12 Stunning Places to go Snowboarding and Skiing Near Columbus
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While Columbus, Ohio might be best known as the home of the Ohio State Buckeyes, there are a lot of outdoor gems to discover in the surrounding areas. You may be surprised to learn that there are several world-class snowboarding and ski areas accessible from the city. While it may feel daunting to plan a trip to one of the ski resorts near Columbus, it’s actually quite easy! To help you plan a winter getaway to the slopes this year, we compiled this list of the best places for snowboarding and skiing near Columbus.

Mad River Mountain

  • Distance from Columbus: 53 miles (50 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on-site
  • Ability Level: All levels

Opened in 1962, Mad River Mountain is one of Ohio’s largest ski resorts, and it’s just an hour from Columbus. 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: Start on I-270 N towards Cleveland, take Oh-292 exit towards Valley Hi to Snow Valley Rd to resort. If not driving, there is a bus once daily to Marysville ($10), then a 20 min taxi ride to resort.

Clear Fork Adventure Area

  • Distance from Columbus: 67 miles (~1 hour)
  • Accommodations Available: None on-site
  • Ability Level: All levels

Located near Mohican State Park in a beautiful area of rolling hills, Clear Fork Adventure Area is a tiny ski resort with just 9 trails across 60 acres with varying levels of difficulty. They offer tubing, skiing, and snowboarding near Columbus on wide trails that are best for beginner and intermediate riders. Many visitors recommend Main Street and Logan’s Run for more advanced skiers, as they are two of the harder runs on the premises.

How to Get There: If driving, start on Interstate 670 E to Airport, take exit for Cleveland, then OH-97 towards Bellville, to resort. If not driving, there is a bus that leaves once daily from Columbus to Mansfield (1 hr), then a 20 min taxi ride to the resort.

Boston Mills/Brandywine

  • Distance from Columbus: 128 miles (~1 hr 50 min)
  • Accommodations Available: None on-site
  • 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, take Interstate 670 E to Airport, then take exit for Cleveland, then I 271 N towards Erie to Oh-303 to Peninsula. There is no bus or train to this destination, driving is the best way.

Alpine Valley

  • Distance from Columbus: 158 miles (~2 hr 15 min)
  • 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, take Interstate 670 E to Airport, then take exit for Cleveland, then I-271 N towards Erie to Mayfield Rd to resort. There is no direct bus or train to Alpine Valley. (can go to Cleveland then Chesterland, but a long bus ride)

Seven Springs Mountain Resort

  • Distance from Columbus: 225 miles (~3 hr 30 min)
  • Accommodations Available: None on-site
  • Ability Level: All levels

Known as one of the best ski resorts near Cincinnati to “get some air,” Seven Springs Mountain Resort’s slopes include beginner-friendly bunny hills to adrenaline-inducing double black diamond slopes and terrain parks. For the thrill-seeking skier, there are few competitors to Seven Springs’ 33 ski trails.

For beginners, there are group and private lessons available with a handful of easy slopes to practice on. There are gear rentals available as well that you can pick up at the lodge. Ten different ski lifts dot the park to help you get around from trail to trail, and there are a handful of different lodges on the resort grounds where you can grab a hot meal or take a break from the slopes.

How to Get There: If driving, take Interstate 71 S ramp to Cincinnati, then I-70 E towards Harrisburg to PA-31 E to Country Line Rd. to resort. If not driving, there are buses to Pittsburgh (1 hour from resort) but driving is best way.

Hidden Valley Resort

  • Location: Hidden Valley, PA
  • Distance from Columbus: 222 miles (~3 hr 30 min)
  • Accommodation available? Yes, at The Inn at Hidden Valley
  • Experience Levels: All levels

If you are looking for an escape into the mountains, look no further than Hidden Valley Ski Resort. This ski resort is the perfect location for beginners looking to improve their skills. At 26 runs in size, and 27% beginner trails, Hidden Valley is one of the ideal ski resorts near Philadelphia to become the advanced skier you’ve dreamed of becoming.

Lift tickets are priced reasonably, and Hidden Valley also participates in a local network along with Laurel Mountain and Seven Spring Mountain. One ticket gets you access to all three parks in a weekend.

How to Get There: If driving, take Interstate 71 S ramp to Cincinnati, then I-70 E towards Harrisburg to PA-31 E to Craighead Rd. to resort. Driving is best way to get to resort.

Laurel Mountain, PA

  • Distance to Columbus: 237 miles (~4 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on-site
  • Ability Level: All levels

Located in the heart of Laurel Mountain State Park, Laurel Mountain Ski Resort is a historic area that was once considered the skiing capital of Pennsylvania. The resort was designed by famous European skier Johann “Hannes” Schneider, the inventor of the Arlberg Method, the basis of modern alpine ski technique. The resort opened in 1940, just before the U.S. entered WWII, and some of the original structures, including the storied Midway Cabin, still stand on the property. It’s most famous for its double diamond Lower Wildcat slope, which is the steepest in Pennsylvania.

Laurel Mountain is a sister resort with Seven Springs and Hidden Valley, and it’s home to 20 trails over 79 trails when combined with sister resorts. Visitors like that the lodge is at the top of the mountain, with views overlooking the hills all around.

How to Get There: If driving, take Interstate 71 S ramp to Cincinnati, then I-70 E towards Harrisburg to PA-711 towards Ligonier to Laurel Summit rd to resort. Driving is best way to get here.

Liberty Mountain Resort, PA

  • Location: Fairfield, PA
  • Distance from Columbus: 5 hr 45 min (357 miles)
  • Accommodation available? Yes, at Liberty Mountain Resort
  • Experience Levels: All levels

Located 2.5 hours from Philadelphia, Liberty Mountain Resort is one of Pennsylvania’s favorite ski resorts. With fantastic ski packages and resources for beginners, Liberty Mountain Resort is a fantastic place to learn to ski among friends and family. Because it’s close enough to Philadelphia, you can take a day trip to the resort or stay the night at the resort’s beautiful lodge.

Aside from being the most convenient ski resort to access from DC, they also have fantastic specials to encourage you to return over and over again. One of its most popular offerings is the 3X deal, which is a steep discount on lift passes and (optional) rentals for one price. What’s even better is that this 3X deal is good for many different resorts, including a few on this list.

Like the others on this list, Liberty Mountain does offer beginner lessons, rentals, and packages, so don’t sweat it if this is your first time on the slopes! The resort will make sure you’re in good hands to learn how to ski or snowboard with ease.

How to Get There: If driving, take Interstate 71 S ramp to Cincinnati, then I-70 E towards Wheeling, then US-40 E exit to Hagerstown, then PA-16 E to resort. Driving is best way to get here.

Blue Knob All Seasons Resort

  • Location: Claysburg, PA
  • Distance from Columbus: 294 miles (~4 hr 45 min)
  • Accommodation available? Yes, at Blue Knob Resort
  • Experience Levels: All levels

Blue Knob Resort is a year-round resort that offers winter sports, namely skiing and snowboarding, but we’ve included it in this section because it’s one of the few resorts that offers cross-country skiing near Philadelphia. With its immense variety of snow sports, as well as an on-site lodge, Blue Knob is a well-rounded resort where you can try all kinds of winter activities.

Day use and rental fees for the Nordic/cross-country ski area are very affordable, giving all visitors the opportunity to give this different type of skiing a try. There are also lessons available for both snowshoeing and cross-country skiing for beginners wanting to learn new skills and techniques for the sport. Of course, if you realize that cross-country isn’t your thing, you can hit the regular, downhill trails on skis or a snowboard as well!

How to Get There: If driving, take Interstate 71 S ramp to Cincinnati, then I-70 E towards Wheeling, then US-220 N to East Valley Point Ln to resort. Driving is best way to get here.

Tussey Mountain Ski and Recreation

  • Location: Boalsburg, PA
  • Distance from Columbus: 5 hr 15 min (330 miles)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience Levels: Beginner to intermediate

Tussey Mountain is an ideal location for skiers close to Penn State. The park is small in size, with 7 runs total split mostly between blues and greens. This resort is widely known for its strong ties with the community and various, year-round events and programs.

Advanced skiers who live nearby can take part and train with the Tussey Mountain Alpine Racing Team. Additionally, there is an amphitheater on site that hosts events, like the locally famous WingFest, year-round.

How to Get There: If driving, take Interstate 71 S ramp to Cincinnati, then I-70 E towards Wheeling, then I-99 N to Bear Meadows Rd to resort. Driving is best way to get here.

Whitetail Resort

  • Location: Mercersburg, PA
  • Distance from Columbus: 320 miles (~5 hr 15 min)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience Levels: All levels

Located in Pennsylvania just 3 hours from Philadelphia, Whitetail Resort is another fantastic option for those wanting to hit the slopes as close as possible to the city. Whitetail Resort is a day use recreation area with access to ski slopes, gear rentals, dining, lessons, and more. Complete with 23 ski trails for all levels, beginner to advanced, as well as a terrain park, there’s no shortage of activities at Whitetail Ski Resort.

How to Get There: If driving, take Interstate 71 S ramp to Cincinnati, then I-70 E towards Wheeling, then US-30 E towards Gettysburg to Blairs Valley Rd to resort. Driving is best way to get here.

Roundtop Mountain Resort, PA

  • Location: Lewisberry, PA
  • Distance from Columbus: 328 miles (~5 hr 45 min)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience Levels: All levels

For families or couples that want to ski and play, Ski Roundtop is a fantastic Pennsylvania ski resort that’s home to several ski slopes suitable for all levels. At just 2 hours from Philadelphia, it’s easily accessible from the city center, perfect for a day trip or a short weekend getaway.

At this medium-sized resort, you’ll find several ski slopes ranging from easy bunny hills to double black diamond terrain. There are also lessons, rentals, and tubing available for those who have less experience.

Ski Roundtop is part of the 3X program, which gives a discount for a 3-visit pass that’s valid at several East Coast ski resorts. Note that there’s no accommodation on the resort’s grounds, but you can find some places to stay nearby.

How to Get There: If driving, take Interstate 71 S ramp to Cincinnati, then I-70 E towards Harrisburg then PA-114 exit to Mechanicsburg to Roundtop Rd. Driving is the best way to get here.

Additional Resources for Skiing Near Columbus

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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