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Top three mountains for Dayton skiers

When the snow begins to fall in the Miami Valley, winter sports enthusiasts can hit the slopes within about an hour of home. While the white stuff may not be the quality powder found in Colorado or Utah or other mountainous regions, locals recommend three nearby spots for convenient and fun snowboarding and skiing.

Mad River Mountain – 44 miles

Since its inception in 1962, Mad River Mountain has been a popular choice for Daytonian’s looking for a winter sports outlet. This family ski area provides 24 ski slopes and a vertical drop of 300 feet. Mad River Mountain boasts the largest snowmaking system in Ohio, three terrain parks, a quarter pipe in the snowboarding area and a top-rated ski school. “I remember my parents bringing me to Mad River when I was little,” recalls Amy Stahl. “It became a family tradition every season and the choice of runs is great.” Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced skier, this location is frequently a winter-favorite of locals. Located near Bellefontaine, OH, it is only a 30-45 minute drive away.

Fast facts:

Vertical drop: 300 feet

Top Elevation: 1460 feet

Base Elevation: 1160 feet

Total Runs: 24

- 48% Expert and Advanced

- 19% Intermediate Runs

- 33% Beginner Runs

- Longest Run: 0.5 miles

Total Lifts: 12

- 6 Chair Lifts

- 3 Surface Lifts

- 3 Carpet Lifts

Skiing Area: 144 acres

- Snowmaking on 144 acres

Annual snowfall: 3 feet

Night Skiing is Available

Snowboarders Welcome


Latitude: 40.318173

Longitude: -83.678652

Perfect North – 57 miles

Snowboarder and Dayton resident, Jason Hicks usually prefers Paoli Peaks in Indiana as his Midwest ski mountain of choice, but last year turned to Perfect North when warm wind blew in. Located only 57 miles from Dayton in Lawrenceburg, Indiana it’s a popular choice for those living southwest of town. “There's not many ski resorts around these parts but this one is a nice hill to ski on if you live in the area,” he said.

Perfect North has a limited number of tough trails with the majority of green and blue ski runs. It offers a conventional size ski hill with a vertical drop that’s comparable to other Midwest ski hills. Typically, the winter brings about 2 feet of fluffy snow to the mountain. The 23 trails at Perfect North are entertaining for skiers and snowboarders alike. The location is family friendly ski area with plenty of beginner and intermediate ski trails for novices. They also offering tubing runs. One word of caution, it gets crowded quickly, so reservations are advised.

Fast facts:

Vertical drop: 400 feet

Total Runs: 23

- 25% Expert and Advanced

- 50% Intermediate Runs

- 25% Beginner Runs

Total Lifts: 10

Skiing Area: 75 acres

Annual snowfall: 2 feet


Latitude: 39.147735

Longitude: -84.887423

Spicy Run Snow Ski Resort – 74 miles

If you are willing to drive a little further, Spicy Run Snow Ski Resort awaits you 74 miles from Dayton in south central Ohio and has the largest drop from top to bottom for 164 miles. It is a smaller-style ski area with only 4 lifts but guests are taken to the mountain top easily. Skiers looking for a tougher level of difficulty will find this resort has a much higher than average share of red and black trails and nine total slopes. For snowboarders, a terrain park called Rip City is available and plays music throughout the terrain. When this section of Ohio is covered in wonderful snow—it averages about 3 feet per season--it is truly striking and exciting for skiing or snowboarding.

Fast facts:

Vertical drop: 600 feet

Total Runs: 9

- 70% Expert and Advanced

- 20% Intermediate Runs

- 10% Beginner Runs

Total Lifts: 4

Skiing Area: 40 acres

Annual snowfall: 3 feet


Latitude: 39.076061

Longitude: -83.20787


Of course, there are many more ski alternatives in Ohio if you are willing to drive further or include an overnight stay in your trip but this area offers a few good runs to choose from in the winter season. For more information on any of these ski options near Dayton, visit:



  • Robert 5 years ago

    Mad River Mt is most convenient and has great equipment.