Patrick County, VA

Ah, the great outdoors. A respite from the norm with an incredible view. This is Patrick County. The mountains are yours to explore. Reel in a trout from a mountain lake. Saddle up and explore wildflower meadows on horseback. Hike through thickets of mountain laurel to vistas unseen. Spend a night star gazing. Whatever you do, get outside and taste all that Mother Nature has to offer on your trip to Patrick County

Medium Activity

3 days | 13 stops

Day 1

STOP 1: Breakfast in Room at Primland Resort

Rise, shine, and relax: you’re on vacation. The balcony or private deck from your room, suite, or tree house is the perfect spot to sip coffee and nosh on fresh acai bowls, fruit, or a goat cheese frittata. Try an orange juice, it’s fresh squeezed, or their housemade bagels. The lush, remote mountain view is one of the many reasons you came here. Breathe in deep and take the morning to admire it. Not a bad way to start the day, eh?

STOP 2: Fish on the Resort

They say fishing is cheaper than therapy. So here’s a crazy idea: Cast a line at one of three secluded, private ponds on the Primland property. Surrounded by mountains, tall grasses, and trees, this is the perfect spot for beginners and old timers alike who want to find their rhythm with rod and reel. Anglers are guaranteed to hook a trout, bass, or channel catfish. Fishing is available year-round.

STOP 3: 19th Pub for Lunch

After working up an appetite, head to the outdoor terrace at the 19th Pub for lunch. Overlooking the resort, you’ll swear you’ve never seen so much green as you munch on Pig Candy, aka thick cut bacon coated with maple syrup and spicy cayenne. Try the tuna tacos as your main event, though you really can’t go wrong with anything on the pub fare menu.

STOP 4: Sporting Clays

Suit up for some sport shooting. Perfect your aim at the mile-long sporting clay course, named in the nation’s top 25 courses by Esquire magazine. Challenge your concentration and your stamina through the 14 stations where clay targets taunt you in a variety of ways: scattering like rabbits, floating towards you like ducks, popping in and out of trees, to name a few. Other games are available. Take your shot--a 25 shot round to be exact--at the five-stand field game. You’ll take aim at five targets from five different angled stations. Or compete in pairs from your own private stage where you’ll shoot 10 pairs of clay targets from eight machines.

STOP 5: RTV Off the Beaten Path

Splash through streams. Speed through oak tunnels. Push the pedal and your adrenaline to the limit. Get behind the wheel of a Recreation Terrain Vehicle (RTV) and explore the road less taken. This guided off-road adventure takes you roaring through the 12,000-acre property. Drivers must be at least 16 years old, ages 12 and up are clear to ride. Helmets and eye protection are provided for this 1-2 hour thrill ride. Mud splatters are also free.

STOP 6: Elements for Dinner

Dress in your “resort best” and prepare to have trouble deciding what to order. The menu at Elements will tempt you with starters, like fried quail with whipped honey and bread and butter pickles, and bewitch you with mains, like pan roasted grouper over glazed red lentils, beech mushrooms with a ramp beurre blanc. Hopefully your dinner partner likes to share bites so you can try more than one.

Day 2

STOP 7: Mabry Mill Restaurant

Mabry Mill’s buckwheat pancakes are famous for a reason. Taste for yourself--along with egg plates with a country ham or biscuits smothered in sausage gravy--when you make this historic mill your breakfast destination. Originally built in 1910, the historic water-powered grist mill, sawmill, and nearby blacksmith shop provide you with a view of pioneer life along the Parkway. Self-guided tours include a sorghum mill, soap making kettle, and an "old time" whiskey still. Afterwards, stop by the Store and pick up a bag of cornmeal and buckwheat flour to take as a gift. We won’t tell if you keep it.

STOP 8: Hike Black Ridge Trail

Put on your trail shoes for this easy to moderate three-mile hike. Follow the blue blazes past rhododendrons and pink lady slippers, through a shaded forest onto grassy balds, and be rewarded with open vistas where you can see for miles. When you cross through a pasture, be nice to the cows. Enjoy a great view of the gorge on the second half of the trail.

STOP 9: Jane’s Country Cafe

Come hungry for a real Southern lunch at Jane’s Country Cafe. Like rockers on a fern-lined porch, this is true Southern. Walk through the doors of this cheerful family cafe and check out their specials board, it never disappoints with a rotating selection of everything from patty melts with fries to chuckwagon plates with two veggies. Don’t miss the fried pickles or fried green tomatoes as a starter, nor the home-made desserts to finish, all at great prices!

STOP 10: Villa Appalaccia Winery

Pull up to Villa Appalaccia and do a double-take at the Italian style villa and killer view. Swirl, sip, and smile at their 8-wine tasting or buy a bottle and enjoy it out on the beautiful grounds. Try the Lirico if you like white wines with a hint of grapefruit, or Sangiovese which no doubt will go great with your next pasta dish. Don’t leave Buddy and Fido at home for this one, kids and leashed pets are welcome and might enjoy stopping by the Rocky Knob Recreation Area located next door.

STOP 11: 19th Pub Dinner at Primland

Start with the cheese puffs and roasted root vegetables as you peruse the menu and the view at Primland Resort’s 19th Pub. Choose from upscale pub fare and unexpected seasonal items: bangers and mash, hanger steak frites, and shaved squash with burrata, serrano, sunflower, and honey, to name just a few. If weather allows, dine on the terrace where the view is nothing less than spectacular. Take a picture and win Instagram for the day.

Day 3

STOP 12: Fairy Stone Loop

Keep your eyes peeled on this loop and you will be rewarded. The small pinkish-brown Fairy Stones that appear everywhere across Virginia in state park gift shops and souvenir stands along the Blue Ridge can be found naturally at Fairy Stone State Park. Here, among the mighty white pines and massive yellow poplars, just back from the shores of Philpott Lake, is where they originate. In addition to the unique geology, this area combines a mix of wildlife known from the western mountains and the central piedmont. Birders may spy brown-headed nuthatches and yellow-throated warblers in the area’s pine trees along with unusual water fowl near the reservoir.

STOP 13: Fred Clifton State Park

Pack a picnic and head to Fred Clifton State Park. Plenty of picnic spots await at an elevation of 2,930 feet, and wildlife abounds here. Keep a look out for red-eyed vireo, wood thrush, northern cardinal, American goldfinch, and spicebush swallowtail butterflies. Be sure to take a gander at Lover’s Leap Scenic Overlook--the grandest of several long-range views along your journey through Patrick County. It’s just adjacent to the park.