Destination Vacation: Virginia’s Hungry Mother State Park

Destination Vacation

MARION, Va. (WFXR) — When you head to the Historic Downtown District in Marion, Virginia, you might call it quaint. Shops and restaurants line this section of U.S. Route 11, the town’s main street.

But, don’t let that fool you. In Marion, adventure awaits! You just have to know where to go!

It’s home to one of the oldest state parks in the Commonwealth. 

Hungry Mother State Park is a legend,” said park manager Andrew Philpot. “We’re one of the original six, so it’s been here and people have been coming here for generations.”

The park’s biggest draw is its beach and dive tower. 

“Many families use it as a rite of passage, ‘oh you’re finally old enough to swim out to the dive tower and dive off the low dive or the high,'” Philpot explained.

Meanwhile, the 108-acre lake is serene. You can fish but also canoe, paddleboat, kayak, and even rent a standup paddleboard. 

If you want to spend more than one day you can bring a tent, park your R.V., pitch a tent, or stay in a historic log cabin built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. 

“This is an absolute gem,” said Chris Koopman from Deerfield, Virginia, who is staying with his wife on a lakefront CCC Cabin in the park.

“This is absolutely perfect,” Koopman said.

You can even get married at the park’s event center or on Amphitheater Island, but don’t leave Hungry Mother State Park without attempting Molly’s Knob.

“Bring your water so that you can stay hydrated,  and go at the pace that’s comfortable and safe for you. That’s my advice. Take your time, the view is worth it,” said Philpot.

The 1.6 mile trail has a steady incline with benches along the way to rest up.

When you reach the top, there are two more benches. It’s the perfect spot to take in the Blue Ridge Mountains and plan your next trip to Hungry Mother State Park. 

But wait, there’s more! Just about three miles away is Hungry Mother Outdoor Adventures

“The COVID thing really put a dent in us but we’re bouncing back pretty good,” said Tyler Poe, lead guide at Hungry Mother Outdoor Adventures.  

Their biggest attraction is nearly a mile of ziplines going 35-40 mph. 

“The views, that you get on the lines, the speed, the adrenaline it’s always a good time,” Poe said.

New this year, is a handbraking system to make it safer and easier for anyone no matter your size to zipline.

Hungry Mother Outdoor Adventures also offers river tubing and plans to add cabins at the top of the mountain in the fall.

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