One of my goals during a recent stay at Virginia’s Primland Resort was to decompress, to relax and to frankly get away from real life for a few days. That’s always my plan though, what I seem to willfully forget is that I’m a restless soul – I just can’t sit still for more than a few minutes without going crazy. That’s one of the great things about this 12,000-acre resort in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains; if you want to be active there are plenty of options including these, some of my favorites.
Off road adventures
I should probably preface this post by saying that while I like being in nature, out amongst the trees and rivers, I am not necessary an outdoorsy person. You won’t find me camping anytime soon and roughing it means that room service was late. However, I do love outdoor adventure activities and one of the most popular at Primland is their off road adventures. The resort has a fleet of Recreational Terrain Vehicles (RTVs) for guests to use on guided tours through the forests. Thanks to that aforementioned 12,000 acres of land, there are a lot of fun and adventurous trails to explore and the knowledgeable guides at Primland know every inch of them. Before the tour I spent some time in an open field getting used to the RTV and making sure I wouldn’t make any serious mistakes before the guide signaled that it was time to go off road. For the next couple of hours we bounded along steep mountain trails to lookout points offering some of the best views of the Blue Ridge that I’ve ever seen. Almost immediately I understood why this is one of Primland’s most popular activities, it’s a lot of fun and spending some time out in nature is a great way to spend a day.
Another one of my personality quirks is that while I am not a hunter, I do enjoy target shooting. I remember as a kid my grandfather teaching me the ins and outs of handling a BB gun, and those memories always come flooding back when I pick up a gun to shoot targets or clays. Not only is Primland a world-renowned hunting facility, but they also have an impressive sporting clays setup. In fact, the weekend I stayed at the resort there was a sporting clay competition underway, but I still managed to find a vacant stand and try my hand at this fun pastime. If you’re not familiar, clay shooting is a target game meant to simulate certain hunting conditions. Clays come flying out from any number of different directions and speeds, and it’s up to you to target and then shoot the clay, which when hit explodes in a gratifying burst of dust. Although it’d been more than a year since I last tried clay shooting I was pleased with my results – about 75% of the clays shattered under my watchful gaze. Even if you’re not normally into guns, this is a really enjoyable and slightly addictive way to spend a few hours.
I wasn’t sure about this at first, but when I learned that Frisbees were involved I thought “How hard could it be?” As it turns out, fairly hard. I didn’t know a lot about disc golf before trying it, but it’s laid out on an 18-hole course like normal golf, except that players use specially designed discs to traverse the course. The course at Primland was actually designed by one of the sport’s early pioneers and meanders through grasslands, over streams and through forests. Oh, and it’s definitely challenging. I’m not great at throwing plastic discs though the air and almost immediately I found myself in all manner of hazards, but even though I’m not going to be a disc golf world champion anytime soon I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would gladly try my hand at it again.
Primland enjoys one of the best spots in the entire Blue Ridge Mountains, and the massive property has dozens of hikes and walks for all experience levels. Primland’s connected trails are an ideal way to spend a couple of hours or even an entire day exploring what is my favorite region of Virginia. Even if you’re not normally an outdoorsy hiker, there are more moderate paths that can be enjoyed at an easy amble. You can either tackle these trails on your own or have one of Primland’s guides accompany you to show off the best features of the trails. One thing to know about the Primland staff is that most are born and raised in the area and understand these forests better than almost anyone else, meaning that your experience won’t just be safe, but fun and packed with information.
Two activities I didn’t do but are worth mentioning:
I was only at Primland for a couple of days and sadly didn’t have time to do everything, but there are a couple of things I thought worth mentioning, including one I hope to try out the next time I visit.
Aside from hunting, golf is one of the main draws to Primland and with good reason. My partner, who is a big golfer, was drooling over the course easily admired from the main lodge of Primland. Taking full advantage of the amazing scenery of the Blue Ridge, the Highland Course was inspired by the hills and mountains of Scotland and winds its way through Primland’s mountain home. I’m no golfer, but my partner did some research and affirmed all of the claims made by the resort, namely that while it’s challenging, it’s frankly just a great course.
I love paddling and any day spent on the water is a great day for me. Hopefully it’s warm when I visit next, because kayaking on the Talbott Reservoir is high on my paddling to-do list. The Talbott Reservoir is located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Dan River Gorge it’s a top spot to relax on the water. The reservoir is also located at over 2,600 feet in elevation, which means you’ll get to see some normally hard to see wildlife and amazing scenery.
These are just some of the many activities available at Primland, ensuring that if you want an active getaway this is one of the best and most luxurious destinations in the Mid-Atlantic to enjoy yourself.