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.
Adventures for Hungry Mother State Park
Nature's Hide & SeekDifficulty:
Hungry Mother: Need For TreesDifficulty:
Hungry Mother: Tree TalesDifficulty:
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.
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.