Molly’s Knob is a hidden gem in Southern Virginia. Located just 5 miles north of I-81 in Hungry Mother State Park, the views here on a clear day stretch all the way to Mount Rogers. The hike is listed on the park map as difficult; however, the hike is fairly easy until you reach the Vista Trail, which is the last 0.4 miles to the summit.

The parking lot is located on the east side of the lake, just before the group lodge on Lake Drive. The Molly’s Knob trail begins just uphill on the right and is marked by white blazes. You can also take an alternate route and follow the Lake Loop Trail (located to the left of the parking area) to the Ridge Trail, and then join the Molly’s Knob Trail, though this will add about 0.2 miles each way.

After the first 0.4 miles, the trail reaches a viewpoint of Molly’s Knob. Turn left to continue on the trail, which climbs slowly but steadily. After 0.9 miles, you will reach the intersection with the purple-blazed Vista Trail. From here, hike the remaining 0.4 miles over the course of several switchbacks. At the top, you will be greeted with two benches, where you can sit and enjoy the views to the south and west. To return, retrace your steps back to the parking area.

Keep in mind that there is a fee to enter Hungry Mother State Park. You can easily make a day of this hike by taking advantage of the other recreational activities that are available – including swimming, boating, fishing, biking, and camping (depending on the season). For more information about the park, visit http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/hungry-mother.shtml#general_information.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Water
  • Snack
  • Comfortable shoes
  • An extra layer for the summit
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RT Distance 3.4 Miles
Elevation Gain 1100 Feet
Activities Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic

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Great Views!

This short hike packs great views without the crowds that the nearby Channels ( https://www.theoutbound.com/virginia/fitness/hike-the-great-channels) or Mount Rogers (https://www.theoutbound.com/virginia/hiking/hike-mount-rogers) draw and is great any time of year. Take some time to enjoy the parks' other trails or camp for a night at this beautiful state park.


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