Hungry Mother State Park in Virginia

Hungry Mother State Park in Virginia
Located in southwestern Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hungry Mother State Park boasts more than 2,000 acres of lush forest and a 108-acre lake. Mountain elevations in the park vary from 2,200 to 3,270 feet (see References 1 and 3).


In 1933, John D. and Mildred Lincoln donated nearly 2,000 acres to Virginia for a park. Within months, 660 men in the Civilian Conservation Corps were building roads, a sanitation system, a dam, trails, picnic areas, cabins and other park facilities. The park was dedicated on June 13, 1936 (see References 1 and 2).

The Legend

According to legend, Molly Marley and her young child escaped capture after Native Americans raided her settlement. Lost in the forest, Molly collapsed from exhaustion. When her young child was found, the only thing the child could tell rescuers was, "hungry Mother." A search party later found Molly's body at the base of a mountain. Today, the creek where the child was found is called Hungry Mother Creek, and the mountain where Molly died is Molly's Knob (see Reference 1).

Park Activities

Visitors to the park enjoy fishing, boating and swimming on the lake, relaxing on a sandy beach or biking and hiking over 12 miles of trails. Organized seasonal activities at the park are mostly family oriented and include day and night canoe tours, day and night guided hikes, junior naturalist programs, outdoor concerts and films, festivals, a bike race and a triathlon (see Reference 1).

Park Accomodations

Hungry Mother State Park has 181 camp sites, 38 cabins and a six-bedroom lodge. Parking fees are $2 to $3 per day, boat launch fees are $3, camping is $20 to $28 per night and cabin fees are seasonal and vary from $57 to $354 per night. Call (276) 781-7400 for more information (see Reference 1).

Visiting the Park

Near Marion, Va., Hungry Mother State Park is located off Route 81 and is five hours from Richmond, Va., and two hours from Roanoke, Va. Camping season is from March to December, and cabins rent year round (see Reference 1).

Article Written By Michelle Ellsworth

Michelle Ellsworth has been a professional writer and researcher for 10 years. In addition to writing for Demand Studios, she writes for television documentary programs on forensic science, crime, extremism, and lifestyles. Ellsworth holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking and a minor in philosophy from Old Dominion University.

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