As a part of the United States’ Corn Belt, endless agricultural fields are probably what come to mind when imagining Indiana. The state may not have much of a reputation when it comes to skiing, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some winter fun to be had in and around the Hoosier State. Tucked between those fields of grain are local ski haunts and beyond the state’s borders are even more options. Take a long drive through the countryside in Indiana and beyond, or along the coast of a Great Lake, to a snowy ski resort.
Paoli Peaks, Indiana
One of two alpine-style ski resorts in Indiana, Paoli Peaks is at a modest elevation of 900 feet with a vertical drop of 300 feet. 17 runs at different skill levels offer skiers and snowboarders a downhill adrenaline rush without leaving the state. The resort also offers snow tubing for those who haven’t yet mastered gliding along the slopes on their own. Paoli Peaks’ day lodge, perched at the top of the hill, offers amenities such as a cafeteria-style restaurant, equipment rental shop and a first-aid facility. While there are is no accommodation in the ski area, many are to be found nearby. The resort is located near Hoosier National Forest, in case you want to get some extra nature walks in during your winter adventure.
Perfect North Slopes, Indiana
Located only an hour and a half drive from Indianapolis, Perfect North Slopes is the second of the state’s ski resorts. With an elevation of 800 feet, a vertical drop of 400 feet, 23 runs available at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, the resort is an ideal option for groups of skiers and snowboarders with different skills. The main lodge offers a small cafeteria with snack-like foods to keep you satiated and a skiing and snowboarding shop can also be found in the east lodge. Ski lessons and snow tubing are also available at Perfect North Slopes.
Timber Ridge Ski Area, Michigan
Head north into Michigan for even more winter sports options. An approximately 1.5-hour drive from Indiana’s northern border is Timber Ridge. The ski area is specifically geared towards families, with different events offered throughout the year. In January, kid-friendly ski races and activities are hosted while during other months more advanced skiers can show off their skills during competitions and races. 15 trails total are offered at different levels of difficulty and the onsite lodge sells food and beverages. Timber Ridge also has a tubing run for participants over the age of 5 years old.
Hidden Valley Ski Resort, Missouri
Take a long, relaxing drive from Indianapolis and follow Route 70 through Illinois towards Hidden Valley Ski Resort in Missouri. The ski resort offers the standard variety of trails, 17 in total, over two terrain parks. Its Polar Plunge tubing hill and zip line provide that extra oomph of fun for the family. While there are no accommodations on-site, there are many hotel options in the area, some of which offer ski and stay packages.
Mad River Mountain, Ohio
Mad River Mountain is a 2.5-hour drive from Indianapolis, located in Valley Hi, Ohio. A ski and snowboard resort, its top elevation towers over others on this list at 1,460 feet, but with a comparable 300 feet vertical drop. The resort boasts the largest snowmaking system in Ohio to ensure visitors can always experience a winter wonderland as they glide downhill. You’ll find 23 runs over three terrain parks on 144 acres of skiable area. There are even two areas for beginners, as well as tubing hills, so everyone can enjoy the snow-packed fun at their own pace.