No two cities ever host the same Critical Mud 5K event. Though the race distance stays the same, the event planners litter each race with an ever-changing number of obstacles pulled from a pool of more than 150, giving runners in each city a completely different experience. Some courses might threaten competitors with slippery hills and murky rivers, while others might challenge them to traverse sticky mud bogs and climb up ropes, validating their many years of never skipping gym class. Each event is open to racers as young as 14, but the Little Mudder’s fun run give kids ages 4–13 a chance to get dirty as well. In the spectator areas, family, friends, and supporters can cheer on runners while staying clean.
What We Wish For Stables is an equestrian mecca, devoting its expansive facility to the needs of horse owners, buyers, and riders. For those looking to board their steeds, the stables provide self-care pasture options, as well as training wherein horses are ridden every other day. For those looking to learn the ropes of riding, lessons and summer camps teach western and English-style riding. Horse leasing, on the other hand, allows guests to bond with a specific horse of their choosing, be it Bubbles, an overo paint mare, or Skamper, a tobiano paint gelding. Miles of trail surround the farm at What We Wish For Stables, which also includes a 60 ft. round pen, an outdoor grass riding ring, and enough hay stacks to confound even the most devoted needle seekers.
A coalition of nine different wineries founded Southern Virginia Wine Fest in 2009, and it continues to introduce visitors to the finest vintages crafted by local residents. Although the festival has expanded to include 12 growers, it still provides the opportunity to chat personally with winemakers and vineyard owners about the process behind making their bottled beverages. The participants peruse more than 60 different wines, complementing the libations with specialty foods and live music throughout the day. The festival even offers a specialty passport tour, which includes visits to all 12 vineyards and stops at notable sites, local eateries, and Dionysian temples along the way.
The 18-hole course at Plantation Golf Club stretches for 6,194 yards from the back tees, inviting golfers to challenge a full range of skills across the bermuda grass fairways and greens. Golf course architect John V. Townsend designed the layout, recognizing the need to design holes around the site's 18 indigenous flagsticks. Opened in 1986, players have played the par 71 track for nearly three decades.
Stately loblolly pines line the fairways at Caswell Pines Golf Club, towering over streams and lakes, bent-grass greens, and bermuda fairways. The picturesque, Gene Hamm–designed course measures 6,900 yards and offers plenty of surprises and twists, including paved cart paths that make getting around a breeze.
Champions Tour competitor Mike Goodes has tackled courses all around the continent—he putted across greens in Florida, Mississippi, and Canada in the summer of 2012 alone—the Reidsville native always returns to his hometown course at Pennrose Park Country Club, and for good reason. For decades, golfers of all abilities have honed their form on the undulating fairways of the nine-hole course, which has developed its own storied history; the Donald J. Ross design opened in 1929 and survived the nationwide golf-ball shortage that ravaged most courses in the 1930s. From the beginning, the club attracted PGA professionals who wanted to triumph over the course’s sand bunkers and tree-lined fairways. Today, golfers still sink their cleats into the slick bentgrass greens and bermuda-grass fairways, though now they can conveniently move from hole to hole in golf carts instead of caddy piggybacks.
The original Tudor–style clubhouse is nestled in the shade of mature trees and brightened by azalea blossoms. Course at a Glance: * Nine-hole, par 36 course * Length of 3,115 yards * Course rating of 35 * Slope rating of 118