Winter Getaways: Ohio's ski scene at full strength

Eric Lyttle

Just a few short months ago, it appeared as if Ohio's skiing and snowboarding scene might be thrown into chaos. In September, a fire destroyed the much-beloved lodge at one of the state's most popular slopes, Mad River Mountain near Bellefontaine. Three months earlier, the Clear Fork Resort near Mansfield was placed on the auction block and sold in a sheriff's sale after former owners fell more than $2 million in debt. If two of Ohio's six ski resorts potentially closed for the 2015-16 season, skiers and snowboarders would face the prospect of unusually long lift lines and dangerously crowded slopes.

But the news turned out to be good, as the owners of Mad River hastily rebuilt a temporary lodge in time for October's Ski Swap, while Clear Fork's new management posted on the resort's website last month that it would be open this winter. Most Central Ohio skiers and snowboarders hit the trails at either Mad River Mountain, located about 50 miles west of Columbus, or Snow Trails, located about 60 miles north of Columbus toward Mansfield. "They're both really good. It's just a matter of where you're used to going and where your group of friends tends to go," says Mike Langen, sales associate at Aspen Ski and Board in Polaris. "Our whole shop goes to Mad River. (The fire) was sad news. Everybody has a lot of fond memories in that lodge. And if Mad River couldn't have opened, it would have driven all of our customers to Snow Trails. The entire ski community would have been bummed out."

Here is a roundup of the Ohio's six ski resorts, plus Southern Indiana's Perfect North resort, the destination of choice for winter sports fans in the Cincinnati region. The information was obtained from Check resort websites for prices on lift tickets and season passes.

Alpine Valley Ski Area

  • Chesterland (Geauga County)
  • Skiable Area: 72 acres
  • Number of Lifts: 6
  • Number of Trails: 11
  • Longest Run: 2,000 feet
  • Vertical Drop: 230 feet

Brandywine/Boston Mills

  • Peninsula (Summit County)
  • Skiable Area: 88 acres
  • Number of Lifts: 16
  • Number of Trails: 17
  • Longest Run: 3,520 feet
  • Vertical Drop: 264 feet

Clear Fork

  • Butler (Richland County)
  • Skiable Area: 60 acres
  • Number of Lifts: 6
  • Number of Trails: 9
  • Longest Run: 1,800 feet
  • Vertical Drop: 300 feet

Mad River Mountain

  • Zanesfield (Logan County)
  • Skiable Area: 144 acres
  • Number of Lifts: 14
  • Number of Trails: 24
  • Longest Run: 3,000 feet
  • Vertical Drop: 300 feet

Snow Trails

  • Mansfield (Richland County)
  • Skiable Area: 80 acres
  • Number of Lifts: 7
  • Number of Trails: 17
  • Longest Run: 2,000 feet
  • Vertical Drop: 300 feet

Perfect North Slopes

  • Lawrenceburg, IN
  • Skiable Area: 100 acres
  • Number of Lifts: 11
  • Number of Trails: 23
  • Longest Run: 2,640 feet
  • Vertical Drop: 400 feet