Winter has officially begun, which opens up a whole new world of outdoor play. Northeast Ohio has it all when it comes to winter activities including a surprising number of ski resorts. My favorite? Hands down: Brandywine Ski Resort in Peninsula.
Brandywine is located in the heart of CVNP, next to it’s companion hill, Boston Mills, just off Riverview Road. The park does a great job directing you to the slopes- I drive by at least three signs on my way in. Parking is free, but lift ticket and rental rates vary depending on your age, time of arrival and whether or not you bring your own gear. Brandywine also hosts special events throughout the season that could affect the price. If you’re a college student like myself, the best time to go is college ID night as lift tickets and rentals are only $35!
My favorite part about Brandywine, aside from their College Late Night deals, is that this resort is perfect for all types of skiers (and snowboarders!). On the trail map below, you’ll see Brandywine has three green trails, three blue trails and three black diamond trails. The resort also has two terrain parks and a snow tubing area, making it ideal for extreme thrill seekers, 8-year-olds and everyone in between.
My Top Two Trails
I started skiing in 4th grade when I joined my elementary school’s ski club. However, I didn’t stick with it like some kids do and became more of a casual skier rather than a die-hard winter sports gal. I’m an intermediate skier- I nailed the french fries pizza pie rule but no flips or jumps for me- so naturally, my favorites are the blue trails.
This trail sits toward the back of the hill and is the longest trail at Brandywine. The trail has some huge rollers on it, making Outer Limits a long, fun trip down the hill. It’s also a little more private and secluded than the other hills so the trail feels less “commercial” than the others at the resort. And of course, the longer ski lift is a nice break from skiing and offers a pretty view of CVNP.
Downdraft is a step-up from Outer Limits and has some exciting features to it like a sharp left turn and trees lining both sides of the trail. It’s also steeper than Outer Limits and gets your adrenaline pumping on your way down. I usually hit this trail last after warming up on a couple green and blue trials. It leaves a great taste in my mouth, making me want to come back for more!
What to Wear
First, make sure you check the weather. Ohio winters bring both sub zero temps and 40+ degree days. That being said, I almost always dress in slightly less clothing than I normally would for a winter day. Remember that skiing and snowboarding is exercise, and there’s nothing worse, or more dangerous, than sweating in cold weather.
When I dress for a night on the slopes, I try my best not to wear any cotton. Cotton holds moisture like sweat and melted snow, which makes for a long, cold uncomfortable night of skiing. I start with a base layer of non-cotton leggings, Cuddl Duds long sleeve software shirt and wool socks. Then, depending on the weather, I’ll add another long sleeve and a pullover. For my outer layer, I slide on a pair of snow pants and either my down winter coat or light rain jacket. Last but not least are gloves and a knit ear warmer.
For shoes, I actually wear boat shoes. Brandywine’s equipment rental includes ski and snowboard boots, so I wear my boat shoes because they’re comfortable to drive in and easy to slip on and off. Regular snow boots work fine as well, but mine are way too bulky for me to wear for a short amount of time.
What to Bring
Money, chapstick, tissues and your college ID, if you go for College Late Night. For whatever reason, my nose always runs when I ski, so tissues are a must. Brandywine also has a lodge with snacks and drinks, so bring a little extra cash in case you get the munchies. I’d also suggest bringing a water bottle to drink for the drive home.