Our high school freshman and her friends are counting the hours until the release of The Hunger Games movie on Friday, March 23rd. The Princess spent most of her Winter school vacation week reading the trilogy from cover to cover, and we have spent hours discussing the plot and characters. For those who still don’t know much about the series, it tells the tale of a post-apocalyptic North America where an oppressive government forces teens and tweens to battle one another to the death in a nationally broadcast ritual known as the Hunger Games.
What we only learned recently is that The Hunger Games movie filmed many of its outdoor scenes on location in western North Carolina. If you are going to be visiting the area this spring or summer you can put together your own Hunger Games movie tour, with stops at some of these locations:
- DuPont State Recreational Forest : Located in Brevard, the forest’s waterfalls, pines and poplars, hidden lakes and fishing streams were the setting for many Hunger Games arena scenes. Walk the trails and look for Katniss’ pond, where Peeta camouflaged himself. You might find traces of pyrotechnics from the fireball sequence.
- Henry River Mill Village : Just off Interstate 40 at Exit 119 you can drive by the abandoned Henry River Mill Village, which served as the location for the Seam and the Mellark family bakery. The village is private property, but nearby Hildebran Heritage Museum is a good stop to learn more about the area.
- Uptown Shelby : Private warehouses in Shelby were used in scenes of the Reaping, the Hob and other District 12 locations. Unfortunately, most of the sets used in production have been torn down and much of the filming took place in a secured private warehouse complex. You can, of course, get a sense of the local atmosphere.
- The “Big Ivy” Coleman Boundary area of the Pisgah National Forest: Located in northern Buncombe County below the Blue Ridge Parkway, this area boasts 6,000 foot peaks and many waterfalls. Pre-Games scenes with Katniss and Gale were filmed here.
- Along the Blue Ridge Parkway, some of the film’s most violent battle scenes were filmed at the North Fork Reservoir, which is unfortunately off limits to the general public to protect the local drinking water supply. You can see glimpses from the Craggy Pinnacle Trail, accessed at the Craggy Gardens visitor center above Asheville.
With summer coming North Carolina hopes many families will visit this part of the state both to see where the film was shot and to enjoy all the area has to offer. In the spirit of The Hunger Games, the Bryson County Nantahala Outdoor Center offers workshops and classes in wilderness first aid, animal tracking and trapping, friction fire, wild foods and medicinal plants. The U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte is home the world’s largest manmade river and offers many activities including rock climbing and survival programs for adults and families. When you want your creature comforts head to Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood on North Davidson Street which is home to restaurants such as Cabo Fish Taco and Amelie’s French Bakery.
Photos courtesy VisitNC.com