- Overall Rating 4
- Family Friendly 4
- All Mtn. Terrain 4
- Terrain Park 2
- Nightlife 2
Pros: Not crowded, friendly atmosphere, scenic trails
Cons: Very limited terrain park, little snowmaking, poor food
Recommended For: Single/Newlyweds, Family Friendly, Empty Nesters
Date Visited: Jan 1, 2010
I like Cockaigne. It is probably my favorite place within a reasonable day-trip distance from my home in north-central Ohio. However, I can also understand the poor reviews that other people have given it.
Skiing at Cockaigne is like stepping into the past. The lifts are quite old, looking like they date from the days when two-seat chairlifts were first introduced. Still, I've ridden on worse lifts. The area has little snowmaking capacity, but with the ample lake effect snow, this seems to be no problem. Like the lifts, the grooming equipment is from another era - they still use the big rollers that are towed behind the snowcats. And just like ski areas of yesteryear, there are few terrain features. Other ski resorts in the region have much better terrain parks.
What I really like about Cockaigne is the friendly, laid-back atmosphere and the attractive, wooded trails. The slopes are not very difficult, but the winding little trails make for a pleasant, relaxed day of skiing. I often find myself stopping to watch some bird or animal in the woods. Even on weekends, not all of the lifts may be spinning. I don't mind this, as most of the area is accessible from the main lift, and I think it is a minor price to pay for skiing in a crowd-free place.
Perhaps my biggest gripe is the food. As a health nut, this is a perennial complaint of mine about many ski areas - why are there so few healthy options available in most lodges? Cockaigne is particularly bad in this score. I brown-bag my meals when I come here.
Cockaigne is definitely behind the times. Is that a bad thing? To me, it's part of the place's charm. It may lack the conveniences of a modern resort, but it also lacks the crowds and bustle.