Here's Where to Go Axe Throwing in the Hudson Valley
The fast-growing sport of axe throwing comes to the Hudson Valley.
Skill and art are at play in axe throwing, and you can practice both with the help of mobile Hudson Valley Hatchet, pictured here, and at other local venues.
Photo by Hudson Valley Hatchet
When Eric Hansen was young, he’d spend hours at his family’s Catskills hunting camp throwing a hatchet against a tree just for the fun of making it stick. Now, Hansen and his fiancée, Rachel, have turned a rural pastime into a lucrative gig with Hudson Valley Hatchet, a traveling axe-throwing experience begun in September 2018.
The sport of axe throwing has grown rapidly in just a few years, starting in Toronto before sprouting across Canada and the U.S. Eric, who is a full-time police officer, and Rachel, an English teacher, came up with the idea of a portable range. “Choosing to launch the business as a mobile unit started with Rachel's love for festivals,” Hansen says. “We were hesitant with the time commitment needed for a venue. As parents of two young boys, our family comes first.”
“I was inspired by other setups I had seen on social media,” he explains, “and, with a little farm-boy ingenuity, created our portable setup — within the guidelines of the insurance company.”
Hudson Valley Hatchet is based in Gardiner and travels to parties and events, providing enclosed targets, hatchets weighing just over a pound each, and coaching for each session. “Most are hesitant to throw, but after a few bullseyes they come back for more,” Hansen says. “There’s something so gratifying about seeing the axe stick to the target while a crowd of people cheers you on.”
At Vikings Hatchet Hurling in Port Jervis — which has a main room with 14 targets, a VIP room with six targets, a knife club, and an in-house league — the social aspect is key. “We wanted to create a place where people hang out and relax,” says co-owner Dustin Adams. “You laugh a lot, and after about three or four throws, any angst you might have been carrying is gone.”
Where to Throw