Take a driving tour of this fierce, famous family feud
A stolen pig. Ill-fated lovers. Fights and killings. It’s the stuff of legend, but it’s all true. Hop on an ATV and relive the famous Hatfields and McCoys feud as you explore the world’s longest off-road trail network. You’ll drive exactly where the 2 families battled it out across the Kentucky-West Virginia border!
Hatfield and McCoy history goes beyond the trails, too. When you’re done for the day, park your ATV and check out these highlights:
1. The Coal House
Start your tour at the Coal House in Williamson. This historic structure is made from 65 tons of coal and houses the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce. Here you can pick up a tour map, browse for souvenirs and even view artifacts from the feud.
2. Hog Trial Site
Preacher Anderson Hatfield’s cabin served as a pivotal spot in the feud. This is where the hog trial took place after Randolph McCoy accused Floyd Hatfield of stealing one of his pigs. The surrounding property is said to be where the feud’s “Romeo and Juliet” – Johnse Hatfield and Roseanna McCoy – met and fell in love. And it was also the site of the 1882 Election Day fight, when 2 of Devil Anse Hatfield’s brothers scuffled with 3 of Randolph McCoy’s sons, leaving Ellison Hatfield mortally wounded.
3. Hatfield Family Cemetery
You’ll have to park at the bottom of the hill and hike up a rocky dirt road to get to this cemetery, but the trek is worth it. A life-sized marble statue imported from Italy marks the grave of Devil Anse. The Hatfield family patriarch is buried here alongside his wife Levicy and son Johnse.
4. Pawpaw Tree Incident
As payback for Ellison’s death, the Hatfield clan captured Tolbert, Pharmer and Randolph McCoy, tied them to pawpaw trees on the banks of the Tug Fork River, and executed them. Today a highway marker along KY Route 1056 notes the stand of trees where the tragic events unfolded.
5. Historic Matewan
Historic Matewan holds a ton of history – from the Hatfield and McCoy Feud to the WV Mine Wars shootout known as the Battle of Matewan. (Fun fact: Matewan Police Chief Sid Hatfield was a distant relative of Devil Anse.) The Matewan Depot Replica Museum and the brand-new Hatfield McCoy Country Museum have photos and other feud memorabilia on exhibit.
Other events and activities
If you haven’t yet had your fill of feudin’ history, test your skills at geocaching on the Hatfield McCoy GeoTrail or enjoy a breezy ride on the Tug River with Hatfield & McCoy Airboat Tours. You can also celebrate with the families’ descendants every June during the annual Hatfield McCoy Reunion Festival, which includes a tug-of-war battle between the 2 families, and the Hatfield McCoy Marathon, which traces a route past feud sites in both states.
This post was last updated on October 18, 2017