Located in Virginia’s Blue Ridge region, about 18 miles south of downtown Waynesboro, Wintergreen Resort is one of just a few major resorts that are accessible right off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Wintergreen is best known as the largest ski resort in Virginia, offering 26 slopes and cross-country trails, with terrain appropriate for everyone from first-time skiers and snowboarders to experienced experts.
They also have a state-of-the-art York computerized snowmaking system that ensures an average base of 45 inches of powder, as well as the largest snow tubing course in the state of Virginia.
But the Wintergreen ski resort is a 4-season resort with an impressive array of things to do at any time of year.
We stayed at one of many Wintergreen Resort rentals in 2021. We enjoyed activities ranging from hiking to waterfalls and swimming at Lake Monocan to driving the Blue Ridge Parkway, visiting the Plunge Tubing Park, and more.
Read on for our in-depth guide to the best things to do at Wintergreen Resort in summer, including a list of our favorite attractions on and near the expansive property.
Wintergreen Resort VA Info
ADDRESS: 39 Mountain Inn Loop, Nellysford VA 22958
OFFICE HOURS: Open 24 hours a day
ACCOMODATIONS: Wintergreen Resort offers a broad variety of accommodation options, including guest rooms at the Mountain Inn, Condominiums, Private Homes, and Exclusive Properties.
The property is divided into two areas: The Blackrock Area is closer to the shops, ski slopes, and Discovery Ridge Adventure Center. The Devils Knob Area is closer to the spa, golf course, and tennis, and offers far-reaching views.
We stayed in the Cliffs condos, which featured an open living area with a full kitchen, fireplace, King-sized bedroom, and a patio that offered breathtaking views of the Virginia mountains (especially at sunrise).
DIRECTIONS FROM WAYNESBORO VA
From downtown Waynesboro, take N Main St, which turns into US-250 E. Turn right on State Rte 610, then a quick left and a quick right to get on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Follow the BRP for 13.6 miles, then turn left onto State Rte 664/Beech Grove Rd. In 1.1 miles, turn left onto Wintergreen Dr.
Go 2.5 miles, then turn left to stay on Wintergreen Dr. Check-in at the Mountain Inn, which is at the top of the hill.
Summer at Wintergreen Resort Guide
- Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway
- Get Breathtaking Views at Wintergreen Overlooks
- Go Tubing Down the Mountain
- Have Brunch (or Dinner) at the Devil’s Knob Grill
- Hike at Humpback Rocks
- Hike to The Plunge
- Play/Swim at Lake Monacan
- See Upper Shamokin Falls
- Take in a Concert (or Theatrical Production)
- Visit the Spa At Wintergreen
1. Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway
Located right off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Waynesboro, Wintergreen Resort is close to some of our favorite overlooks, hiking trails, and waterfalls in the Shenandoah Valley region.
Some of our favorite Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks in the area include View Shenandoah Valley (Milepost 2.9), Ravens Roost (MP 10.7), and Twenty Minute Cliff (MP 19).
The latter is named for the fact that, in summer, the sun drops behind the mountains 20 minutes after sunlight hits the rock just below the overlook.
Popular Blue Ridge Parkway hikes nearby include the strenuous 2-mile Humpback Rocks Trail (MP 6), the stunning views at The Priest (MP 431, an easy 0.1-mile walk ), and the short Yankee Horse trail (MP 34.4), which features a logging railroad exhibit and a small waterfall.
But we loved the 1-mile White Rock Falls Trail (MP 20) and Crabtree Falls, which is just 7 miles from the Big Spy Mountain Overlook (MP 26.4). There are also several waterfalls on the Wintergreen Resort property.
2. Get Breathtaking Views at Wintergreen Overlooks
Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway is obviously a must.
But you certainly don’t need to leave the Wintergreen Resort grounds in order to see breathtaking views of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
All of their rental condos feature stunning sunrises (see photo at the top of this page) right outside your window. But there are also several spectacular overlooks on the property that make for great picnic spots.
The Devil’s Knob Overlook and Founder’s Vision Overlook were our favorites, with especially picturesque views from The Devil’s Knob at sunset.
There’s also an amazing overlook at the end of The Plunge hiking trail, which we’ll discuss in more detail shortly…
3. Go Tubing Down the Mountain
But our late summer visit to Wintergreen Resort was the first time we’ve ever gone tubing without water or snow to propel us. Suffice it to say we had a blast!
Located next to the Discovery Ridge Adventure Center (which offers a rock climbing wall, indoor Ninja course, ziplining, etc), the Plunge Tubing Park offers snow tubing during ski season and dry tubing in summer.
The rolling hill is as long as 3 football fields, with exhilarating speeds that can reach up to 30 mph. And there’s a conveyor lift that takes you and your tube back up the hill so you can go again.
Note that kids must be at least 6 years old and 42″ tall to ride in Virginia’s largest tubing park.
4. Have Brunch (or Dinner) at the Devils Knob Grill
Overlooking the 18th hole of the Devils Knob Golf Course (the highest in Virginia at 3,800 feet), the elegant restaurant offers romantic dinners and refined Sunday brunches with an excellent view.
All of the dishes we tried were delicious, but favorites included the Tuna Poke, Shrimp & Grits, Filet Mignon, Devils Hash, and Eggs Benedict with Virginia ham.
5. Hike to Humpback Rocks
Located at Milepost 6 on the BRP, the Humpback Rocks Recreation Area is home to several incredible hiking trails that are a must-do if you’re staying at Wintergreen Resort (just 12 miles away).
The most famous of these is the Appalachian Trail. It can be accessed from the Humpback Gap parking area by continuing south on the Humpback Rocks trail, or taking the blue-blazed path at the north end of the parking lot.
There’s a living history element to the .25-mile Mountain Farm Trail (which evokes an 1890s Appalachian farm), and the 0.3-mile Catoctin Trail is a nice leg-stretcher leading to an overlook of the Shenandoah Valley.
But of course the star attraction is the Humpback Rocks Trail, a strenuous endeavor that leads hikers 700 feet uphill to Humpback Rocks (1 mile), Humpback Mountain (2 miles), and the Humpback Rocks picnic area (3.9 miles).
The elevation is challenging, but the exceptional views make the effort exceptionally rewarding!
5. Hike to The Plunge
Our favorite of the 35 miles of Wintergreen Resort hiking trails, The Plunge is both the shortest trail we tackled and arguably among the most challenging.
The distance of the yellow-blazed trail is just 0.2 miles, but it includes brief sections of bouldering (with guide ropes) and rock scrambles. So the hike is rated moderate in difficulty despite its brevity.
The massive geological formations here (called pedlar gneiss) were created millions of years ago, and are a unique part of the Appalachian Mountains range.
At the end, you’ll reach the jaw-dropping overlook pictured above, which is a perfect place for an afternoon picnic. On clear days you might see Lynchburg VA, which is located some 45 miles to the southwest!
READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Roanoke VA
7. Play/Swim at Lake Monocan
Though Wintergreen Resort’s Lake Monocan is much smaller at 20 acres, it’s still a great place to cool off in the heat of summer.
The lake is open from the Friday of Memorial Day weekend until the Monday of Labor Day weekend, with lifeguards on the beach area to ensure everyone stays (and plays) safe.
Lake Monacan activities include sunbathing and swimming, with aqua cycles, kayaks, and paddle boards available for rent. There’s also a snack bar, picnic area, and charcoal grills you can use.
Note that towels and chairs are not provided, and guests who aren’t members (or registered resort guests) must pay a daily access fee.
Saturdays are reserved exclusively for Wintergreen members and registered guests.
8. See Upper Shamokin Falls
Our other favorite hiking trail at Wintergreen Resort (all of which are overseen by The Nature Foundation) is the Upper Shamokin Falls trail, which leads to one of the area’s most beautiful waterfalls.
The trail is short (0.8 miles round-trip) and rated moderate due to some large rocks and slippery mud sections.
The reward at the end is one of the prettiest waterfalls we’ve seen in Virginia, with a streaming cascade at the top rushing down to tumble over a wide rock face into a tranquil pool at the bottom.
Note that the rocks around the pool are very slippery, so use caution if you try to descend into it.
9. Take in a Show
There will be concerts held daily at the resort, neighboring wineries, and other venues. The concerts will range from classical music orchestras and jazz to bluegrass and movie music, all set against a stunning mountain backdrop.
In 2021, the resort partnered with Waynesboro’s Wayne Theatre to create “The Wayne at Wintergreen.”
They did an excellent production of Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on a unique outdoor mountaintop stage.
Although there are no theatrical productions scheduled this year, they hope to do it again next summer.
10. Visit the Spa At Wintergreen
One of the loveliest Blue Ridge spas we’ve ever visited, the Spa at Wintergreen is tucked back in a quiet section of the resort’s Devils Knob Area.
They offer a full range of spa services, including massages, facials, body treatments, and nail and salon services (such as the unique “Mountain Detox Treatment,” a nail prep, foot bath, and foot massage combo).
We opted for their relaxing Couples Massage, getting rubdowns from our respective masseuses side-by-side in the expansive couples’ suite.
The blissful Wintergreen Massage included medium to firm pressure that felt amazing after several days on the hiking trails.
But you can also choose a Swedish (light to medium) or Deep Tissue Massage with the package.
Aside from the massage, our favorite part was chilling in our robes and enjoying complimentary sparkling cider and chocolates afterwards.
It was an amazingly refreshing way to wind down our summer visit to Wintergreen! –by Bret Love; all photos by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett unless otherwise noted