Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Western North Carolina's Chimney Rock State Park in the Movies (and More!)

Will you be in Western North Carolina this weekend? Are you looking for something different to do? How about a mountains-and-a-movie night—and a date with Daniel Day Lewis and Madeleine Stowe?

It's hard to believe that it's been 20 years since the film The Last of the Mohicans was released in 1992. In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Chimney Rock State Park is offering a chance to view this epic historical film, based on the novel by James Fenimore Cooper, in an outdoor venue surrounded by the very scenery depicted in the film. 

Portions of this movie were filmed right here at the park! We can't think of a better way to be part of the action than to be surrounded by the actual majestic grandeur of the setting portrayed in the movie.

Here are few fun facts about the filming of The Last of the Mohicans:
  • The last seventeen minutes of the movie were filmed in the park.
  • The climatic fight scene was filmed at the top of Hickory Nut Falls.
  • Some of the movie scenes were filmed throughout the valley formerly known as Carson City and Hickory Nut Flats.
  • In the scene where the characters walk behind a waterfall, that waterfall actually does not exist in nature but was filmed at an Asheville studio.
  • Chimney Rock State Park was chosen as a filming location because of its resemblance to the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York where the story is set.  
Chimney Rock State Park's Movie on the Meadows: The Last of the Mohicans 20th Anniversary showing is scheduled for this Saturday, June 16. The gate opens at 7:30p.m. and the movie begins at 8:45p.m. The cost is $5 per car or it's complimentary with your receipt for paid park admission for that day. Advance $3 parking tickets are only available at Lake Lure Ingles from May 27-June 15.

The park suggests that visitors bring a blanket or chair and a flashlight. Pre-show entertainment begins at 8:15p.m. and concessions and movie merchandise will be available to moviegoers.

If you're there for the day, you may be interested in going on one of the two scheduled guided hikes to see the film locations in the park. These hikes are scheduled for 3:35p.m. and 4:45p.m. The hikes are free with park admission that day but limited to the first 15 people. Sign up is first-come, first-serve at the park's Cliff Dweller Gifts starting at 1p.m. that Saturday.

Don't fret if you can't get here by this weekend. Plan your future Western North Carolina vacation getaway and then remember to bring a DVD of The Last of the Mohicans along with you to your mountain retreat. That way, you can have a mountains-and-a-movie night of your very own.

Before we go, here's a little extra trivia for you. Do you know the names of the two other popular movies that were filmed at Chimney Rock State Park? And for an extra bonus, can you name the popular movie filmed just down the road from the park at Lake Lure? Venture a guess in our comment section! (You can find the answers by clicking here.)

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