Share What You Love with a Visit to the Mountains of Virginia in Smyth County

This summer, reconnect with what you love. From peaceful mountain lakes to ziplining through the treetops, Smyth County, VA has everything you need for a family getaway. Plan your vacation now, and share what you love with your family.

Hungry Mother State Park

One of the crown jewels of the Virginia park system, Hungry Mother State Park has plenty of activities for a day trip or an overnight stay. At the heart of the park is the 108-acre Hungry Mother Lake, which offers plenty of options for fishing, boating and swimming.

You don’t have to head to the coast for a beach trip. Every summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the park opens its sandy beach for guarded swimming. Kids of all ages will love the beach and dive tower, and nearby ice cream stand. The beach area also offers canoe, kayak and paddleboard rentals.

Want a more challenging adventure? Hike to the top of Molly’s Knob for sweeping mountain vistas.

Zip Through the Treetops at Hungry Mother Outdoor Adventures

Just 10 minutes from the state park entrance in Marion, VA, Hungry Mother Outdoor Adventures offers zip lines, tubing, Spacewalk bouncy houses and onsite cafe and general store.

HMOA boasts the longest, highest, and fastest zip line in the state of Virginia, with nearly a mile of lines through five sections, flying over valleys and through the treetops. Younger children (and timid first timers!) can enjoy the mini-zipline as well.

Catch a Flick at the Drive-In!

Park Place Drive-In Movie Theater is a true old-fashioned drive-in. Grab some popcorn and a soda, and pull your car in for the latest summer blockbusters. This family favorite also offers a miniature golf course, video arcade, and hand dipped ice cream.

Explore 30,000 years of history at the Museum of the Middle Appalachians

This delightfully quirky museum sits in the heart of historic Saltville, VA. Its tag line is “Preserving History from the Ice Age to the Space Age,” and the exhibits deliver on that promise, with information about Saltville’s role in prehistoric history, Civil War battles, the industrial revolution, the rocket fuel that first put a man on the moon, and, of course… salt! Most popular with children are the life-sized woolly mammoth skeleton, and hands-on paleontology digs at the Salt Ponds.

Share Your Family’s LOVE at One of the Smyth County LOVEworks!

One of the most memorable ways for families to share their LOVE in Smyth County is by taking a photo at one of Smyth County LOVEworks. There are two: downtown Chilhowie at the Visitor Center, and downtown Marion next to the Lincoln Theatre on Main Street.  

Take a photo and share your love with the hashtag #SmythCountyLOVE.

photo by Sam Dean

Meet the Wild Ponies of Grayson Highlands State Park

The wild ponies at Grayson Highlands State Park are not to be missed while you’re visiting Smyth County. Introduced by the Forest Service in 1974 to graze down vegetation that would overgrow the meadow-like balds, the ponies and long-horn cattle are the stars of the park. For your best chance at catching a glimpse of the ponies, start your hike at the Rhododendron Trail and up the AT. This is a moderate 2.5 mile out and back hike. You’ll encounter outcroppings of massive rocks, sweeping views and, of course, the herds of wild ponies that make the park such a popular destination. Please remember, the ponies are wild – do not feed them, or approach them.

All photos courtesy of Smyth County

Places to Go, Things to See: