Snow melt and ample spring rains can only mean one thing: an exciting paddling season Or at least it is for those who fear not the chill of Virginia’s natural waters.
Hungry Mother State Park is made for relaxation.
For the rest of us paddlers not so hardy of heart now is the time to enjoy ourselves in warmer temps. And for those of you planning trips to the Hungry Mother State Park can more than accommodate your paddling pleasures.
Whether it be the tranquil serenity of gliding along the surface of a placid lake, or the thrill of navigating a swift moving, rock strewn stream that floats your boat, Hungry Mother State Park has got your paddling needs covered.
Those seeking solitude and scenic wildlife viewing opportunities will find the 108-acre lake at Hungry Mother Lake supports a host of sport fish including: largemouth, smallmouth, crappie; channel catfish; carp; muskellunge; and walleye. The channel catfish, walleyes and musky are stocked every year. A valid Virginia fishing license is required by law (for those 16 and older).
Canoes and kayaks are available to rent on weekends now and Memorial Day weekday as well as weekend through Labor Day weekend, and on weekends through October, weather permitting. Paddle boats and electric powered john-boats are also available.
Canoes and kayaks both rent for $8.40 per hour. Half-day rentals are $15.75 for canoes and $21 for kayaks. Full day rentals are also available canoe $26.25
Canoe the New (River) with the Hungry Mother Crew
For those looking for a little more excitement, regularly scheduled trips on the historic and scenic New River depart from Hungry Mother. The Canoe the New program is available on July 12, July 26, and August 2. The canoe trip itself is approximately six miles in length, while the total round trip including shuttle from Hungry Mother to the river near Mouth of Wilson, VA. and back to Hungry Mother is 72 miles. Allow eight hours total for the trip. The cost of the trip is $25 per person.
The following items are recommended: clothing you would not mind getting wet, snacks, a lunch, bottled water, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray, a towel, and an extra set of clothing.
The following will be provided: Old Town Discovery canoes, personal floatation devices, paddles, basic canoe instruction, and transportation to and from the river, including shuttle.
This is an excellent trip for canoeist of all skill levels. Most of the run is on flat water with only a few ripples near the end. Water flow builds gradually with a couple of stretches of whitewater adding to the excitement of an all ready fun-filled day in nature. Shortly into the trip, one obstacle, Fields Dam must be portaged.
A New River canoe trips provides those seeking to spend a day outside the park with a great way to do so. The trip is perfectly suited for families searching for activities the whole family can enjoy together. Others, particularly adults, might find this trip an ideal way to get the kids out of the camper for a day.
Canoeing the New River is fun for the entire family.
Either way, those who make the trip will be treated to a splendid day of paddling a classic mountain stream. In his book, The New River Guide, author Bruce Ingram describes this stretch of the New River as “a pastoral one that winds by wooded shorelines, pastures, and fields.” Ingram, an avid fisherman, goes on to add, “The last mile of the Mouth of Wilson float is a pleasurable one for outdoor lovers of all kinds. A long rock garden dominates this section, and two small islands dot the river. Wooded banks are the norm, and bird life and waterfowl are abundant.”
So, while Hungry Mother has plenty to offer in the way of outdoor fun, from its sandy beach to its many miles of well maintained trails, be sure to consider its many paddling opportunities, as well.