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Insiders Guide: Mad River Mountain

mad_river_mountain_early_morning_facebook-rsz Mad River Mountain's large new day lodge.

Mad River Mountain is a scenic Ohio ski area that offers a nice variety of trails and plenty of uphill capacity spread out over 300 acres. Winding down narrow wooded trails looking out across the valley below, you could almost imagine that you were in Vermont complete with fencerows, dairy herds, rustic red barns, and silos. With nearby lodging in Marysville, it makes a nice quick weekend getaway for thousands of snowsports enthusiasts from Dayton, Lima, and Columbus, Ohio, as well as from Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, Indiana.

Trails and terrain

The ski area offers a 300-foot vertical with 20 individual trails spread across the ski hill serviced by six chairlifts and six surface tows. There are glades and four terrain parks that cover all ability levels. Mad River sprouted from a maple sugar farm whose owner, a local dairy farmer, had a vision of a “hilly thicket sitting idle that would make a good ski hill.” The learning area cranking out new skiers has been a forte for the 58-year-old ski area that has taught thousands of Midwest skiers to love the sport. The 10-lane, 1,000-foot long Avalanche Tubing Park is the largest tubing park in the Buckeye State.

Eats

The large lodge offers a good variety of grab and go food to the more extensive upstairs Loft menu. Live music is offered most weekends. In nearby Marysville, The Half Pint and Old Bag Of Nails both feature good bar pubs and burgers, and Benny's Pizza is known for Italian subs and pizza.

Stay

Mad River Mountain partners with nearby motels in Marysville that offer lodging discounts to skiers. They are about a 20-minute drive from the ski area. The motels are also convenient for another nearby attraction that makes a good pairing with a weekend ski trip.

Ohio Caverns

Just seven miles from Mad River Mountain, Ohio Caverns is one of the state's top tourist attractions. Considered one of America's most colorful caves, they offer daily winter tours. There are around two miles of underground trails that take a little under two hours to tour. Catch it Sunday on the way home from the ski area.

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