Molly’s Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA

We generally try to go on a little weekend getaway for our anniversary each year. However, there was just too much going on this year around our anniversary with Jon’s new job, church events, Sarah’s soccer, Sarah’s birthday, and Ryan’s high school graduation. We were going up to Morgantown, WV for Ryan’s graduation and needed to get Jon’s Mom along the way. So our trip to graduation was going to be about 10 hours of driving in one day. Yeehaw! After the graduation, we stayed the night with Jon’s Mom in WV. We had planned on trying to hit a hike somewhere along our way home to NC the next day. A couple of years ago, we had visited Coopers Rock State Park, Babcock State Park, and Valley Falls State Park nearby so we wanted to try some place we had not already been. We settled in on Hungry Mother State Park in Marion, VA. It was just a short drive out of our way as we headed back south.

Molly's Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA
Molly’s Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA

I’m going to be honest with you, we did more research about location and didn’t do much research about the park or the trail. We were actually surprised at the size of Hungry Mother State Park and all that it had to offer. It had a beautiful big lake for fishing, boating, and a large beach shore for swimmers. There were campsites for tents and cabins too. It had a visitor center, gift shop, restaurant, and amphitheater too. Ann even has family in Marion, VA and still we didn’t know much about it beforehand. It looked like a great place to take the family for the weekend.

Just the name of the park is interesting and the legend of Hungry Mother was even more so.  Legend has it that when the Native Americans destroyed several settlements on the New River south of the park, Molly Marley and her small child were among the survivors taken to the raiders’ base north of the park. They eventually escaped, wandering through the wilderness eating berries. Molly finally collapsed, and her child wandered down a creek until the child found help. The only words the child could utter were “Hungry Mother.” The search party arrived at the foot of the mountain where Molly collapsed to find the child’s mother dead. Today that mountain is Molly’s Knob, and the stream is Hungry Mother Creek. -Credit: VA Dept of Conservation and Recreation

The parking lot at the Molly’s Knob trail head can only be described as tiny at best. You might can fit 4 cars if you’re careful. It was a bit tight for Jon’s Silverado. There is other parking lower down, but then that is even more walking! Our plan was to hike the Molly’s Knob and Vista trails. Both trails were rated black diamond for difficult. Molly’s Knob was 1.9 miles one way and Vista was .4 miles one way. The Molly’s Knob trail had a fairly constant incline with few leveling off spots for a reprieve, but really wasn’t horribly steep. Not too far into the Molly’s Knob trail there is a platform with a lovely view of Molly’s Knob in the distance. It is always cool to see where you’re going.

View of Molly's Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA
View of Molly’s Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA

The Vista trail was steep the entire way. Ann’s fitbit tracked a climb of 100 floors for the entire hike, but it was so worth it.  The clearing was absolutely brilliant as we approached the final portion of the Vista trail.

Approaching Summit of Molly's Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA
Isn’t It Divine?
Approaching Summit of Molly's Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA
Benches Never Looked So Good

There were 2 benches at the summit, and I will admit that we needed a little break to sit on them. Those 2 benches looked like a gift from Heaven! It was such a beauty of a view to take in while catching a breather on those benches. The overlook was framed with lovely mountain laurel bushes in bloom and hundreds of blueberry bushes.

View from Vista of Molly's Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA
Vista of Molly’s Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA
Vista of Molly's Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA
I Used to be Embarrassed about Using a Hiking Stick, but Man I was Glad I had it on that Last Steep Part.
Vista of Molly's Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA
View from Vista of Molly's Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA
View from Vista of Molly’s Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA
View from Vista of Molly's Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA
View from Vista of Molly’s Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA
View from Vista of Molly's Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA
View from Vista of Molly’s Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA
View from Vista of Molly's Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA
Our Favorite Picture from Vista of Molly’s Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA
View from Vista of Molly's Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA
View from Vista of Molly's Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA
View from Vista of Molly's Knob Hungry Mother State Park, Marion VA

As we stopped off at the bathroom on the way out we even saw a wedding taking place at the amphitheater. It was just a unexpectedly lovely park and day. One last note, although there are real bathrooms with running water, vending, and all of the other facilities available they are not right at the trail head. So keep this in mind if you plan on ever visiting so that you can have your water and make your pit-stops before you park your vehicle.

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