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Hungry Mother State Park

Hungry Mother State Park TRACK Trail map

Hungry Mother State Park is noted for its beautiful woodlands and lake. Easily accessible from Interstate 81, this park has folklore and history, swimming, camping, cabin rentals, boat rentals, hiking and the park system’s first conference center, Hemlock Haven.

Much of the land for Hungry Mother State Park was donated by local landowners to develop a new state park in Smyth County on Hungry Mother Creek. The park is one of six original Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) parks in Virginia that opened in June 1936. 

The Legend of Hungry Mother

Legend has it that when the Native Americans destroyed several settlements on the New River south of the park, Molly Marley and her small child were among the survivors taken to the raiders’ base north of the park. They eventually escaped, wandering through the wilderness eating berries. Molly finally collapsed, and her child wandered down a creek until the child found help. The only words the child could utter were "Hungry Mother." The search party arrived at the foot of the mountain where Molly collapsed to find the child's mother dead. Today that mountain is Molly’s Knob, and the stream is Hungry Mother Creek.

Track an adventure here
Hungry Mother State Park TRACK Trail sticker

Location Details

Recreational Features: Paved Bike Path, Canoe / Kayak, Camping, Picnic Tables, Fishing, Interpretive Programs, Birding, Playground
Amenities: Restrooms, Gift Shop, Lodging Cabins
ADA Compliant: Partial
Seasonality:
Small bridge on the Hungry Mother State Park TRACK Trail
Bridge over a river
Lake at Hungry Mother State Park
Ribbon cutting ceremony at Hungry Mother State Park TRACK Trail
small stream at Hungry Mother State park
Small bridge on Hungry Mother State Park TRACK Trail
Bridge over water
interpretative sign on the Hungry Mother State Park TRACK Trail

Adventures for Hungry Mother State Park

Hiking

Nature's Hide & Seek

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
0.90
The Nature's Hide & Seek brochure is designed so that kids of all ages can walk along the trail and discover common things that are often overlooked in nature. Some of them are hard to find, others are easy. Best of all, the adventure never ends because every time you walk the trail you will discover new things hiding in nature.
Hiking

Nature's Relationships

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
0.90
In the Nature's Relationships brochure you will discover how everything in nature is connected... even us. As you walk along the trail, the brochure will tell you a story about a few of the relationships that can be found. Many more relationships exist, so keep your eyes and heart open and you will discover many of nature's relationships - even yours.
Hungry Mother: Need For Trees brochure
Hiking

Hungry Mother: Need For Trees

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
0.90
By following the picture and textual clues found in "The Need for Trees" brochure, you will discover six of the more common trees found in Hungry Mother State Park. During your adventure, you will learn about the need that humans and other animals have for trees and about the roles they play in the forest.
Hungry Mother: Tree Tales brochure
Hiking

Hungry Mother: Tree Tales

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
0.90
Have you ever come across a tree with an odd shape or strange markings on the bark, and wondered how it got that way? If you study a tree closely, you might find that it has an interesting story to tell. Our Tree Tales brochure will guide you to several of the unique trees along the Lake Loop Trail and give you examples of how living and nonliving factors can affect trees.  

Directions

2854 Park Blvd.
Marion, VA 24354-9323
Latitude: 36.884528200000
Longitude: -81.525589200000

Hungry Mother State Park is in Smyth County. To get there, take Exit 47 from Interstate 81. Travel approximately one mile on Route 11 toward Marion. Turn right on Route 16 north and travel four miles to the park Register at the Discovery Center.

Partners

 

The TRACK Trail program is sponsored by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.

This Hungry Mother State Park TRACK Trail was made possible through a partnership formed with Virginia State Parks.