Great campsites. Trail to the beach area along the water. Paddle board. Just a great place to relax. Full hook ups.
Clean, well maintained & very enjoyable park. The Lake Trail is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. The history surrounding this place is well worth looking into.
We had site 17. It was long and wide enough. Trees kept us cooler. Very clean. Restrooms and showers very clean. Had a store.
We loved this campground! We stayed here for our longest camping trip yet - 5 nights! The campsite is on a wooden platform on a wooded hill which turned out to be very cool! It help reign in the kids and provided a nice flat surface for the tent. There was a decent amount of fire wood that we foraged from around the campsite and up the hill but they do sell firewood at the visitors center. Our campsite 11 at Royal Oak campground was the most secluded of the sites, which was sweet, but there is a bit longer of a walk from your car up the stairs to the site. And the longest walk of all the sites to the bathrooms which are up a hill. It had a fire ring and picnic table and plenty of room to set up a tent. We ended up hanging a hammock from the deck as well! The bathrooms are great, very clean. I appreciated the unisex/family bathrooms that had a shower, so helpful with kids.
So much to do here! Scenic views, so many hiking trails, rhododendrons blooming everywhere, a beautiful warm lake to swim in, boating, fishing!
The beach did get very crowded during the day, but we were there 4th of July weekend so I pretty much expected that. Early in the morning the beach was empty. The beach is guarded and has a diving board! The water was very clean and not too cold. Lots of bathrooms around the lake and picnic areas. We also rented a canoe for a few hours which was fun and affordable.
Of course, you have to hike to Molly's Knob - Vista Trail for the best view at the park! It is pretty tough uphill but the scenic views are worth it! We found wild berries growing at the top, which was a nice treat after that hike.
Also, the Rangers were friendly and helpful when we got a dead battery in our car!
We loved camping here - already making plans to come back next year!
There are 3 campgrounds in Hungry Mother SP. Camp Burson is the easiest to get to and the one we stayed at. Creekside and Royal Oak campgrounds are further into the park up a windy narrow road. Camp Burson is flat and very well maintained gravel pads. Creekside is a little hilly with blacktop pads and Royal Oak is very steep with deck like structures at each site to set up on. Royal Oak is used primarily for tents. There is a restaurant which we did not try and a place to rent canoes, kayaks and paddle boats along with a very nice looking beach on the lake. Every stop has a gift shop. The biggest draw at this park is their trails ranging from easy to hard. Spend a day or spend a week you won't be disappointed. They have yurts in Camp Burson and Royal Oak. Don't remember seeing any in Creekside.
I could easily give this campground five stars, but I am the type of tent camper that likes more wilderness. This campground actually a few "campgrounds" within the park and for almost every type of camper. Camp Burson is the first one you see upon entering the state park (as far as I know, since the park is really lonnggg! It is best suited for RVs, but there are gravel spaces for tents. Another campground in the park has pull-through sites, but there were also a couple of tents there. Since we are mainly tent campers, we went to the third camping area, which also had yurts. The yurts have one double bed but not water. The part that I didn't like, but many tent campers would love, is that you have to pitch your tent on a wooden deck. It's great for camping in the rain because the water doesn't have a chance to puddle. However, I'm the type that likes more primitive camping out in the woods, but I'm not holding that against Hungry Mother. Hungry Mother is a great state park, and the sites are wonderful (unless you are strange like me and prefer more primitive camping). As we drove around, we also saw several cabins and at least one or two lodges. I got the feel that it was almost a gated community, which for some people is not a bad thing. Again, there are opportunities for almost every type of "camper."
As far as I know, this is the first state park that had a restaurant. Unfortunately, we were there in April before it opened, so we missed out on that. The bath and shower facilities are modern with tile floors, which I find as a pleasant surprise for a state park. Camping there is April can actually be a good thing. You can avoid the crowds at the beach (although the water is cold) and there are a good number of empty campsites. This state park also has canoe, kayak, and paddle boat rentals. There is a basketball court and a playground, which is next to the beach. We didn't really stay long enough to enjoy the hiking trails or the fishing, but there are several hiking and biking trails from easy to moderate. The beauty of this park is amazing! With the background of mountains behind the lake, it doesn't get much better. I really would love to go back again and camp for more than just one night to enjoy it all.
First thing we were told by the park rangers was to, 'beware of bears"! Seriously! It was a beautiful park with large lake. We hiked to the lake from our site, only 1.2 miles. The lake had a diving platform in the middle, which of course we had to try! The bottom was so deep, I never hit it! Saw many beautiful flowers, and lots of ducks. There was a very clean laundry room.
Friendly and helpful office staff, clean bathrooms, washer and dryer available.
Hungry Mother State Park, just a short drive off I-81 in southwestern Virginia, is an easily accessible gem offering modern cabins, yurts, and campgrounds equipped for tents or RVs, with limitless activities.
We stayed in one of the cabins after Hurricane Michael rained out our plans for tent camping. This was our first time in one of the VSP cabins, and will not be our last. There are three types of cabins; log exteriors, part of the original Civilian Conservation Corps structures; wooden frame cabins with wooden interiors, and cinderblock exteriors with tile floors. Cabins range from economy to three bedroom, and all have a kitchen with microwave, stove, and refrigerator/freezer, a bathroom with a shower, and a fireplace, as well as heating and air conditioning. Most cabins also have covered porches, exterior picnic tables, and exterior fire rings.
The Creekside Campground loop has water and electric hookups, picnic tables, and fire rings. The layout is similar to most water/electric sites in state and national parks in Virginia; not much privacy between the sites, but fairly shaded, and a quiet atmosphere. This loop is true to its name, and right on the creek running through the park. We were there during the rains from Hurricane Michael and the creek was running so high that sites 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, and 19 looked like they were in danger of flooding.
The Royal Oak campground has platforms for tents set into the mountain rather than dirt or gravel tent pads, however as there are hooks in each of the pads to anchor your tent they can only accommodate tents with a 20x20 footprint. These sites have picnic tables and fire rings on the dirt beside the platforms. The two VSP Yurts at Hungry Mother are in the Royal Oak loop, along the entrance that are set up from the road. This loop overall offers a lot more privacy for each site that I have typically seen in state parks due to the platforms, though you will still see/hear your neighbors. Both camping loops have bathrooms with electricity, flush toilets, and showers with warm water.
Amenities in the park include a lake with a swimming area, boat/canoe rentals, fishing (with license), a restaurant, hiking, biking, and ranger programs. The park office also has several cool displays of local wildlife and history of the area, as well as backpacks you can check out with books and gear for tree, wildflower, and animal identification. Hiking varies from short and easy trails with minimal elevation gain, to the difficult Molly’s Knob trail with one of the most epic sunset views I’ve ever hiked in Virginia.
I love Virginia State Parks, and this is definitely a new favorite. I’m skeptical of the comfort of the wooden platforms for future tent camping trips, but the cabins will definitely be a future stay for us, particularly during the winter months, and there is so much to do in this park even the most reluctant adventurer will find fun.
**Product Review **
As as Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time — on this trip I tested the RōM pack, from RōM Outdoors.
I was skeptical about this pack when I first received it—it felt extremely heavy for a day pack, particularly as it doesn’t have a hip belt, and while I was impressed with the removable pockets, it didn’t seem like the pack itself had a lot of cargo capacity.
After using this pack on our trip, I am a convert. We used it to pack clothes for my husband and I, knowing we would be able to leave our clothes at camp when we went hiking. This freed up space in the car that would normally go to a larger backpack, and we got to take advantage of the pack’s ability to convert to both a poncho and a blanket, not just for review purposes, but out of necessity.
The poncho’s rain resistance held up well, considering we were hiking in the outer bands of a hurricane. The first hike we took this on we started in the rain, and my husband wore the poncho—he stayed dry for the first half mile of our hike, but by end of our mile the water had started leaking through so he did get a little wet—though mostly around the the seams/openings. On our second hike he wore it as a backpack. Because it was raining when we set out and we anticipated needing the poncho feature again, we elected not to bring the detachable pockets, but the interior of the pack was enough to hold our 5 year old’s day pack once she got tired of carrying it.
It stopped raining by the time we got to the summit of our hike, and we tested the blanket feature of the pack for a picnic. It unfolds to a size that was perfect for our family of four. The canvas is thick enough to make a great picnic blanket—it protects from damp ground and sharp rocks, and the lining makes for a very soft surface to sit on. On the way back I took advantage of the poncho. By this point it had gotten extremely windy and was getting dark quickly, and the poncho was excellent at keeping me warm. It’s very heavy, which was welcome in the strong wind, though it did make it hard to hear with the hood over my ears.
Pros to this pack:
-Versatility. In one trip we used the backpack, poncho, and blanket feature, and were grateful for all three.
-Durability. This is definitely a well-constructed pack, with heavy materials that seem like they will last for a long time.
-User-friendly. The pack looks intimidating at first, but it unfolds/folds from pack to poncho/blanket very easily. Combined with the drawstring inner pack and detachable pockets it’s easy to convert while still keeping track of your gear.
Cons to this pack:
-Space. This is great to bring on a camping trip where you can bring additional packs/bags for your gear, but it doesn’t hold much on its own.
-Weight. It only weighs in at 4.6lbs, which is less than a lot of backpacking packs, but as the pack doesn’t have the hip belt it’s a high starting weight.
-Thin straps. The width of the straps is comfortable, but they could use a little more padding.
Very nice and shady in Chermside campground. Lots of walking trails. During summer rent kayaks and paddle boats. Restaurant on site. Sites are a little tight for rv. Will be back.