Wintergreen Resort in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains is one of the family-friendliest destinations on the East Coast.
Located southwest of Charlottesville, Wintergreen is the Mid-Atlantic’s winter playground. The scenic 11,000-acre hideaway has breathtaking mountain panoramas, ultimate winter vacation or weekend getaways, world-class skiing, charming lodging, and enticing dining options for the entire family.
With 24 slopes on 130 skiable acres for skiers and snowboarders, the resort features the region’s most extensive beginner-to-expert terrain, with 23 percent beginner, 35 percent intermediate, and 42 percent expert. Fourteen slopes are lighted for night skiing, and the resort’s longest run is 1.4 miles. Wintergreen has nine lifts. Five are chairlifts, including two high-speed, six-passenger chairlifts. The resort has four surface conveyor lifts, and an uphill capacity is an amazing 11,200 skiers per hour.
The Snowsports School accommodates all skill levels, offering top-notch ski instruction for adults and children. Wintergreen’s instructors, certified by the Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors are adept at teaching all skill levels on the slopes ― from beginners to experts.
The Discover Skiing & Snowboarding program creates lifelong snow sport enthusiasts and has participants turning and stopping during their first lesson. If not, guests can repeat the lesson later that day. Guests receive a card that allows them to return two more times at a discounted rate that includes a lift ticket, rental, and advanced beginner lessons. When these visits are completed, guests are eligible to purchase a deeply discounted season pass.
Programs for children come in all shapes and sizes. From day and half-day programs at The Treehouse to private and group lessons at the Snowsports School, all are geared to help children become better skiers and snowboarders.
Wintergreen Resort offers Virginia’s largest snowtubing area for the entire family, regardless of skiing or snowboarding ability. The Plunge is a 900-foot, 10-lane, mega-snowtubing hill for people 42 inches and taller. Tubers can reach thrilling speeds of 25 to 40 mph with a vertical drop of 100 feet.
Ridgely’s Fun Park, designed for ages 3 and up, is an interactive play area for kids that includes bear paw snowshoes, tunnels, a winter carousel, and a mini tubing slope. Adults can play alongside children.
The Shamokin Ice Rink is a 45-by-60-foot rink accommodating up to 60 people per session. Kept frozen by a 150-ton chiller, guests will slide, glide, and spin their way through winter.
The resort’s two terrain parks offer skiers and snowboarders the chance to practice freestyle skills on snow features, jibs, and rails. The parks are home to events and competitions such as Wintergreen Slopestyle, and Rail Jam events.
Wintergreen Resort is the only ski area on the East Coast to have 100 percent of its terrain covered by a state-of-the-art, automated snowmaking system. The Techno Alpin computerized system consists of approximately 40,000 linear feet of pipeline, more than 400 snow guns and 45 weather stations.
On site are 230 villa-style condominiums and rental homes, from studio suites to seven-bedroom homes, each offering a fully equipped kitchen and a comfortable living area ― most with fireplaces and a balcony or deck. Making reservations through Wintergreen Resort provides the best advantage, resort officials said.
Guests at the resort can enjoy 30 miles of marked hiking trails maintained by The Wintergreen Nature Foundation, which thread through the resort’s property and connect to scenic stretches of the Appalachian Trail. Hiking trail maps are available at The Wintergreen Nature Foundation and the front desk. The Spa at Wintergreen provides services that include therapeutic massages, body wraps, hydrotherapy baths, reflexology, skin care treatments, and hair and nail care. Cardiovascular equipment, including treadmills, stationary bicycles, stair-steppers, and body peak trainers are available.
A little history
Wintergreen Resort’s name was inspired by the wintergreen plant (Gaultheria procumbens), which is also commonly known as the teaberry or checkerberry. The wintergreen is a plant that flowers in the summer with a white bell-shaped blossom and produces a red berry in the winter. When pinched, the plant has a distinct wintergreen fragrance (like in chewing gum and mints). The wintergreen is native to the eastern United States and can be found abundantly at Wintergreen Resort. This plant is where the town of Wintergreen, Va., got its name, as well.
Wintergreen’s Mountain Village is located on two mountains: Devils Knob and Black Rock Mountain. Black Rock Mountain is named for the granite outcrops most prevalent on the mountain’s southern side, which in certain light and at certain times of the year are prominent and black. Devils Knob most likely got its name from a nearby narrow, precipitous mountain pass known as Devil’s Gate. The dangerously tight pass existed before the Blue Ridge Parkway was built. It was named Devil’s Gate for the risk it presented to travelers and early settlers.
Dining options for members and guests
The Copper Mine Bistro Serves a traditional breakfast in the morning and an innovative Mediterranean menu at dinner with a creative menu of large and small plates and the popular gourmet pizzas. The Devils Grill Restaurant and Lounge Clubhouse restaurant located at the Devils Knob golf course features mountaintop views in an elegant atmosphere. Stoney Creek Bar & Grill offers fantastic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains overlooking the golf course, as well as and a casual menu and “neighborhood” atmosphere with contemporary American fare. The Edge Restaurant is all about casual dining overlooking mountains and slopes, perfect for family and group dining. Additional dining options are available during the winter season.