At Wintergreen Resort in Virginia you can ski in the morning, play golf in the afternoon
Skiers, hikers, golfers and those who simply love to get close to nature find Wintergreen Resort in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains a place where they can play golf and ski on the same day.
With 11,000 acres of valleys and mountains covered by a blanket of deciduous hardwoods, there is certainly enough room to spread out on this four-season playground about three hours from Washington and two hours from Richmond.
At Wintergreen you get two very different golf experiences. You can play Stoney Creek’s three nines in the Rockfish Valley by Rees Jones (Monocan, Tuckahoe and Shamokin) where it can be 80 degrees then on the same day you can drive up to the mountain and see the temperature gauge on your car drop by 10 degrees.
Once on top, you can tee off down the long sloping first tee of the Devil’s Knob golf course, a spectacular Ellis Maples-designed track with plunging elevations and incredible views stretching out to the mountains. In the colder months, it is often warm enough in the valley to play golf while back on top of the mountain, you can ski down Wintergreen’s 25 trails. Wintergreen has one of the best snowmaking systems in the country with 48 weather stations and a sophisticated remotely-controlled snowmaking system that can make snow for one trail in about an hour. Skiers access the trails and five lifts through three base areas and a typical good ski day brings 4,000 skiers to the mountain. The skiing time is extended thanks to lights on all but the expert trail.
Stay in the lodge or rent one of the condominiums or mountain homes, a popular choice for groups. Studio-to-five-bedroom cliff-top villas are strung along the rim with knockout views of the mountains and valleys. More homes are found below in the Rockfish Valley. Most homes have fireplaces and decks and wherever you look, you see mountains all around. In Wintergreen it’s all about enjoying nature and weather.
A unique aspect of Wintergreen is the Nature Foundation, a research and education facility. The Foundation maintains an extensive trail system for bikers and hikers with access to perimeter and valley trails. Some lead to incredible overlooks like The Plunge, one of the shortest trails in the mountains at .2 miles but worth the effort as it leads to a jaw-dropping vista of rock formations. The Old Appalachian Trail can also be accessed from the resort.
For an easy introduction of Wintergreen take the Trillium House Trail, a very short loop around the nature center offering information about the natural history of the region. Here you find interactive exhibits, a Birder’s Gallery, gardens and a Native American dwelling. A number of educational programs are offered throughout the year.
Several wineries and breweries in the region such as Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company, Blue Mountain Brewery, Wild Wolf Brewing Company, Flying Fox Vineyard and Wintergreen Winery.
You can indulge in traditional as well as innovative treatments at The Spa at Wintergreen. For example the 80-minute signature massage combines traditional Swedish strokes with hot stone techniques. Or go for the Pumpkin Chai Sugar Scrub to exfoliate and replenishes your skin followed by a Vichy shower and a replenishing oil rub.
For more information, see Wintergreenresort.com.
Interiors of mountain homes are spectacular (top); This run called “The Plunge” is fun for snowboarders in the winter.
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