7 Awesome Places to Go Snowboarding and Skiing Near Cincinnati
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If you’re feeling stuck at home in Cincinnati this winter, don’t fret – there are actually a ton of places to enjoy the outdoors and go snowboarding and skiing near Cincinnati. From family friendly hills to adrenaline-inducing runs for more experienced skiers, there are so many opportunities to enjoy the slopes within a short drive of the city. Wondering where we recommend visiting? Here are 7 incredible ski resorts near Cincinnati that you can visit today!

Perfect North Slopes, IN

  • Distance from Cincinnati: 30 miles (35 mins)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on-site
  • Ability Level: All levels

At around half an hour from Cincinnati, Perfect North Slopes is a small, family-owned resort for skiing near Cleveland. It is by far the most convenient and accessible area for skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing on a time crunch. While it’s not the tallest elevation (at just 400 feet) , this small resort boasts 23 trails, with a mixture of beginner and intermediate ratings. For beginners and first-timers, there’s a ski school and rental shop available so you can learn here. There’s a fantastic beginner area that’s super family-friendly.

Visitors love how well-run Perfect North is, from its wonderful snowmaking capabilities to friendly staff and instructors. There’s also a heated drink tent at the bottom of the tubing hill so you can warm up from the winter air. People love this family-friendly spot for learning to ski or sneaking in some slope time without straying too far from Cincinnati.

How to Get There: If you are driving, start on I-75 S towards Lexington, then I-275 W to IN–1/Ohio Scenic highway to Perfect Place Ln to resort.

Mad River Mountain

  • Distance from Cincinnati: 112 miles (~2 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on-site, but there are nearby hotels at affordable prices
  • Ability Level: All levels

Opened in 1962, Mad River Mountain is one of Ohio’s largest ski resorts, and it’s just 2 hours from Cincinnati. With 20 trails across 144 acres, this resort has runs ranging from bunny hills to expert-level slopes. Mad River is also home to the Avalanche Snow Tubing Park, which has 10 lanes and is the biggest in Ohio. Their slogan is “every day is a snow day,” and they truly aim to make snow sports accessible to the Midwest region.

Many people state that Mad River Mountain is the best place to ski in Ohio, with its affordable prices and well-run resort areas. There are several terrain parks, and one of them, Capital Park, was voted one of the best in Ohio. Additionally, they have special discounts for Ohio college students, as well as live music and events.

How to Get There: The easiest way to get to Mad River Mountain is by car. If you are planning on driving, start on I-75 N then OH-4 E towards Columbus, then OH-245 E to county road 29 to resort.

Paoli Peaks, IN

  • Distance from Cincinnati: 147 miles (~2.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: None on-site
  • Ability Level: Beginner and intermediate

Open 7 days a week, Paoli Peaks is one of the best places to go snowboarding and skiing near Cincinnati. Perfect for a day trip, its 15 trails and 2 terrain parks cover mostly beginner and intermediate difficulty, but there are a few gems for more experienced skiers and riders too. They’ve got fantastic discounts for college students, and if you’re not a skier or rider, you can still enjoy the Arctic Blast Tubing Park. Paoli Peaks is considered one of the best spots to go skiing in Southern Indiana.

How to Get There: If driving, start on I-71 S to IN-265 to US-150 W to Paoli, then Historic Pathways to county road 25 to resort.

Raccoon Run Winter Sports Center

  • Distance from Cincinnati: 164 miles (~2.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: None on-site
  • Ability Level: All levels

Located in Hancock County in the Riverbend Recreational Area, Raccoon Run is more of a community winter sports area than a true “resort.” This public park area offers trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing through a beautiful forested area. This ski area is open to the public on weekends and holidays for free. For beginners, there are workshops from 9 AM to 10:30 AM on most weekends. There’s also night skiing available and a hot drink stop inside the center’s building. If you need to rent equipment, you can rent it in Cincinnati or nearby.

How to Get There: If driving, start on I-75 N to OH-10 towards Columbus, then OH-568 E to Trail 241 to the resort.

Snow Trails Winter Resort

  • Distance from Cincinnati: 172 miles (~2.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on-site
  • Ability Level: All levels, mostly intermediate

Located in Mansfield, OH, Snow Trails Winter Resort is a family owned and operated ski and snowboard area that’s just 2.5 hours from Cincinnati. On-site, they offer skiing, snowboarding, and tubing in Possum Run Valley, which is one of the coldest valleys in Ohio for maintaining snow.

The resort’s 17 trails and 3 terrain parks are mostly intermediate and advanced, but there are a few trails suitable for beginners as well. The West Woods side of the hill is said to be good for beginner/intermediate skiers and riders, while the side of the hill near tubing is more aggressive terrain for experienced skiers. The elevation on the mountain is the highest in Ohio, at 1,475 feet, and visitors love the remote, backcountry feeling of the resort. Another interesting feature of the resort include glow tubing – a night-time tubing experience that’s totally unique.

How to Get There: If driving, start on I-71 N to OH-13 N towards Mansfield to Possum Run Road to resort.

Boston Mills & Brandywine

  • Distance from Cincinnati: 240 miles (~3.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: None on-site, but there are plenty of hotels in nearby Brandywine
  • Ability Level: All levels

Boston Mills & Brandywine are two sister resorts, located just 1 mile from each other. This resort system offers skiing, snowboarding, and tubing at its Polar Blast Tubing Park. The resort boasts snowmaking capabilities and shorter slopes, meaning you can ride through them pretty quickly. 18 trails and 3 terrain parks ranging from beginner to advanced span the two resort areas, including Ohio’s steepest slope, Tiger. Of the two resorts, Brandywine is said to be more suitable for snowboarders and more advanced practitioners, while Boston Mills has more beginner-friendly terrain.

How to Get There: If driving, start on I-71 N towards Cleveland, then I-271 N to OH-303 E to Riverview Rd to resort.

Alpine Valley

  • Distance from Cincinnati: 264 miles (~4 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: None on-site
  • Ability Level: All levels

Located in Ohio’s snow belt, Alpine Valley gets the most natural snow out of all the resorts in Ohio. Here, snowboarders and skiers can enjoy the slopes, and there’s a snow tubing area for non-riders, too. As a smaller resort, there are 11 runs here that are evenly split between beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Unlike many of the resorts on our list, most of the trails here are wooded trails that are ungroomed. There’s a huge focus at Alpine Valley on family-friendly activities, and people generally like the accessibility of the ski area. On Saturday nights, the resort offers a special discount for beginners.

How to Get There: If driving, start on I-71 N towards Cleveland, then I-271 N, to US-322 E to Mayfield Rd. to resort.

What to Pack

  • Waterproof outerwear – Possibly the most critical pieces of clothing for your ski trip packing list is durable, waterproof outerwear. Burton and Helly Hansen are famous ski brands for having best-in-class clothing that will keep you warm in the coldest, snowiest conditions. Click here to shop ski jackets and compare prices.
  • Thermal layers – Thermal baselayers are absolutely critical for a smooth skiing experience, as these will keep you warm and dry underneath your outerwear. The best kinds of thermal baselayers are made of Merino wool, which is moisture-wicking and comfortable. Our favorite brand of thermal layers is SmartWool – their tops and leggings are soft, lightweight, but warm and durable for all kinds of outdoor activities, including skiing. Click here to shop thermal tops and leggings and compare prices.
  • Ski goggles – No ski trip packing list would be complete without a pair of fog-resistant ski goggles, especially if you’re going somewhere that makes artificial snow. Ski slopes often have snow blowing into the air several times a day and it can be hard to keep freezing snowflakes out of your eyes, even during clear days. We use and recommend these ski goggles. However, you can shop ski goggles and compare reviews/prices here.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of things to pack, head to our Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List to view our full packing list and gear recommendations for the slopes!

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