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Status: Open year round.   Season Dates


Hungry Mother State Park in southwestern Virginia is noted for its 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 the six original CCC parks that opened in June 1936. Only non-gasoline powered boats are allowed on the Hungry Mother Lake.

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.

Services & Amenities:

Within Facility
  • 20/30/50 amp service
  • Amphitheater
  • Basketball Net/Court
  • Beach Area
  • Boat Launch
  • Boat Rental
  • Cabins
  • Camping
  • Concession
  • Conference Center
  • Convenience Store
  • Dump Station
  • Environmental Programs
  • Family Lodge
  • Fishing, Freshwater
  • Gift/Souvenir Shop
  • Hiking Trail
  • Horseshoes
  • Hunting
  • Information Center
  • Lake
  • Laundry
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Parking
  • Picnic Shelters
  • Picnicking
  • Playground
  • Programs
  • Ranger Station
  • Restaurant
  • Restrooms
  • Showers - Hot
  • Swimming - Lake
  • Telephone
  • Tennis Court
  • Trails, Bicycle
  • Volleyball
Alerts and Important Information

There is a per night per pet fee for cats and dogs in all cabins and lodges (pets are not allowed in the Kiptopeke yurt). Customers making reservations via the web are responsible for visiting the park office to pay all applicable pet fees. Customers may also call the reservation center at 800-933-7275 to pay the pet fees in advance.

Notice for Campers:


One of the most important things we can do to protect Virginia's trees and forest diversity is stop moving firewood. New infestations of tree-killing insects and diseases are often first found in campgrounds and parks. Why? Because people have accidently spread invasive species when they brought firewood along with them. In Virginia, there are numerous counties under quarantines, issued by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, due to an invasive insect pest or disease. These quarantines restrict the movement of firewood or wood by products from certain tree species. Moving firewood in violation of a quarantine is a class 1 misdemeanor and upon conviction, you could be subject to; confinement in jail for up to twelve months and a fine of $2,500.00 or both. For more information on areas under quarantine, go to http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/news/releases-a/062212eabexpand.shtml


Getting There:

Hungry Mother State Park is in Smyth County. 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. Hungry Mother State Park, 2854 Park Blvd., Marion, Va. 24354-9323; phone, (276) 781-7400

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

MARION VA 24354-9323

Phone Number:

Information: (276)781-7400

Special Events:

    The events listed here are not intended to be an all inclusive list. Please contact the park for further details.

  • Pursuant to Code of Virginia, no fire of any sort is permitted, including charcoal, between February 15 and April 30, except between the hours of 4PM to midnight. This includes campgrounds and picnic area / cabin grills. Camping stoves that are self-contained are permitted (ex. Coleman Stove). from Feb 15 2012 to Apr 30 2012