Paoli Peaks, located in the hills of southern Indiana near the town of Paoli, long has been a mainstay for snowsports in a region that is lucky to receive even a couple of feet of snow in a winter. The ski area first opened in 1978 and serves skiers and riders from Louisville, Kentucky, to Indianapolis and everything in between.
While not big, the Peaks delivers solid skiing and riding for this region with a 300-foot vertical drop, 13 slopes and trails, two terrain parks, six lifts, and separate tubing hill. It's an upside-down ski area with the day lodge on top of the hill. Beginners, of which they have a lot, have their own chairlift on top of the ski hill. It's also part of the Kid's Fun Park, which has its own Magic Carpet lift.
Driving out of the small town towards the ski area you see gleaming white slopes falling down the hillside, but you lose sight of them as you wind up the country road to the top of the ridge and the lodge. It's kind of a white Wally World. There's rarely snow on the ground or in the parking lot, but walk through the lodge - which you have to do to get to the slopes - and you exit into a world of white and snow. It's kind of weird, but once you start down the hill all seems right. It feels like winter. The Peaks has introduced thousands of Hoosiers and Kentuckians to the sport of skiing and snowboarding during the 30 years that it has been open.