Hungry Mother State Park RV & Campground Guide

Virginia

In southwestern Virginia near the Virginia-Tennessee border, you’ll find Hungry Mother State Park, a 3,300-acre preserve with rolling terrain, dense woodlands, and a massive lake with sandy beaches and cool waters. Visitors are attracted to this park for its lake-based activities like swimming, boating and fishing, while others enjoy hiking and biking through 17 miles of trails that boast abundant plant and animal life. 

Rich in history and folklore, Hungry Mother State Park derives its moniker from the legend of a settler named Molly Marley who escaped Native American raids with her children, only to perish from starvation before her rescuers arrived. This “hungry mother” became the namesake of the park, which was opened in 1936 thanks to the efforts of the Civilian Conservation Corps, a Depression-era program that put young unemployed men to work building over 800 state parks across the country. 

After bitterly cold winters, the park comes to life from late May through early October, offering various programs such as canoe tours, nature hikes, and campfire nights, while groups can avail of the Hemlock Haven, the park system’s first conference center. The Restaurant at Hungry Mother offers American cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus carry-out options for overnight visitors. Hungry Mother State Park is the perfect travel spot for your next trip, but if you need more convincing, read further to discover what you can do in and around the park.

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Weather
Spring 38-66 F
Summer 57-82 F
Fall 41-68 F
Winter 22-45 F
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Hungry Mother State Park

When planning the perfect place to stay during your trip, you will want to consider location, amenities, comfort, and cost. If a hotel is too pricey and a tent seems unappealing, then consider another option: renting an RV. RVShare makes it simple to find and rent an RV catered to your preferences and budget, either in your area or near your travel destination. Close to Hungry Mother State Park, you can find RVs to rent in Roanoke and Bristol, and several RV campgrounds to stay in, including:

Creek Campgrounds & Camp Burson

If you want fresh mountain air and direct access to the great outdoors, then stay on-site at Hungry Mother State Park. There are 70 RV sites spread over two campgrounds, Creek Campgrounds and Camp Burson. The Creek Campgrounds are near the park’s entrance and offer water and electric hookups only. Camp Burson is a mile from the park’s entrance and has full hookups, although sewer hookups are limited. Rates are $40-45 per night ($35-38 for Virginia residents), depending on the type of hookup.

  • Water hookup: Yes
  • Electrical hookup: Yes
  • Sewer hookup: Yes (only at Camp Burson)
  • Wifi: No
  • Pet friendly: Yes
  • Other amenities: Bathhouse, laundry facilities, fire pits, playground, volleyball and basketball courts, sports fields, charcoal grills, swimming, hiking, boating, fishing, amphitheater, restaurant carry out, concessions, gift shop, dumping station, equipment rentals

Interstate Campground

Situated 9 miles south of Hungry Mother State Park near Marion, this small, quiet campground is convenient to those traveling along Interstate 81 and offers basic amenities including a bathhouse, swimming pool, and laundromat. The friendly staff and nightly rate of $20 makes it a pleasant place to stay for a night or two.

  • Water hookup: Yes
  • Electrical hookup: Yes
  • Sewer hookup: No 
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Pet friendly: Yes
  • Other amenities: Bathhouse, swimming pool, laundromat, concessions

RV Rentals Near Hungry Mother State Park

Nearby RV Rentals

Restaurants

What to Do at
Hungry Mother State Park

Inside Hungry Mother State Park

If you’re “hungry” for adventure, then you’ve come to the right state park. The clear waters of Hungry Mother Lake span over 108 acres, making it perfect for water sports like swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. Visitors can also relax on the sandy beaches, soak up the sun, or enjoy a treat from the concession stand. Bordering woodlands are filled with opportunities to hike and mountain bike through dense, leafy forests and spot wildlife like falcons, bats, deer, and squirrels. 

From mid-June through Labor Day, the park has regular programs including canoe tours, nature hikes, campfire nights, live music, festivals, workshops, naturalist programs for kids, and a geocaching program that takes visitors on a “treasure hunt” in nature.

Here are more details on the park’s most popular activities:

Swimming and Boating - Take a dip in the cool waters of Hungry Mother Lake or head out on the lake in a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard. During the summer, lifeguards are on duty and the concession stand offers snacks and beverages. Equipment rentals are available for paddleboards, canoes, kayaks, and jon boats. To launch your boat, head to the ramp near the dock.

Fishing - Fishers will delight in the plentiful fishing options at the lake, which is home to a variety of sport fish including largemouth, smallmouth, spotted bass, carp, sunfish, and rock bass. Each year, the lake is also stocked with channel catfish, hybrid striped bass, walleyes and musky. You must have a valid Virginia fishing license to fish.

Hiking and Biking- Ten trails wind through the park, varying in length and intensity. Popular trails include the 5.7-mile Lake Trail, which winds along the lake’s edge through rhododendron thickets, verdant forests, and abundant wildlife, and the 1.9-mile Molly’s Knob Trail, which leads through ferns and colorful wildflowers to the park’s highest peak. Children will enjoy the Kids in Parks Track Trail, a 0.6-mile paved trail that teaches them about the park’s various plant and animal species. 

Outside Hungry Mother State Park

Once you’ve had your fill of fun at the park, head into Marion to catch a show at the local theatre or see the latest flick, shop the stalls of the farmers market, and eat your fill of local cuisine. Venture beyond Marion and visit historical sites and museums that highlight the area’s rich culture and diverse history.

Restaurants

Wooden Pickle

This restaurant offers tasty pub food and interesting twists on traditional dishes, like mahi-mahi tacos, crab sandwiches, and spicy mac ‘n’ cheese. Pleasant atmosphere, good service, and reasonable prices, plus a wide selection of beer, wine and cocktails, make it a neighborhood hotspot.

Type: American, pizza

Location: Marion, VA

Sisters’ Cafe and Gifts

Owned by three sisters, this cozy cafe serves down home cooking for breakfast and lunch. Choose from a selection of paninis, soups, and quiches and finish with coconut cream pie and coffee for dessert. Peruse the gift shop for handicrafts, clothes, and other trinkets.

Type: Cafe, Southern

Location: Marion, VA

Mi Puerto

Authentic Mexican food served on large platters at reasonable prices make this restaurant a popular lunch and dinner spot. Order traditional dishes like chicken fajitas, beef tacos, and fresh salsa and enjoy with a margarita or cold cerveza.

Type: Mexican, casual

Location: Marion, VA

Wolfe’s BBQ Restaurant

This local barbecue joint serves up your choice of meat grilled to perfection. With ample portion sizes of ribs, meat sandwiches, and burgers accompanied by delicious sides like fried okra and corn bread, you won’t leave hungry.

Type: Barbecue

Location: Marion, VA

Shopping

Marion Regional Farmers Market

This is the place to be on Saturday mornings! Local vendors sell seasonal produce, locally-raised meats, farm products, and unique handicrafts from across the region.

Location: Marion, VA

Past Time Antique Emporium

This well-organized antique mall offers a great selection of antiques, collectibles, handicrafts, and vintage clothing minus the outrageous prices.

Location: Marion, VA

Sightseeing

Park Place Drive-In Theater

Open during summer, this drive-in theater is a family favorite, offering modern conveniences including mini-golf and an ice cream shop, plus screenings of current movies. Admission is $7.00 for adults and $3.00 for children.

Location: Marion, VA

Lincoln Theatre

Decorated in the Mayan Revival style and housed in a former movie palace, this colorful theater presents a variety of concerts, comedy shows, stage plays, and films throughout the year. Ticket prices range from $20-60+.

Location: Marion, VA

Wolf Creek Indian Village and Museum

This historical site tells the story of Native Americans who once called this area home. Visit the reconstructed village, see artifacts at the museum, or bring lunch to enjoy in the picnic area. Admission costs $10.

Location: Bastian, VA

Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Located in Bristol, the site of early country music recordings, this Smithsonian-affiliated museum documents the rise of country music in America, its evolution into new musical genres, and influence on American culture. Admission costs $13

Location: Bristol, VA

Bristol Motor Speedway

As the nation’s third largest sports venue, this speedway is renowned for its NASCAR races but also hosts other events including live musical performances, streetcar races, monster truck rallies, and car shows.

Location: Bristol, TN

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How to Get to
Hungry Mother State Park

Hungry Mother State Park is located near Marion, Virginia and is easily accessible from Interstate 81. To get to the park, take exit 47 from Interstate 81. Drive about one mile on Route 11 toward Marion, then turn right on Route 16 north, and drive four miles to the park’s entrance. 

Address: 2854 Park Boulevard, Marion, VA 24354

Entering Hungry Mother State Park

Admission is $7 per vehicle. The park is open every day from 8am until 10pm.

Adventure is plentiful at Hungry Mother State Park, so get out there and have some fun! Take us along for the ride by sending us any fun trip stories and photos. Simply tag us on social media or email us at [email protected] and you might end up on our blog or social media. Happy (RV) camping!