Paoli Peaks: A Huffington Post Travel Ski Resort Guide
12/30/2011 01:51 pm ET
Jan 05, 2012
The Huffington Post
Paoli Peaks in Indiana is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Paoli Peaks, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
Paoli Peaks is located in southern Indiana, a little more than two hours south of Indianapolis and 2 1/2 hours northeast of Lexington, Kentucky. Visitors can fly into surrounding metropolitan airports or the tiny Paoli Municipal Airport, located only a short drive from the resort. As one of few snow resorts in the area, Paoli is known for its versatility, offering a little something for everyone in the family. The park has everything from terrain parks to snow tubing, ensuring that the whole group can find something to do.
Paoli Peaks offers groomed terrain on more than 70 acres, with a 300-foot vertical drop. Though the area receives an average annual snowfall of only 18 inches, the resort uses more than 100 snowmaking machines to keep powder on the mountain. This means that even if daytime temperatures climb into the 40s and 50s, slopes stay open and fresh. Paoli's season runs from mid-December until March, depending on the weather. The resort needs about two weeks of low temperatures to develop a good base for snowmaking, so visitors should monitor Paoli's snow report before hitting the mountain.
Trails And Lifts
Eight lifts service 15 trails, making this resort small enough to tackle in a day but just big enough to keep even seasoned skiers and snowboarders interested. The average grade is 10 to 15 percent, and the terrain is about half intermediate and one-quarter beginner, with the remainder reserved for black-diamond thrill-seekers. Trails are fed by five chairs, one rope tow and two carpet lifts. Full-mountain runs are possible for any level of skier or snowboarder.
In The News
As a smaller resort -- and one tucked into a rather unconventional neck of the country for seasoned skiers and snowboarders -- Paoli Peaks hasn't had much time in the spotlight. The resort is family-friendly and features holiday events, as well as NASTAR racing throughout the season. Created in the late 1960s by SKI Magazine, NASTAR is a recreational ski and snowboard racing program that takes place at locations around the U.S. Races occur four days a week on Paoli Peak's Beech Grove trail. An annual women's clinic also occurs each February, offering both new and seasoned snowbirds a chance to socialize, bond and spend a weekend honing their skills.
Lift tickets at Paoli Peaks cost $25 to $41, depending on age, date and conditions. Season passes start at $299 if purchased early, and family season passes purchased by the end of March for the next snow season run $899 for a family of six and offer unlimited use. Group and school rates are available. Ski and snowboard rentals are $29 per day, and helmet, clothing and locker rentals are also offered. Dedicated snow lovers can opt for seasonal equipment rentals as well. Group lessons cost a reasonable $20 per hour, and private lessons are $45. Paoli Peaks also offers programs for children and those with disabilities.
After a long day on the slopes, skiers and snowboarders can grab a bite to eat at the resort's mountaintop day lodge. A cafeteria, bar and first-aid facility ensure that guests are well cared for, while rental and pro shops offer shopping opportunities. Those looking for a different kind of fun can blast down the resort's neighboring snow tubing track before calling it a night at local lodgings. Whether visitors come just for a day or plan to spend the whole season hitting the snow at Paoli Peaks, this little resort has just the right amount of country charm and fun trails to keep even veteran skiers and snowboarders pleased.
WATCH: Paoli Peaks
Indiana's Paoli Peaks offers a snowy fix for the whole family.