Hungry Mother State Park RV & Campground Guide
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.
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)
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
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
Pet friendly: Yes
Other amenities: Bathhouse, swimming pool, laundromat, concessions
RV Rentals Near Hungry Mother State Park
Nearby RV Rentals
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.
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!
Frequently Asked Questions About Hungry Mother State Park
Plan your family's camping trip for the end of summer when the leaves are just starting to change color. Enjoy the cool, crisp air as you picnic out under the trees, hike, fish, or watch the birds.
This state park sits right on a 108-acre lake, giving you great access to shorebirds, bullfrogs, wood warblers, and 12 different salamander species. You may also see red or gray foxes, whitetail deer, skunks, opossums, and snakes.
There are 69 campsites at Hungry Mother State Park that can accommodate motorhomes. Depending on your campground of choice, you'll have access to a range of equipment including electric and water hookups, a dump station, and bathing facilities.
Leashed pets are allowed at Hungry Mother State Park. Be sure to bring an up-to-date rabies vaccination record to avoid any potential inconveniences. Animals are not allowed in public facilities or in designated swim areas.
Hungry Mother State Park has many accessible trails, shelters, boat docks, and facilities. Motorized wheelchairs are allowed on the nature trails. You could also stay at one of the accessible cabins or rent out Hungry Mother Lodge.
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