Annual Mountain Games competition tests pioneer skills

Annual Mountain Games competition tests pioneer skills
A competitor throws a tomahawk during the Mountain Games competition at Heritage Farms.

Survival on the Appalachian frontier required unique skills around which the fourth annual Mountain Games competition September 21 at Heritage Farm near Huntington, West Virginia, has been built.


A Smithsonian affiliate, the farm—which includes 15 hewn-log structures, seven award-winning museums, an artisan center, and five log-cabin inns—has expanded the fourth-annual competition to include eight events, now incorporating 5K and 10K Buffalo Heart Trail Runs, according to organizer Rebekah Perry.

Log buildings at Heritage Farm Museum and Village.

"The whole day is designed around doing the things your ancestors used to do just to survive," Perry said, referring to a time when the Ohio River was inhabited by Native Americans, and European settlers busied themselves with hunting and farming.

Archery, rock climbing, target shooting, tomahawk throwing, a pitchfork throw, an obstacle course, and a "Bigfoot hunt" will all be part of the fun again along with the new runs.


"Come on down to Heritage Farms and 'claim your heritage' by doing the things your great-great-grandparents did to survive the mountains and hollers of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio," Perry said, though competitors may hale from anywhere.

Founded in 1973 by Mike and Henriella Perry, the Heritage Farms complex began as a private collection of farm implements housed in a nearby barn and soon incorporated all manner of 19th-century structures and materials collection from rural areas nearby.

2019 Mountain Games Divisions

Mountain Man
Mountain Woman
Mountain Youth (Ages 12-17)
Mountain Kid (Ages 11 and younger)


Mountain Man Team (Men Only)
Mountain Woman Team (Women Only)
Mountain Co-Ed Team (Maximum of 6 people per team)

For more information, visit

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