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Three Heartland Ski Areas Help Keep Southern Residents Skiing

Hidden-Valley-as-the-sun-sets-and-lights-cover-the-slopes.-Facebook-Hidden-Valley The sun setting over Hidden Vallley's slopes. (Facebook)

Lower Midwest ski areas in Indiana and Missouri attract southern skiers from Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama.

Perfect North Slopes, in the southeastern corner of Indiana, is close to Cincinnati and Lexington, and Paoli Peaks, in the hill country of south-central Indiana, is between Indianapolis and Louisville.

Perfect North has 23 tree-lined trails, two terrain parks, and five chairlifts, and seven surface tows with a 400-foot vertical drop, big for the lower Midwest. They also offer one of the Heartland’s largest tubing operations with 23 lanes and two carpet lifts. The ski area partners with nearby lodging properties for lodging packages and some include lift tickets. Most are within 20 miles of the ski area.

Paoli Peaks is upside-down with the day lodge and parking lot located on top of the ski hill. They don’t get a lot of natural snow but walk through the day lodge to get to the slope. It’s a world of white and snow on the other side of the door.

They offer 15 trails, two terrain parks, five chairlifts, two carpet tows in the beginner area with a 300-foot vertical. The Arctic Blast Tubing Park is open Friday-Sunday. Beginners have their own chairlift on top of the ski hill. Several nearby lodging establishments offer lift and lodging packages.

Hidden Valley, a popular day-trip area just southeast of St. Louis off I-44, recently expanded with an eye towards becoming a regional destination for many southern skiers.

The expansion has enhanced their ability to attract out-of-state visitors as well as improve facilities for local skiers. The area offers a 310-foot vertical with 16 trails, two terrain parks, a tubing park, four chairlifts, and three surface tows including a carpet lift in the beginner area. The expanded day lodge is all new. Polar Plunge Tubing Park is the largest in the Show Me State. Lodging packages at nearby locations, some offering discounted lift tickets.

All three areas provide a much-needed snowsports infusion for ski-starved people living in nearby southern states.

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