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Don’t Be Surprised if You Don’t Want to Leave Heritage Farm

Just a few miles from downtown Huntington, Heritage Farm, West Virginia’s first and only Smithsonian affiliate offers visitors of all ages a unique, historical Appalachian experience complete with museums and activities not found anywhere else in the region.  

Heritage Farm and Village is such a special place, don’t be surprised if you don’t want to leave. And with five individual inns on the property, you can enjoy a lengthier farm experience. Stay in one of the beautiful, antique-filled homes, each with fully equipped kitchens, which harken back to a simpler time. Enjoy peaceful views from front porch rocking chairs, a game of checkers, or a hike along the property’s five miles of trails.

There’s nothing quite like the excitement of a child. Make friends with miniature horses, laugh with llamas, and pet piglets at the Petting Zoo.  At the Childrens Activity Center, kids can play with a typewriter, learn to milk pretend cows, and watch bees building a hive. The Six Simple Machines Discovery Zone is an interactive playground that features the six simple machines and different types of renewable energy. The MakerSpace is a place for all ages and skill levels to explore and foster creativity.

Parents will enjoy the seven stand-alone museums that offer glimpses into early Appalachian pioneer life. The Industry Museum invites guests to explore advancements in regional industry and commerce like timber and coal, while the Transportation Museum documents the evolution of transportation with an impressive collection of early automobiles, trucks, and even a stagecoach. The Progress Museum showcases the evolution of domestic life since the 1850s and houses the fully functional Artisan Guild Print Shop. Enjoy down-home cooking at Village Vittles, and then watch a blacksmith forge a tool at the Blacksmith Shop.

Take a seat in the fully restored One-Room Schoolhouse that sits on the former site of Ratcliff School, or recall a simpler time at the Country Store Museum. The newest museum, The Bowes Doll and Carriage Museum, features one of the best private collections of dolls in the country and will delight children and adults alike. 

The Nature Center is a unique “living classroom” experience where visitors are able to learn about the wildlife of Appalachia while actually being surrounded by live animals native to the area.According to Wildlife Director, Rebekah Perry Franks, “The Nature Center theme is “An Appalachian Backyard Experience”. When you walk into the building, you feel a sense of home…but not just your home, it is also home for the amazing wildlife of Appalachia.

The recently added Treehouse Trek takes visitors to new heights via a 750 foot series of canopy bridges that send you 60 feet high into the forest. Visitors will be eye level with squirrels traversing from tree to tree, and birds gathering seeds and insects for food, and other fascinating animal behaviors that you normally would miss if you were passively wandering at ground level. Offshoots of the bridges will allow participants to exercise like the native wildlife in unique ways utilizing ropes and planks to challenge guests to balance like a chipmunk, climb like a raccoon, jump like a squirrel, perch like a bird and hang like an opossum.

The Adventure Park celebrates the more ‘adventurous” side on our Appalachian heritage. Soar over and back across the valley at 40 mph on dual 1100-foot long RedTail Racers ziplines! While traveling at the speed of a Red-Tailed Hawk, get a bird’s eye view of Heritage Farm. Adventure on top of the mountain! TalithaKoum, which means “rise up” in Aramaic, is a challenging aerial adventure course with 3 levels ranging from 15 to 40 feet high. Just as the Appalachian settlers climbed over and around the rivers and untamed forest, explore nearly 30 different elements! Wilder’s Zip-n-Climb is made up of 2 levels: the first being 5 feet high, and the second being 15 feet high. With 17 elements, the course includes rope and cable bridges, a cargo net, and a zipline fit for kids and adults alike! Challenge downhill trails through the Appalachian forest! At the all-new Mountain Rim Bike Park. Traverse the 10 paths of varying difficulty, enjoying the scenery and challenges from the top of the hill to the bottom. Bikes are available for rent, or you can bring your own.

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