Snow Trails, Ohio's oldest ski area, was the first to open in the Buckeye State this season. They opened Dec. 6, which was one of their earliest openings in recent years. Located south of Mansfield off I-71 on Possum Run Road - you have to love that name - Snow Trails claims to be home to the highest slopes in the state, which probably helps with snow retention. The vertical drop of the ski area is 300 feet, which is decent for this area of the Midwest.
The area first opened in 1961 and has been serving Buckeye skiers and later riders for the last 47 years, which makes it one of the Heartland's older ski areas.
They claim a number of Ohio firsts: the first chairlift, first triple chair, first terrain park, and first conveyor lift, among others. Nationally it was the first ski area located below the 41st parallel to operate snowmaking.
Today there are six lifts and two conveyor carpets serving 15 runs, including three terrain parks and a snowtubing park. It serves Ohioans and skiers from neighboring states of Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
There have been three unsuccessful ski area ventures in Ohio: Sugarcreek near Dayton, Echo Hills near Lancaster, and Spicy Run, which opened in 1997 and lasted only three seasons. There are five other ski areas besides Snow Trails currently operating in the state, which was once thought of as being too far south to support snow sports.