Ski Midwest: Little Gem, Boston Mills/Brandywine, An Ohio Oasis


What has 400 pairs of legs and only 240 feet?" The answer is the northern Ohio ski resort Boston Mills/Brandywine, which has one of the largest staffs of ski instructors in the country, more than 400 teachers and slopes with a modest 240 feet of vertical. This combination delivers an average of 18,000 ski lessons per week, and passed the 2 millionth beginner lesson mark back in 1997.

Situated in Ohio's Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area, 25 minutes from Akron and Cleveland, the ski resorts, located on either side of the Cuyahoga River, are connected by shuttle buses. Together the areas offer a total of 79 skiable acres, 19 slopes and 18 lifts. With 60 percent of the trails rated beginner or intermediate, the resorts are a haven for novices, but that doesn't mean experts are left out. Regulator Johnson at Boston Mills and Tiger at Brandywine are legitimate black diamonds. Snowboarders are welcome here and will find a freestyle park at Brandywine tabbed as the "Snowboarding Capital of Ohio," with a halfpipe, obstacles and jumps. The day lodges are classy, too, and capable of preparing everything from a hearty lunch to an elegant dinner party.

Also unique to the resort is the ski school program started in the early Sixties, which taught the physically challenged how to ski. The "Three Trackers of Ohio," as the organization was known, came into being and in 1980 hosted a racing event with participants from across the U.S. and Canada. For many years it was one of the largest volunteer organizations and was used as a role model for other neighboring resorts in implementing their own programs.

All slopes at Boston Mills/Brandywine are lighted for night skiing until 10:30 pm on weeknights and 1 am on Friday and Saturday nights. To assure good skiing conditions, an energy-efficient snowmaking system was installed. The Skiing Company, publishers of SKI Magazine, has presented the resort with its Silver Eagle Award for its efforts in using less electrical power for snowmaking and less diesel fuel in the snow grooming operations.

Because of its close proximity to metropolitan areas, visitors can ski their hearts out, then take a tour of Akron's Inventure Place or Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame later in the day.

For more information contact Boston Mills/Brandywine, P.O. Box 175, Peninsula, Ohio, 44264-0175; (800) 875-4241; .

Boston Mills/Brandywine

Information (800) 875-4241
Snow Report (330) 656-4489
Vertical Drop 240 feet
Founded 1963
Annual Snowfall 54 inches, plus 100 percent snowmaking.
Stats 19 trails, 18 lifts, 79 skiable acres.
lift tickets For 4 hours, adults pay $25; for 8 hours, it's $30. Juniors (ages 5 to 12) pay $20 and $25, respectively.
A Good Deal On sale Feb 15, the Millennium Pass is valid through March and again through the entire 2000-01 ski season. Price: Adult, $199; Junior (age 8 to 12), $79; Child (age 5 to 7), $29; and Senior (70 and over), $9.