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Hemlock Haven Conference Center

(in Hungry Mother State Park)

General Information

Located in the Southwest Blue Ridge Highlands of Virginia, just north of the town of Marion in Smyth County, Hemlock Haven Conference Center boasts modern meeting and lodging facilities within the peaceful surroundings of Hungry Mother State Park, one of the original parks in the state park system. Significant natural resources and nearby recreational opportunities such as Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area, Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area, and the Jefferson National Forest, as well as Hungry Mother State Park itself, make Hemlock Haven an ideal location for day and overnight conferences, banquets, family reunions, company picnics and more.

Additionally, recreational interpretive and adventure programs at Hungry Mother State Park are available to conference center guests. Seasonal activities include swimming, boating and fishing on Hungry Mother Lake. Picnicking, camping, hiking, nature study and a visitor center are popular at elevations ranging from 2,200 ft. to a peak of 3,270 ft. at Molly's Knob.

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Perfect for your event

Hemlock Haven is ideal for family reunions, church retreats, business meetings, banquets, company picnics and other special gatherings. With a gazebo overlooking the park’s tranquil 108-acre lake, it’s especially well-suited for indoor-outdoor weddings.

The facility has six meeting rooms ranging from 700 to 3,300 square feet. A business center and a board room, Internet access and audiovisual equipment are also available. This diversity makes the facility perfect for groups from 10 to 1,000.

Hemlock Haven also offers guests a tennis court, basketball court, softball field, volleyball court and horseshoe pits.

The conference center is open year-round, except for Christmas Day.


Hemlock Haven Conference Center is within Hungry Mother State Park, which is in Smyth County. To get there, take Exit 47 from Interstate 81. Travel approximately one mile on Route 11 toward Marion. Turn right on Route 16 north and travel four miles to the park. Click here for a Google map.

Specific directions to Hemlock Haven

Use directions above to find Hungry Mother State Park. Turn right from Rt. 16 north onto East Hungry Mother Drive. Continue for about one-quarter mile then take the first left onto Hemlock Haven Lane. The road goes by the Hemlock Haven Conference Center to a hill top where Chestnut is on the right and Hickory is on the left. Continue down the hill to find White Oak and Red Oak on the right and Scarlet Oak and Sycamore on the left. Farther down the hill are Pines 21-25 near the end of the loop.

Conference building

Room capacities range from 10-50 people, for smaller meeting rooms, to up to 375 for the largest. Full service catering is available through the center. The Restaurant at Hungry Mother State Park features specialties and gourmet cooking and can accommodate all of your food service needs from outdoor picnics to formal banquets and weddings. Click here for more detail or call (276) 781-7425 for details.


Cabins at Hemlock Haven are sold as weekly rentals under Hungry Mother State Park (Friday to Friday). A weekly rental for the Pines and other cabin units is required from Memorial Day through Labor Day (prime season), but 30 days prior to arrival, if there is availability, stays of less than a week are allowed. A minimum two-night stay is required otherwise. Please call the State Parks Customer Service Center at 1-800-933-PARK (7275) for additional information and reservations.


(for day-use conferences only):

  • Ferrell Hall Conference Center is universally accessible on both levels with such bathrooms on each level.
  • The ballfield shelter is universally accessible and has a concrete floor. There's no designated parking in its gravel parking area.
  • The basketball court is universally accessible with a gravel ramp (rather steep incline) to an asphalt surface


Overnight guests may swim at no charge at the park swimming area during regular operating hours. The beach area is open from the Saturday before Memorial Day through Labor Day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. Swimming is not allowed when a lifeguard is not on duty.


Two lighted courts are available for visitor use.

Sports complex

The complex includes a volleyball field, a softball field, basketball courts and horseshoe pits. Equipment can be checked out from the center's office.

Area attractions

Grayson Highlands State Park, Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area, Barter Theater, Saltville Archaeological Digs, Crab Orchard Museum, Lincoln Theater.

Grayson Highlands State Park is one hour away, as well as Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area and Historic Saltville (archaeological digs each summer and site of restored Civil War salt factory). Wolf Creek Indian Village and Museum, Bastian, Va., offers a reconstructed Native American village, museum, museum store and picnic area; phone (276) 688-3438. Also in the area is the Museum of Middle Appalachians, Saltville, Va., and the Lincoln Theatre in Marion, Va. Also in Marion you'll find the Historic General Francis Marion Hotel and Black Rooster Gallery. And be sure to check out the Virginia Heritage Music Trail.


Construction of the original facilities at Hemlock Haven was completed in 1942 by Charles Collins, a Marion native. A lodge with 10 guest rooms and a dining/kitchen complex were the main features. Eight guest cabins, all lacking plumbing, were added in 1947. The Virginia Episcopal Diocese purchased the site from Collins in 1957 and added the swimming pool, two lighted tennis courts, three new cabins and a large meeting facility, Ferrell Hall. Hemlock Haven was a popular site for training meetings, conferences and a summer camp for many years. However, due to increased use, the facilities required a great deal of upkeep and repair that the diocese could no longer provide.

The 35-acre center was purchased by the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1986. In 1989, the Department of Conservation and Recreation opened Hemlock Haven Conference Center, making it the first in the state parks system.