There are plenty of reasons why Cleveland rocks, whether it’s the many sports teams, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, or being just a few hours away from many different types of ski areas. While skiing and snowboarding aren’t generally synonymous with Ohio, local residents have many resorts to enjoy downhill slopes in and …
Ohio Ski Areas by City
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 5 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 3 situated outside of Cleveland. Of the 5 resorts, 4 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 1 lift ticket for both resorts. The 2 are a quick 5-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 2 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 1st 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 3 terrain parks, 17 trails, and a tubing park.
Mad River Mountain is the state’s largest ski resort, at 144 acres. It has a total of 20 trails and 2 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 après-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 their skiing level. 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.