dude i ride at hidden valley sometimes. i doubt there is anywhere within 8 hours thats worht the 8 wour drive. go out west. we flew to vail and our total trip was less than 100 per person more than driving out to snowshoe wv. loook at packages on expedia, really more affordable than i thought they were.
Chestnut. Galena Illinois Resort | Chestnut Mountain Resort Driving strait from the city it would be about 6 hours. They have 475ft drop and 220 acres. Hiddenvalley is 310ft and 30acres. I went early in the season and it blows HV out of the water. My friend just got back from there last weekend and couldn't stop talking about how much better the park set up is.
Denver Colorado is apparently only a ten hour drive if you're willing to stay cramped in a car a couple more hours... (and if you're speeding, it might be less, but you wouldn't do that obviously... )
Hidden Valley is literally right next door (30 minutes away) if you need a quick fix or just a day trip over the weekend. Prices aren't horrible, although it's nothing compared to anything out west...
Chestnut Mountain is much better than Hidden Valley from personal experience. It's not so much 50/50 regarding chairlift time to slope time when compared to Hidden Valley. Most of the people at Chestnut seemed pretty nice while I was there too.
(+1 towards Chestnut blowing Hidden Valley's terrain park out of the water)
Ive been lookin at going to check out Chestnut. IM in the south burbs of Chicago and Ive been going to Wolmot(blows) and Cascade Mtn(pretty good). But Chestnut I have been thinkin about going to to get a change of scenery