If you’ve ever wanted to go somewhere that was designed for families with kids, where finding activities for multiple age groups doesn’t require a research project worthy of a PhD, then take a drive west from Fredericksburg on State Route 3. Tucked among the scenic battlefields of Spotsylvania County is Wilderness Presidential Resort. Here, more than 600 acres of woods and waterways house hundreds of spots for RV and tent camping, as well as fully stocked cabins, amid a network of trails, swimming pools, athletic fields, lakes and many other amenities.
The resort is designed with families in mind, which means lots of scheduled activities like crafts, sports and camps for the kids. You can’t go far in this place without coming across a playground (all of which have different standout features to excite the little ones).
A teen center offers arcade games and a place for kids to hang out in their own space. An adult clubhouse gives grown-ups a break from the kids with pool tables, dartboards, games and large-screen televisions. A fitness trail, several athletic fields, mini-golf course and Frisbee golf course offer outdoor recreation, while a fitness center and indoor gym provide opportunities to stay active year-round.
When you’re in a place like this, though, I always think it’s important to leave some free time to enjoy the natural surroundings. As one Nelson County resident staying at the resort said on a recent morning while watching his sons navigate a fishing boat on one of the two lakes at Wilderness Presidential Resort, “It’s just beautiful here.” Accommodations and amenities offer the comforts of home, but the surroundings provide the chance for new discoveries.
Wilderness Presidential Resort has previously been open only to those who had purchased shares in the resort. However, since January 2013, Wilderness has been open to the public, meaning you can book the next adventure for your family, scout troop, church group or other gathering at any time.
Even if you have less than a day to spend, you can still have adventures here. Wilderness opened an Adventure Course which takes the intrepid (and harnessed) visitor over tightropes and swinging bridges, across a suspended spider web and, most importantly, zooming down a 150-foot zipline. There are no age limits, but climbers must be between 40 and 250 pounds. Course Guide Kyle DiSimone said he’s seen everyone from a toddler to a 70-year-old celebrating his birthday complete the course. The course is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and costs $10 for one trip or $15 for two. The resort has all the helmets, harnesses and safety equipment you’ll need.
The adventure course and the resort’s golf facility are open to guests and non-guests alike.
Really, it all goes back to Wilderness Presidential Resort’s quest to provide a space for families to get away from the pressures of daily life, enjoy nature and have fun together.