Mad River Mountain: A Huffington Post Travel Ski Resort Guide
Mad River Mountain in Ohio is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Mad River Mountain, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
The BasicsCentrally located in Zanesfield, Ohio, Mad River Mountain is an easy trip from most major Midwestern cities. As the state's largest snow resort, Mad River is a destination both for Ohioans and other Midwesterners. Visitors from further away can fly into Columbus, Dayton, Lima, or as far away as Indianapolis. Opened in 1962, the resort celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012.
The MountainMad River's 144 acres provide plenty of room to roam over all types of terrain. The resort's snowmaking capabilities ensure that 100 percent of the mountain's 300 feet of vertical drop are covered. With an annual snowfall of 36 inches, the resort gets its share of fresh powder now and then. The season opens around mid-December, once a good base is developed, and ends in March. The longest run at Mad River is about a half-mile, giving skiers and snowboarders plenty of time to coast down from the 1,460-foot summit. Night sessions and alpine tubing are some of Mad River's perks.
Trails And LiftsTwenty-four trails crisscross Mad River's face, all accessed by 12 lifts. A 7-acre beginner slope allows visitors new to the sport -- or just brushing up -- to practice their ski plows before tackling the tougher runs. With almost 50 percent of the mountain devoted to black-diamond runs, Mad River provides plenty of room for seasoned skiers and snowboarders to shred. The award-winning Capital Park is one of two terrain parks on the mountain. With more than 60 features, it is a veritable snow playground, while sister Momentum Park offers some easier progressive elements.
In The NewsSeasons at Mad River are packed full of events, competitions and entertainment. Both NASTAR and adult racing series occur throughout the season, offering competitors and spectators plenty of opportunities to catch some action. Themed racing nights and various camps provide activities for everyone in the family. OnTheSnow gave Capital Park the "Visitors Choice" award for best Midwest terrain park in both 2010 and 2011.
CostDaytime midweek tickets at Mad River cost $25 for children and $35 for adults; after 4 p.m., lift tickets are $20 and $25, respectively. On the weekends, prices go up around $10 for each category. Military and group discounts are available. Season passes run about $350 for adults and $250 for children. Passes for a family of four hover around $1,000. Equipment rentals cost from $25 to $30 per day; seasonal rentals are also an option.
Apres-SkiAfter a long day on the slopes, skiers, snowboarders and tubers can head down the mountain to refuel, restock and relax. The Loft has an extensive entertainment calendar for guests with enough energy left to dance. While Mad River delivers on the slopes, its lodge is a more humble affair. Visitors have access to all the basics -- food service, a rental shop, lockers, apparel shops and restrooms -- but nothing too luxurious. Guests may want to consider heading back to Bellefontaine for drinks, warmth and lodging.
WATCH: Mad River Mountain
Skiers make the most of a memorable ride down some of Mad River's signature runs.