6 Travel Photos of a Snow-Covered Hungry Mother State Park
Photography, United States, Virginia

Hungry Mother State Park is one of those hidden parks in Virginia that also turns out to be one of the best. It was part of the original six parks to open in June 1936, but this was the location of the governor chose for the grand opening ceremony. Today the 108-acre park’s main attraction is the man-made lake along with cabins, hiking trails, a beach, and lots of mountain scenic beauty.

It was for that last reason that I chose to head here during a snow storm in early 2014. The storm began early in the day so I decided to head up the interstate toward Marion and take Highway 16 out to the park. What would normally have been a 30-minute drive from the interstate exit ended up taking over an hour as icy conditions made some of the turns in the road just a little bit dangerous.

When I finally arrived at the park I was the only person in sight. I never saw another visitor or even a park ranger. The winds were kicking up pretty good, the fresh powdery snow was blowing around, and the temperatures hovered around zero. But with my cold weather compression clothing, warm shell jacket, ski goggle, and gloves, I was perfectly warm throughout the day as I moved around the park capturing photos. Everything was a winter wonderland, making it difficult to focus on a single composition.

The day’s in January are short, which didn’t give me much time to fully explore everything I wanted to do. I didn’t want to drive in this weather in the dark, so I had just over four hours to capture what I could. I walked around a portion of the lake, visited the cabins, and even walked out on the snow-covered sandy beach. Four hours later, still toasty warm despite the frigid temperatures, I left the park behind to head back home. These are some of my favorite photos from that snowy day at Hungry Mother State Park.

The wooden footbridge crosses a frozen lake covered with snow at Hungry Mother State Park in Marion, VA on Tuesday, January 21, 2014. Copyright 2014 Jason Barnette

The footbridge crossing the frozen lake to a small island with an amphitheater.

A life-size picture frame frames a wooden footbridge at Hungry Mother State Park in Marion, VA on Tuesday, January 21, 2014. Copyright 2014 Jason Barnette

The picturesque postcard sign provided a great frame for a snowy photo.

A long wooden footbridge crosses a frozen lake covered with snow to a small island with an ampitheater at Hungry Mother State Park in Marion, VA on Tuesday, January 21, 2014. Copyright 2014 Jason Barnette

Snow falls around the footbridge over the frozen lake.

The frozen lake covered with a fresh snow at Hungry Mother State Park in Marion, VA on Tuesday, January 21, 2014. Copyright 2014 Jason Barnette

Once the lake was frozen the snow began to gather on the ice, blending land and water.

The diving board sits on a frozen lake at Hungry Mother State Park in Marion, VA on Tuesday, January 21, 2014. Copyright 2014 Jason Barnette

The diving board platform surrounded by a frozen lake covered with snow.

Snow covers a rental cabin at Hungry Mother State Park in Marion, VA on Tuesday, January 21, 2014. Copyright 2014 Jason Barnette

I could have spent a few nights getting cozy in this cabin, especially during this snow storm.
  • A great way to start the New Year off on the right foot, free admission to this Virginia State Park on Jan 1. Also a photo contest and challenge…visit the Virginia State Parks Facebook page for details.