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(276) 646-3306


Smyth County, VA

Atkins, Chilhowie, Marion, Saltville

Special Amenities

 • One of the original six parks built by the Civilian Conservation Corp - 1936

 • Full service Restaurant, Catering  & Conference Center

 • Relaxed slow paced atmosphere

 • Wildflower Walks (spring), Swim beach and boating (summer), and Fall foliage

 • Wedding Packages are available

 • Over 17 miles of trails

 • Mountain Dew Triathlon (April), Hungry Mother Arts and Crafts Festival (July), and the Fall Fear Bike Race (Oct))


Things to do:

 • Hike, bike, and programs

 • Swimming with beach

 • Boats – rent or bring your own electric motor boat

 • Picnic

 • Overnights: Camping and Cabins

 • Programs:


Park Name:

Hungry Mother State Park boasts a unique name. There are several versions of the story, and little historical proof that any one version is more plausible than the others. One variation of the legend is: In the 1700s, the Marley family was attacked by Indians. The father was killed; the mother, Molly, and child were captured. They escaped and on the journey home, Molly starved to death. A hunting party found them near a creek; the child was crying, “hungry, mother, hungry.” The creek became “Hungry Mother Creek” and a nearby peak, “Molly’s Knob.” When the park was built in the 1930s, officials compiled the legends into one story to be used as a marketing tool in publications and presentations. As the park was developed, several names were suggested, including “Forest Lake”, “Royal Oak”, and “Walker’s Park”, but those in charge were taken with the local legend and thus christened the new park “Hungry Mother State Park.”


Additional Historic Background:

The Civilian Conservation Corps spent three years clearing land, constructing the dam, and building cabins and other park amenities. From 1933-1934, the dam and spillway were erected on Hungry Mother Creek. The park system opened in 1936.


Park Facilities:

Long a family favorite known for beautiful woodlands and a placid 108-acre lake in the heart of the mountains, Hungry Mother has a sandy beach with bathhouse, boatrentals (fishing, canoe, kayak and paddle), paddle board rentals, a boat launch and a universally accessible fishing pier. Guests also enjoy its campgrounds, cabins, gift shops, visitor center, six-bedroom family lodge that sleeps 15, 17 miles of hiking and biking trails, and restaurant. Hungry Mother is also home to the Hemlock Haven Conference Center, available for retreats, conferences and special events. Catering is available.