at area ski resorts currently making man-made powder at a crazy pace.

Other ski resorts in Ohio’s northern “Snow Belt” are snow covered already. Ski resorts in Ohio’s snow belt benefit from the region’s earlier colder temperatures and also from lake-effect snows from Lake Erie, which ensure natural snowfall from December through early March.

The “Magnificent Seven” below consists of 5 ski resorts in Ohio and one in Indiana and one just across the state line in West Virginia. All have fantastic amenities, diverse terrain and vertical drops from 175 to over 400 feet.

Mad River Mountain

This Ohio resort is a local favorite with over 20 trails, 12 lifts, a 1,460-foot mountain elevation, 4 terrain parks, 144 ski-able acres and a 300-foot vertical drop. It also has Ohio’s largest tubing park.

Also home to Ohio’s largest snow-making system, Mad River Mountain has more than 120 fan guns that are able to pump out 7,000 gallons of water per minute, covering the entire 144-acre resort with snow piling in as little as 72 hours. Check out their impressive grand resort lodge, with 46,000 square feet of space.

Snow Trails

Located near Mansfield, Ohio, Snow Trails was Ohio’s first ski resort and the first resort to make man-made snow. This premier facility has over 80 acres with 12 slopes and 15 trails with a maximum 300-foot vertical drop, a tubing park, a terrain park and a ski school.

Perfect North Slopes

Located in Lawrenceburg, Ind., just outside of Cincinnati, this tri-state favorite is around an hour and 30 minute drive from Urbana and has 20 lifts and over 80 trails for skiers and snowboarders. Check out their gigantic tubing park and the 70,000-square-foot lodge. With a 400-foot vertical drop and a one-mile run you can’t go wrong here.

Boston Mills/Brandywine

These two separate resorts, owned by the same management company, are located just five minutes apart in Peninsula and Sagamore Hills, Ohio. These resorts offer night skiing, a terrain park, a half pipe, 15 lifts and 18 trails. Lift tickets and passes are valid at both parks. Be sure to check out the Polar Blast tubing park at Brandywine for some great family fun.

Oglebay Resort

This 1,700-acre, year-round resort in Wheeling, W. Va., just over the Ohio state line off I-70 offers great skiing and snow boarding with natural and man-made snow. Ski lessons are available on site. The resort features a 270-room luxurious lodge with multiple dining options, indoor pool, fitness center, specialty shops, a zoo and more.

Big Creek Ski Area

Located in Painesville, Ohio, this resort offers 9 slopes, great skiing, snowboarding and tubing with a maximum 175-foot vertical drop.

Alpine Valley

This Chesterville, Ohio resort, located in the heart of Ohio’s snow belt, features an extreme park, 11 slopes, a tubing park, Ohio’s longest half pipe and a learning center and a chalet.

Mad River Mountain opened for the 2020-21 season this past Sunday. River Mountain opened for the 2020-21 season this past Sunday. Ron Brohm | Submitted photo

You don’t have to travel far away to get that “Big-Time” Ski Resort experience. Pictured is The Ski Lodge at Mad River Mountain. don’t have to travel far away to get that “Big-Time” Ski Resort experience. Pictured is The Ski Lodge at Mad River Mountain. Ron Brohm | Submitted photo
Gnarly downhill thrills closer than you think

By Ron Brohm

Contributing writer

Reach Ron Brohm at [email protected]

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