The Games


PICK 8 of These Games in Which to Compete!

Mountain Games has a changed a bit since 2016 and 2017.  This year we have added three new competitions and incorporated the 5k Trail Run into the games.  Here’s the deal – you only have to compete in 8 of the competitions.  Being a Mountain Champion is about smarts as well as technical and physical skill.  Plan your day by picking the 8 games you think you can score the most points in to win or simply have the most fun.  Tip: If you don’t like running, skip the 5k, obstacle course, and the heavy bag run.  Focus on the skill and strength games.  Vice-versa – if you’re a runner focus on the games where your speed or endurance are an asset to you.

Game on – may the smartest, most technical, and best athlete of us all win (or have the most fun).

Obstacle Course

This is a classic obstacle course with mountain living obstacles like log jumping, tire running, and tunnel crawling. Each competitor will run the course and be timed by an official timer. The goal is to run the course as fast as you can. If you miss or skip an obstacle, the course judge will add a 15 second penalty to your time. Your time will be entered into your score card. When you complete all the Mountain Games, you will return your scorecard to the score table. Your time for the obstacle course will be converted into points based on how your time ranks against other competitors in your division.

Feat of Strength

Have you ever seen a shot put competition in the Olympics? The tradition of throwing heavy objects for competition goes back thousands of years. Here’s how the Feat of Strength works in Mountain Games. You must stay inside the designated throwing area. Throw the rock as far as you can throw it. If you go outside the throwing area, you receive a fault and your score for that throw is scored as 0. You get two throws. Your best distance goes on your score card. You will receive points in the overall competition based on how you rank against everyone else in your division competing in the Feat of Strength.

Big Foot Hunting

This is a ball kicking game based on how accurately you can kick and how far you can kick. The Big Foot Hunting Field is 40 yards long. On the field are three large targets walls. Each wall has different holes in it. Each hole is labeled with a point value based on the difficulty of the kick. You get five balls and five kicks. Score as many points as you can in three kicks. The points you score in the game determine your rank in the game. Overall Mountain Game points are given based on your rank.

The Coal Miner

This game requires you to move as much coal as you can from point A to point B. You have 3 minutes to shovel coal into a cart and move that cart across the finish line. Your score will be based on the weight of the coal you move across the finish line. You will receive points toward your Mountain Games score based on how you rank in this competition. Note: You must wear gloves we will provide to compete in this game.

Seneca Rocks

This is a timed climbing game. A 22 foot rock wall will be on the field. Your goal is to climb to the top of the rocks as fast as you can. Your score is based on how fast you get to the top. There is a time limit. You have three minutes to complete this event. If you don’t get to the top in three minutes, your score card will show 3 minutes. Your ranking in this game will add points to your overall Mountain Games score. Note: This game is supervised by the National Guard and a special waiver for them must be completed.

Shelter Builder

Building a shelter before nightfall is an essential skill for a real mountain man or woman. In this game, you will have to build a shelter given the supplies provided in an 8 minute time period. Every piece of building material in your pile is labeled with a point value. You score points for using different materials to build your shelter. At the end of 8 minutes, a judge will inspect your shelter. In order for your points to count, you have to show the judge that you fit inside your shelter. The points you score will determine your rank in this game. Points will be awarded toward your Mountain Games score based on your rank. Note: You must wear gloves in this game.

The Hunter

This is a classic archery competition. You must use the bows and arrows we provide. Do not bring your own bow or arrows. You get three arrows to shoot at the targets. Each target has scores. Score as many points as you can with your three arrows. The points you score will determine your rank in the game. Your rank in the game will generate points toward your overall Mountain Games score. Note: This game is supervised by a trained archery instructor. You will be given archery safety rules before you use the bow and arrow. If the instructor sees you breaking any of the safety rules at any time, you will be disqualified from this competition.

Steel Walker

Steel is an important part of Appalachian history. You’ve seen construction workers walk steel beams while building huge buildings? This game will test your ability to walk a steel beam. This is a timed event. You will have 2 minutes to complete it. Walk the steel beam from one end to the other. At the end of the beam is a box full of different valued items. Your score will be based on the value of the items you bring across the finish line in the time allotted. If you fall off the beam, whatever item you are carrying is returned to the box and you must return to the starting point. Your rank in this game is determined by how many points you score. You will be given points toward your Mountain Games score based on your rank in this game. Note: for safety reasons the beam will not be more than 6 inches off the ground.

Tomahawk Throwing

The tomahawk was an important tool for people who lived out Appalachian history. This competition will have you throwing the famed tomahawk at targets. You will be instructed on how to throw a tomahawk safely. You will get three tomahawk throws at stationary targets. The targets have scores on them. Score as many points as you can in your three throws. Your three throws will generate points. Those points will determine your rank in the tomahawk throw. Your ranking in the tomahawk throw will generate points toward your overall Mountain Games score. Note: Safety is essential in this game. Please pay attention to your instructor. Do not cross the throwing line at any point. Only throw when you are instructed to throw. If the instructor sees you breaking any of the safety rules at any time, you will be disqualified from this competition.

Dead Eye Shooting

This is a test to see how good a shooter you are at stationary targets. The rifle was an essential tool of our ancestors living in Appalachia. For this game, we will be using a paint ball rifle. You will be shooting at targets with various point values. You will be provided a loaded paint ball rifle loaded with 20 paint balls. Shoot at the differently scored targets and score as many points as you can. Your rank in this game will be determined by how many points you score. Your overall Mountain Games score for this game will be determined by your rank.

Note: Safety is essential in this game. This game will be supervised by a trained weapons instructor. Please pay attention to your instructor. You will be taught how to use the paint ball rifle. Once you step onto the Dead Eye Shooting course you will be required to wear a paint ball mask at all times. This includes the official, course director, course cleaners, and all competitors. You will also be required to stay in the safety zone behind the shooting table until called upon to move forward to the table. Once you are given the rifle, do not shoot the rifle until you hear the instructor give you the shooting command. Once the 20 paintballs in the rifle are expended, you will be instructed to set the rifle down on the table. The official will make sure the paint ball rifle is on safety and pointing at the ground. He/She will then clear the “course cleaners” to clean off the targets if needed. If the instructor sees you breaking any of the safety rules at any time, you will be disqualified from this competition.

Stock the Wagon

Imagine packing everything you own and heading over the mountain for a new life.  In this game, you will test your packing skills.  You have 5 minutes to pack your wagon with as many supplies as you can.  Each item is worth different points.  Score as many points as you can by lifting and placing items into the wagon in the allotted time.

Heavy Sack Run

It is harvest time! How fast can you run 60 yards with a woolsack on your back? Competitors will be given a woolsack and will be timed as they run 60 yards. Their time will define their place. Their place will generate a score.

Men= 60lb Woolsack

Women = 30lb Woolsack

Youth= 30lb Woolsack

Children= 10lb Woolsack

Pitch Fork Throw

The pitch fork is a classic Appalachian tool for farming and occasionally defense.  In this competition, you will be testing your defensive use of the tool.  You will receive 3 pitchforks.  A target will be in front of you and you will receive points for hitting certain areas on the target.

Buffalo Heart Trail Run

This is the traditional Mountain Games 5k Trail Run that we have incorporated into the Mountain Games events. Your score for the run will be based on where you place.

Game Descriptions, Rules, and Safety

A new version of the highland games returns for the third year, with exciting changes in store for 2018! The 2018 Mountain Games allow you to choose your best 8 of 15 scored competitions that include an obstacle course, feat of strength, big foot hunting, coal mining, rock climbing, shelter building, archery, steel walking, tomahawk throwing, and target shooting. New this year to the games are heavy sack run, pitchfork throw, stock the wagon and the Buffalo Heart Trail Run 5K as part of the scored events. The games are open to all ages. Adults and youth ages 6 and up will compete on the adult course. Children under 6 will compete in the Family Zone.

Competitors can come and just have fun or compete for the title Mountain Man, Mountain Woman, Mountain Youth, or Mountain Team. The competition takes about 3 hours. The Farm opens at 10am and closes at 4pm. Competitors are encouraged to arrive early. Registration in the Games also provides you access to the Farm’s museums and other attractions.


Mountain Games is like a Decathlon

Each game (10 games in all) is scored based on your performance.  Competitors in each game are ranked in that game based on their score.  How you rank in each game generates your score towards your overall Mountain Games score.  Points are awarded based on how you place in the game.  If you compete in a game you will score points.  If you don’t compete in a game, you will receive a 0 point total.

1st Place = 1,000 points

2nd Place = 999 points

3rd Place = 998 points

10th Place = 990 points

100th Place = 900 points

300th Place = 700 points

All the points you score across the 10 games will be tallied up.

The person with the highest overall Mountain Games score in each division wins the Mountain Games titles.

Points are based on your ranking in each of the 10 games.

Example of Scoring:

Steve posted a time of 39 seconds in the obstacle course putting him in first place. First place receives a score of 1,000 points.  An hour later, Joe puts up a time of 45 seconds in the obstacle course.  His time puts him to 2nd place.  His score is 999 points in the obstacle course.  Joe’s wife Jane runs the course immediately after Joe and puts up a time of 41 seconds.  Jane now moves to second place and her score in the obstacle course is 999 points.  Joe drops to 3rd place and his new score is 998 points.


Because of the number of competitors competing, rankings in each game will fluctuate all day long. Because your score is based on ranking your point total for each will fluctuate up or down all day long.


Individual Athlete Divisions

  • Mountain Man
  • Mountain Woman
  • Mountain Youth – Ages (6-17)

Team Divisions

  • Mountain Man Team
  • Mountain Woman Team
  • Mountain Coed Team
  • Mountain Youth Team – 6-17


Pick the Right Size Team

There are two team sizes.

  • Teams of 4 competitors
  • Teams of 6 competitors


Register Today!

Whether you are registering as an individual or a team, it is always best to register early and online.