This past Saturday I got to meet up with Debbie for a trail run at Hungry Mother State Park! A few weeks ago she told me she was going to be down in my neck of the woods for the weekend. I was excited we were able to meet up for a run! Hungry Mother State Park is such a gorgeous place to run, and all of the trails are so well-maintained and well-marked.
This was my second time running at Hungry Mother. It was actually cooler this time than the last time I ran there, but this time it was pretty muggy. We started out on the Lake Loop Trail, which is the trail I ran last time. It follows the perimeter of the 108-acre lake, as the name implies.
Debbie wanted to go up to Molly’s Knob, and I had never been up there before, so I was looking forward to the view from the top. But I knew it was going to be a tough climb. We had consulted the trail map at the beginning of our run and decided we could run the Lake Loop Trail to where it connects to the Molly’s Knob Trail, about 4 miles in. We would do an out and back up to Molly’s Knob, and then continue on the rest of the loop around the lake.
Shortly after turning onto Molly’s Knob Trail, and after doing a bit of climbing, we came to a platform. Debbie pointed up to the top of a peak in the distance and said “that’s where we’re headed!” Oh boy! It looked very far away and very high up.
We forged on for about another mile, doing more hiking than running because it was so steep. I snapped a picture on the steep part of the trail, but of course it never captures.
When we got close, Debbie convinced me to run the last little bit to the top. And then we were at the summit, 1,000 feet closer to the sky!
Not a bad view, huh? I struggled to get a panoramic picture of the view with my camera, but was finally able to get one.
It’s much more breathtaking in person, and totally worth the climb of course. Debbie was nice enough to snap this picture of me on top of Molly’s Knob. We also got one together, using the self timer on her camera.
Oh yea, funny story. Debbie and I showed up both wearing black shorts and the same exact purple tank top! So we were matchy, matchy for the day. I wonder if people who saw us together on the trail thought we planned it?
Once we were done taking all the pictures, we made the descent back down Molly’s Knob and back onto the Lake Loop Trail. We had a nice overlook view of the lake and beach area on the way down.
Before I knew it, we were back on the Lake Loop Trail with about 2 miles to go. The last part of our run was significantly flatter, but even little hills felt like mountains at that point. 🙂
As we made our way around the lake we found a good “photo op” spot at a bridge. Debbie and I took turns running across the bridge while the other acted as photographer. Some bikers riding by on the trail thought that was pretty funny.
Shortly after our bridge photo op, we passed the beach area that we had seen from way up high not too long ago. I was so tempted to take my shoes and socks off and soak my feet in the water. That would have felt good!
This part of the trail is flatter, and more accessible from the surrounding parking areas and campground, so we saw more people out and about.
We also had a nice view of the mountain we had just climbed! It’s a neat feeling to look up at the peak and know you just climbed it.
There were some other nice views of the surrounding mountains as we ran along this part of the Lake Loop Trail. Although it was getting hard to enjoy the views because I was ready to be done. My legs were very tired!
Finally, we found ourselves back at the spillway where we had started from. There were some pretty wildflowers lining this part of the trail.
We ended with just over 9 miles for the day. This was the third time I’ve gotten to run with Debbie (previously we have run together at the Hokie Half and for a long run) and it was so much fun to get to run and talk and get to know each other better. Thanks for making plans with me, Deb!
Do you prefer to workout alone or with friends?
Does the area you live in have scenic overlooks? We have a lot of them!