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COVID-19 has changed the world. The tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit areas of the global pandemic. Local restaurants, museums, state and national parks have all changed hours of operation, procedures, and some have gone out of business altogether.
Please verify current operations of any places you want to visit mentioned in these articles, and contact me if a business has permanently closed so I can update the article. Thank you and stay safe out there!
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.