To locals and outsiders alike, it is well known that there is an extraordinary amount of fun to be had in the mountains of Western North Carolina – Smoky Mountain attractions abound. But, if you’re a movie buff, there are a few places hidden in the mountains that might warrant your enthusiasm. Here are our top three picks for movie scene locations in the Great Smoky Mountain area.

Smoky Mountain Attraction #1: The Hunger Games Movie Scene Location

For the filming of the popular movie, The Hunger Games, a couple of scenes are shot within the Asheville area, including the landscape of Katniss’ home, District 12. The Henry River Mill Village near Morganton, NC, has been abandoned since the 1970s and made a prime location for the filming of the characters’ desolate home. The village is now open for tours and special events due to the film’s success and popularity, and the money will go to the restoration and preservation of the historic town. Another favorite scene from the movie filmed in WNC is the scene in which Peeta camouflages himself into a rock, filmed at Triple Falls in DuPont State Forest, NC. Learn more.

Smoky Mountain Attraction #2: A Scene from Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump fans visiting WNC might be happy to learn that a portion of Forrest’s  coast-to-coast run was filmed around a curve in the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. As Fleetwood Mac’s infamous ballad “Go Your Own Way” is heard in the background, Forrest can be seen running around the bend of Grandfather Mountain, NC. A Smoky Mountain attraction in itself, Grandfather Mountain is a hotspot for fun activities, including the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, where Scottish clans from NC gather to compete in bagpiping competitions, sword dances, sheep herding, wrestling, and track and field events. Tickets and information are available online.

Smoky Mountain Attraction #3: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The most recent and widely acclaimed movie to be filmed in WNC is Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The film and supporting cast won numerous academy awards, and a large portion was filmed in downtown Sylva, approximately 50 minutes from Asheville. Throughout the movie, the beautiful Jackson County Courthouse can be seen looming in the background, and Maggie Valley’s very own J Arthur’s restaurant is used for the awkward date scene between James and Mildred, played by Peter Dinklage and Frances McDormand. Learn more.

A Great Place to Stay Near Movie Scene Locations and WNC Attractions

As you’re touring the various Smoky Mountain attractions and movie scene locations on your Western NC road trip, you’ll need a place to spend the night and refresh yourself for the next day’s adventures. The best lodging we’ve found in the area is the Meadowlark Motel. Like a tranquil scene right out of one of your favorite movies, the legendary Meadowlark Motel has been family-owned and operated for over four decades. Set on the idyllic Jonathan Creek in Maggie Valley, at the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Parkway, Meadowlark Motel offers an array of accommodations, from guest rooms to a cabin or cottage. Enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi and a complimentary continental breakfast during your stay. Stroll through their community garden or roast hot dogs down by the creek. They have an outdoor pavilion with a full kitchen if you’d like to prepare a full meal. You can walk to the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds or local restaurants. Best of all, you’ll find dozens more Smoky Mountain attractions right in Maggie Valley near the motel. Book your stay today.


Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash