Remember getting a pass from math class to play the old computer game “Oregon Trail”? The WHC is proud to bring the classic game (but not math class!) to life in our competitive event, Oregon Trail Live! OTL challenges teams of contestants to confront the difficulties of the Oregon Trail (as portrayed by the video game), from carrying 200 pounds of meat to running the rapids. Winner of the Outstanding Museum Educator award from the Oregon and California Trails Association and supported by the computer game’s developer, Oregon Trail Live provides a unique and fun way to learn about the Oregon Trail—while avoiding that dreaded fate of death by dysentery!
In this fun live-action game, teams compete in a variety of challenges across the Willamette Heritage Center's five-acre campus. Challenges often include (with new ones added regularly) a three-legged dysentery race, caulking your wagons, hunting for game, and more! At the end, we find out who the best (and most ill-fated) pioneers were in the award ceremony! This is a wonderful event for all ages.
OTL serves as an excellent educational opportunity by making history accessible, memorable, and FUN! Gather your family, friends, coworkers - anyone! - and test your pioneering skills at the Willamette Heritage Center. Grab a cold drink and some food in Miss Milly's Saloon & Arm Wrestling Emporium after your finish the "grueling" trek from Independence, Missouri and home to Oregon!
Compete for your spot in the Oregon Country!
Enjoy the sites and sounds of life on the trail with music and more!
Miss Milly's Saloon & Arm Wrestling Emporium
Grab a cold one and reminisce about your time on the trail!
How do you stack up on the Oregon Trail?
It's natural to be apprehensive before embarking on the Oregon Trail. Here are some questions and answers.
Pretty silly, honestly. Very silly. Hunting involves Nerf guns and college students dressed up as buffalo, if that tells you anything. But while there are lots of ridiculous challenges, we are also here to learn. There's a reason we're getting out of math class to play this game, right? So come ready to learn about Oregon history, which is brutal at times. Did you know that sometimes, parties would make it all the way here only to all drown in the Columbia? Like we said: brutal.
Well, costumes would be great, so long as you can still move freely. Here are some great images of people from the era. If you’re inclined, you can also dress up in more abstract things — a buffalo, maybe, or wagon axle. Mainly, though, you should wear comfy clothes. If you’re participating in the Grueling Pace Challenge, you should definitely wear lace-up shoes and athletic garb.
Technically, the wagon you make will be very, very tiny and no one will actually fit in it. But your wagon party can be two to four people, with at least one adult (over 18) in the party, or a family with up to 4 kids. You will also have an additional member of your party — in the registration packet, there is a cut-out silhouette that you should decorate and name. But do not get too attached, because chances are pretty good things will not go well for this member.
If you don’t have a full team, send us an email at email@example.com, and we’ll try to get you hooked up to a larger party.
Lots of people! The event is presented by the Willamette Heritage Center. Partners include Salem Summit Company, f/stop Fitzgerald, Yamhill County Historical Society, Cherry City Derby Girls, Kraftwork Taphouse and lots of others.
Yes! We are in need of lots of volunteers, ranging from tasks like medical team to being a fake undertaker. If you’re interested, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your skills, age and interest.