The Woods: A great place to play golf or have a family reunion

Bonnie Williamson

Newly popular FootGolf is a combination of soccer and golf.

After just a 90-minute drive from Washington, D.C., or Baltimore, you can be relaxing at the Hedgesville, W.Va., resort appropriately named The Woods.

For nearly 40 years, The Woods has been providing visitors with a wide variety of activities that cater to golfers, hikers, and those who just want to relax. It’s also a central location that many families choose for reunions and getaways.

Tackle two golf courses at The Woods resort.
Tackle two golf courses at The Woods resort.

“There is serenity and quiet here,” said Joy Johnson, one of the owners. “There is also so much to do. It’s nice to get out of the city.”

The Woods occupies 1,800 acres at the northern gateway to the Shenandoah Valley. During the season, the facility has 100 staff members.

For golf enthusiasts, there’s the 18-hole championship Mountain View Course for low handicappers and the 18-hole mid-length Stony Lick Course. Mountain View meanders around a wooded plateau between The Woods Pro Shop and the Third Hill Mountain. It was originally a forest. Mountain View’s fairways are framed by dogwood, maple, oak, and pine trees. The Clubhouse Grille and Pub, which offers live music, is located nearby.

A new attraction was recently added that exposes children and other non-golfers to the world of golf in a different way.

“It’s called FootGolf,” said Johnson. “It’s a combination of soccer and golf. It’s not played on the fairway, but nearby.”

Plenty more to do

Other outdoor activities at The Woods include two 25-meter pools, tennis courts, basketball/volleyball courts, a softball field, catch-and-release fishing, and a horseshoe pit. There is also an indoor sports center with a heated swimming pool, large whirlpool, racquetball court, a multi-purpose court for tennis and basketball, and a fully equipped exercise room.

The Woods also gives you the golden opportunity to take in all that nature has to offer. It’s bordered on three sides by the 23,000-acre Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area, which contains more than 75 miles of hiking trails and a 205-acre lake for fishing and canoeing.

Sleepy Creek Spa offers many treatments.
Sleepy Creek Spa offers many treatments.

For those who just want to rid themselves of stress, The Sleepy Creek Spa offers luxurious pampering and treatments for both men and women. You can soak in the whirlpool or just enjoy a cup of herbal tea.

Visitors can choose from a variety of accommodations at The Woods. Meadow Cottages feature four bedrooms, four baths, a large great room, gas fireplace, and kitchen. Pinecrest Cottages offer one bedroom, kitchenette, gas fireplace, deck, whirlpool bath, and separate shower. Private villas come with two to four bedrooms, kitchens, and family rooms.

Insider tip: The Woods offers peak season Stay ‘N Play packages from $79 per person midweek and $89 per person on the weekend.

History lovers find themselves close to many historical sites, including Harpers Ferry National Military Park, historic Shepherdstown (the oldest town in West Virginia), and Antietam Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Md.

Family reunions

Johnson encourages people to hold family reunions at The Woods.

“Years ago, I was in charge of our family reunion. I had the lion’s share of the work,” she said.

She decided she wanted to help families to overcome the potential hassle of planning such an event. The Woods offers free assistance and even has a brochure specifically devoted to planning family reunions. Suggestions include: establishing a family member (or committee) to coordinate the event (18 months in advance); sending out a family survey (18 months in advance); making a site visit (12 to 18 months in advance); setting the dates and reserving rooms (12 to 15 months in advance); sending out a save-the-date card (12 months in advance); assigning tasks (six months in advance); and creating an itinerary (six months in advance).

Whether it’s a family reunion or just an old-fashioned getaway, The Woods is a fun and relaxing place to explore.

For more information

The Woods:


Newly popular FootGolf is a combination of soccer and golf.
Newly popular FootGolf is a combination of soccer and golf.

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