Where is Wintergreen?
Wintergreen covers over 11,000 acres in central Virginia along the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. [map] The property borders the northern end of the renown Blue Ridge Parkway. Most of Wintergreen is in Nelson County.
There is the “valley” area (part of which is on a mountainside) called Stoney Creek, a residential area mostly built around ponds and the resort's public golf course in the village of Nellysford. About 12 miles from Nellysford, at 3,600 ft, is the “mountain” area with the well-known ski area and other resort amenities (including a mountain-top golf course), plus thousands of mountain homes and condos.
The name of the resort community came from Wintergreen, Va., which is a crossroads community on Route 151 between the mountain top and Nellysford. It can still be found on most road maps. Today the Rockfish Valley Foundation has a museum in what was once the area’s country store.
Who owns Wintergreen?
Wintergreen is a community with many owners. What is called the "resort community" is made up of some 3,600 individual property owners who all operate under the rules of the Wintergreen Property Owners Association (WPOA). Much of the protected open space is owned by WPOA.
The largest property owner is Wintergreen Resort, an independent business. The rules of WPOA gives the resort special consideration and the resort, in turn, has responsibilities to the community. The resort is an investment of EPR Properties, a Real Estate Investment Trust and is managed by Pacific Group Resorts, which owns or manages other resort properties in the U.S and Canada. Much of Wintergreen Resort is open to the public, but property owners and others can purchase memberships to access exclusive amenities.
A sophisticated network of providers makes it all work. Just as an example: There are two entities that provide water and sewer services; a private cable and internet firm has a long-standing agreement with WPOA to serve the community; WPOA oversees a professional fire and rescue squad as well as a fully-certified police force, two swimming pools, fishing areas, a clubhouse, all of the roads and more. Nelson County manages the trash and recycling.
The Wintergreen Property Owners Association, Inc. is part of almost everything at Wintergreen. WPOA is composed of all the owners of all properties at Wintergreen. The majority of the association's board of directors are elected by the members in an annual process. Besides the Architectural Review Board, WPOA maintains and manages the Tuckahoe Clubhouse, 53 miles of roads, two pavilions, two swimming pools, parks, 11 lakes, a trout stream, and two overlooks. WPOA is responsible for most all of Wintergreen's open spaces in Stoney Creek and on Wintergreen Mountain. It operates the Wintergreen Police Department and oversees the professional staff of the volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad.
Ski in the winter; golf in the summer, spring and fall; play tennis; swim in the pools or the lake at Stoney Creek; enjoy the spa; or, just relax with fine dining at Virginia's premier four-season vacation resort in the middle of this unique, beautiful mountain and valley property. At one time a member-owned organization, the resort (the largest private property owner at Wintergreen) was purchased in 2015 by ERP Properties and is professionally operated by Pacific Group Resorts. The resort offers special membership programs to Wintergreen property owners and hundreds of jobs for the community.
This independent, non-profit organization changed its name from Wintergreen Performing Arts in 2019. It not only produces high-quality music programs in and around Wintergreen (including a month-long summer music festival and academy in July), but also offers popular cultural and social events. A part-time professional staff with the help of hundreds of volunteers from the Wintergreen community and beyond bring in talents from all over the nation and the world to annually create a professional orchestra and offer dozens of individual programs.
The rescue squad and the fire department at Wintergreen have extensive facilities in both Stoney Creek and on Wintergreen Mountain. They work closely together and share physical facilities and management, but they are separate volunteer nonprofit organizations with their own officers, boards, committees, and members. The employees of Wintergreen Fire & Rescue, part of WPOA, are cross-trained to assist both the rescue squad and the fire department. The organization also provides critical services to Nelson County overall.
Sports currently include archery (with two ranges on WPOA property), boating (kayaking and canoeing), fishing (fly fishing and spin casting), shooting (shotgun–clay, pistol, rifle), and biking. Membership is limited to Wintergreen property owners and their family members, although a limited number of property owner-sponsored memberships are available for local residents who do not own property at Wintergreen. Membership dues to join this all-volunteer group are only $25 per person per year.
Wintergreen has a full-service proactive community-based police organization providing law enforcement and E911 communication services to both Stoney Creek and Wintergreen Mountain. A division of WPOA, it is a private law enforcement agency within the state. Every patrol officer is vested with law enforcement powers to enforce state laws and local county ordinances. The Wintergreen Police Department is the only private police agency in the state to have a Certificate of Accreditation through the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission as a state-accredited law enforcement agency.
The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen is an independently managed and financed nonprofit educational organization. The foundation's Trillium House at the top of Wintergreen mountain is used as an educational and meeting facility for both their own programs and others. With staff and volunteers, the foundation has programs throughout the year and, with financial support from the resort, maintains Wintergreen's 30-plus miles of hiking trails and publish the must-have hikers' map of Wintergreen's trails.
Thousands of students with disabilities–both children and adults–have received adaptive instruction in outdoor sports through this independent, professionally-managed, volunteer-supported nonprofit. The disabilities have included amputations, autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, developmental disabilities, hearing impairment, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment and others. WAS has served a number of wounded veterans.
This independent, all-volunteer online project features a free twice-a-month email newsletter with reader-submitted recommendations on services, events, items for rent or sale, announcements, news, and other information about and useful to the Wintergreen, Va., community. Sign up here.
This decades-old all-volunteer, independent golf group holds events throughout the season, including weekly tee times for men, women, and pairs, golf clinics, and tournaments. There are also social events during the year. BOGGS (Bunch Of Guys and GalS) membership includes a fun quarterly newsletter and “insurance” when a member must buy a drink for other golfers when a hole in one is made. Membership in the Wintergreen Golf Association is $20 per family. Members must be a Wintergreen property owner or a Wintergreen Resort member. Eligibility for BOGGS-sponsored events follows the rules of Wintergreen Resort, such as who can play the Devils Knob course.
Every Saturday morning from May to November, rain or shine, local farmers bring seasonal produce, fruit, cut flowers, eggs, beef, pork, lamb and poultry to their market under the large white tents at WPOA's entry to Stoney Creek on Route 151. There are also cheeses, mushrooms, honey, and fresh-cut herbs. Bakers offer fresh breads, fruit pies, cakes, and meat-filled pastries. Crafters and artists present jewelry, pottery, baskets, fabric, and furniture. There is live music and parking is plentiful.
Ensuring that those skiing Wintergreen Resort enjoy a safe and rewarding snowsports experience is the number one concern of the ski patrol. The patrol is part of the National Ski Patrol system. The volunteers are focused on safety. They promote safe skiing as well as providing rescue and emergency care when needed on the resort's ski slopes.
Wintergreen’s Neighborhood Groups
Within Wintergreen's Stoney Creek and Wintergreen Mountain neighborhoods homeowners have banded together to create a network of very active all-volunteer organizations. The mountain has the Wintergreen Mountain Homesteaders and in Stoney Creek there is the Wintergreen Valley Association, both which hold socials for their members and publish a directory of members with useful lists of service providers. On the mountain there is an active women's club that includes several interest groups. Gathering in private homes, at the resort, at Tuckahoe Clubhouse, and elsewhere, the entire Wintergreen community is infused with regular gatherings of enthusiasts on topics ranging from wine to books, gardening to card games, cooking to knitting, quilting and more.
Wintergreen is proud to call these two world-famous destinations neighbors. The Appalachian Trail– managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies and thousands of volunteers–intersects with Wintergreen’s trail system. (A few of Wintergreen’s trails were once part of the AT.) The Blue Ridge Parkway–a national park, managed by the U.S Park Service–is not only a beautiful drive to Wintergreen, but also one of the more convenient and direct routes to take to Wintergreen mountain. Wintergreen appreciates these two federal government neighbors and works carefully to respect their special needs. Wintergreen Fire and Rescue is often called upon to assist with accidents or problems along the AT and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Wintergreen Police and the U.S. Park Service police coordinate their efforts when necessary.
This independent group, formed in 2015, is dedicated to "protecting and enhancing the value, beauty, integrity and sustainability of the Wintergreen area and the neighboring communities." The founders of this nonprofit are focused on keeping the Atlantic Coast Pipeline from damaging the Wintergreen property.
Adipsy knows the difficulties that come with fighting cancer. The organization is committed to providing a place of peace and hope to patients and their caregivers. Adipsy’s two Homes of Hope at Wintergreen–one on Wintergreen Mountain and another in Stoney Creek–provides a respite to those suffering from cancer; a place to get away with their families for a time of relaxation, rejuvenation, and restoration. Adipsy also hosts events as patients are able to build relationships and a sense of community.
While Wintergreen is proud to be part of Augusta County, the vast majority of its property is within Nelson County. (The only way to drive to Wintergreen is via the roads of Nelson.) The WPOA as well as many individual Wintergreen property owners are regularly involved with county staff and elected officials on a multitude of levels.
Several Wintergreen property owners are involved in this very active nonprofit, community-based, membership organization. Located in a 1938 school building just north of Nellysford, the Rockfish Valley Community Center not only houses but often facilitates a variety of recreational, educational, cultural and business programs. The RVCC also is the home of the Treasure Chest Thrift Shop.
The RVF is preserving the natural, historical, ecological, and agricultural resources of the Rockfish Valley with projects such as the Rockfish Valley Loop Trail System, Spruce Creek Park, and the foundation's Natural History Center which resides on Route 151 at the original village of Wintergreen, Va.
Virginia Route 151 through Nelson County is how most people reach Wintergreen. In the 40-plus years since Wintergreen first opened, the two-lane blacktop has slowly grown into a fun destination in itself. The nelson151.com website focuses on its unique wineries, breweries, cider-makers, bed and breakfasts, but there is much more to see and do in the area, including restaurants, art galleries, museums, and antique shops. Go have fun!