Wintergreen's Mountaintop Spa Resort

by Mary Burnham

Aerial of Wintergreen golf course

My quads scream with each step down boulder-strewn Mau-Har trail. This is the final leg of a two-day circuit in Three Ridges Wilderness, infamous for one of the steepest climbs in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains.

I plow ahead, anxious to reach the car. Wintergreen Resort is a scant two-mile drive from the trailhead.

There, the trail becomes a pleasant memory as I soak in a whirlpool, then recline in an earth-toned suede lounge chair in the mountaintop Wintergarden Spa.

Wintergarden Spa

We sip hot tea in the lounge, gazing out the two-story windows, where a misty cloud descends upon a forest red and yellow with fall foliage.

Then it's on to the pulling, pinching, and pummeling of the deep tissue massage. The lactic acid starts flowing, and so do ideas for another hike. Followed by a massage, of course.

Later, all the comforts of home come with killer views from ridge-top condos and multi-bedroom homes.

Feeling too grubby to dine out at one of Wintergreen's four restaurants? Condo kitchens have everything needed to prepare a home-cooked meal.

Wintergarden Spa locker room

Play: Hike on Wintergreen's own 30 miles of woodland trails or head to trails along nearby Blue Ridge Parkway, such as Three Ridges Wilderness.

In addition golf courses and ski slopes, the resort's Out of Bounds Adventure Park has skateboarding, rock-tower climbing, paintball, and a bungee trampoline.

Getting there: Wintergreen is southwest of Charlottesville. From the Blue Ridge Parkway, take Reeds Gap exit (Between milepost 13 and 14) on Route 664 and go east one mile to the Wintergreen entrance on your left.

Contact: Wintergreen Resort