MORE ON THE GUIDE BOOK & LOCATIONS
As the mood strikes, or when something occurs to us, we will add items to this page. It is intended primarily for those of you who have already purchased our book, On The Trail Of The Last Of The Mohicans ...... as a kind of enhancement to it. Consider it Mohican Press tech support :) !!
If you haven't yet ordered a copy, but would like to, go to HOW TO PURCHASE THE BOOK ... Ordering Information.
Dupont Is Now Dupont ... Again!
2006 UPDATE! - Dupont State Forest now surrounds the Dupont Corporation plant ... as it used to. Seems the place has come full circle!
Final Piece To The Dupont Puzzle!
Bridal Veil Falls, the scene of most of the River Walk and the first shot of Under the Falls, was set to open April 1, 2001. Be sure to see directions to the Forest below. What follows assumes one is already at the Forest.
From the High Falls Bridge (about 1.5 miles to Falls)
From Reasonover Road (nearly 2 miles to Falls)
DuPont State Forest Update!
As of December 17, 2000, trails to High & Triple Falls will be open, joining those to Hooker Falls, in the newly expanded DuPont State Forest! Sometime in the first half of the year 2001, the final piece of the puzzle will be in place, as access to Bridal Veil Falls is finally completed. This will ... at long last, after all these years ... make publicly known the locations of all the sites seen in The Last of the Mohicans. To get to these gorgeous waterfalls:
Many thanks to Friends of the Falls & The Dupont State Forest!
The Continuing River Walk Saga AN UPDATE!
The hustle & bustle of nearly six months of filming ... including pre-production ... in the normally still western North Carolina mountains was long gone. Nowhere to be found where the trailers & stars; the cameras & lights ... Fort William Henry was but a rubble now. Even the film, the finished product, had come through the area ... and was gone! But our sojourn was just beginning! As the film made its appearance on video, in March 1993, about six months after its theatrical release, our quest to determine the exact location of each & every scene that appears on film was initiated. During that summer of '93, we were able to fairly well document all the scenes. One place, though we knew where it was, remained elusive, much to our chagrin!
This, of course, was the little two mile stretch of river, The Little River ... straddling the county lines of Henderson & Transylvania ... that featured four absolutely gorgeous waterfalls, each unique from the others, that was then owned by the DuPont Corporation. Though I pleaded ... and begged ... & groveled ... they refused me permission to enter the grounds and photograph the Falls! I had tried every trick in the book, all to no avail. The book would have to be presented without these scenes.
Well, hold on! Something I said must have made sense, and several months later, after we'd given up all hope, THEY called US and asked if we were still interested. "But, of COURSE!!!" And off we went to photograph the Falls at last! This was February '94. Accompanied by a DuPont guide, I was allowed 2 visits. One then, in February, a kind of scout, and then another, later in the Spring, when full foliage adorned the area. Originally, their logic had been that they did not want to encourage visitors to the Falls. Now, though, after reconsidering, they had decided the booklet would make nice "favors" for their business associates. Thus, permission came about ... with 2 conditions: I could not actually divulge the location in print and I had to donate several copies of the finished product. No problem! I had the cherished photos!
DuPont sold the property a couple of years later to Sterling Diagnostic Imaging who continued the trend of maintaining the Falls with nicely marked trails, picnic pavilions, and a sense of preservation ... all for the benefit of company employees & their guests. It was at this time that we made arrangements to include The River Walk as a part of our 1999 Great Mohican Gathering. Sterling welcomed us with open arms, even offering us free box lunches as part of the deal! It was sometime after this that Sterling sold out to AGFA who decided to sell off a huge tract of the property, including all four waterfalls, placing our little visit in serious jeopardy! Luckily, for us, a local land trust, comprised largely of Sterling employees, was holding the property until a suitable buyer could be found - gone were the lunches, but our visit was salvaged! - luckily for EVERYONE, one of the four falls, Hooker Mills, was bought by the newly formed DuPont State Forest. At least one of these four was now accessible to all!
Just after The Gathering of 1999, the remaining property was sold to developer, Jim Anthony. High Falls, Triple Falls, & Bridal Veil Falls were now in serious danger ... not only of inaccessibility, but more importantly, of destruction! All the sordid details of the bidding process & double-talk can best be told by others. Suffice it to say, Mr. Anthony reneged on his word to make the falls accessible & minimize development. The State of North Carolina, an original bidder on the property, in the hopes of adding it to the State Forest system, has had its interest rekindled. A fight is on ... the moment of truth, barring any more delays, is at hand. Sometime between now & the not-too-distant future, the fate of the Falls will be decided.
OCTOBER 23, 2000 UPDATE! And now, as promised, a decision has been made. On the late afternoon of Monday, October 23, 2000, the North Carolina Council of State voted, by a margin of 9-0, to invoke the power of Eminent Domain and claim the lands in question for inclusion in the DuPont State Forest ... sure now to become one of the Jewels of North Carolina! These falls, scenic wonders of The Last of the Mohicans, are now public lands!
ON INDEFINITE HOLD
A companion volume to On The Trail of the Last of the Mohicans!
We Want To Do This Right! Release date will be pushed back to late 2001 - at the earliest. This will accommodate the results of the pending River Walk Location transaction as well as allow us more time to present a full picture of all the goings on that have been this Web Site! STAY TUNED!
Books will be packaged together AND offered separately. Previous owners of On The Trail ... will be offered the new volume at a discount.
Trials & Trivializations
And so, I hope these few little morsels help to make the booklet just that much more complete. I have loved putting it together for you, have enjoyed the contacts - and encouragement - I�ve had with many of you via AOL and the Internet, and feel now that, finally, I can put it to rest.
A Shoney�s Morning
It was with those closing words that I ended my first foray into writing a guide book to the locations used in the filming of The Last of the Mohicans. Ah well, so much for the best laid plans. Put to rest it wasn�t. Three years, many interviews, a partnership with Eric Schweig, and a huge Web Site later ... we have this! What? Another book? There was a time, please understand, that The Last of the Mohicans was not the sole purpose of my existence. Dimly, I do remember a time before Mann. For More, See: A SHONEY'S MORNING.
This new volume will be released sometime late
Not a rehashing of the original by any means, it will be packaged WITH it,
as a 300, or so, page supplement! (Also available separately for those who may
already own On The Trail of the Last of the Mohicans.) This Companion
will be just that ... further clarifying directions, adding more
locations-related information, bringing all the accommodation listings
up-to-date ... and much more. We will take you by the hand along the path that has
been this Web Site experience for us ... a look behind-the-scenes at the trials
& tribulations you might not have realized have accompanied OUR
pathfinding venture! Plus, the growth of the phenomenon come to be known as
Biltmore Estate Update
Biltmore Estate has moved its ticket window inside the Estate property, well past the Gate House. In addition, a new road may make the directions in On The Trail of the Last of the Mohicans a bit confusing. The new Reception & Ticket Center sits in front of the site of The Burial Ground, well beyond on the wooded knoll. Ignore it, and all should be well!
On 7/22, the Hendersonville Times-News made public the sale of the Sterling property to Jim Anthony, developer and owner of the Cliffs of Glassy, Cliffs Valley, and Cliffs Vineyards. Anthony has stated his intention to preserve the natural beauty and features on the site, and to allow managed access to members of his resorts, AGFA employees, and potentially members of the public. He has also stated his willingness to discuss arrangements with the State and the Conservation Fund. (A previous article in the Transylvania Times suggested that Anthony may be willing to sell 1200 of the 2200 acres to the State, including the waterfalls.)
As of Thursday, May 6, 1999 the display at Chimney Rock Park - including Hawkeye's outfit, Chingachgook's war club, Cora's hat, Magua's knife, & a canoe paddle - will no longer be found at the Park. Twentieth Century Fox recalled the props for inclusion in a Fox museum.
Effective October, 1998, the 704 area code, listed in the book, has been changed to 828. Please make note of that!
One area NOT disclosed in the guide book is that of the four waterfalls which make up the River Walk,
a part of Canoes, and another snippet of film. Recently, the State of North Carolina has purchased a large tract of land from a private corporation and turned
it into the DuPont State Forest, open to the public. Within the Forest's boundaries is Hooker Mills Falls ... the falls the canoes actually plunge over. (Unfortunately, the other
three waterfalls remain on private property, at this time.) To reach
the trailhead, and the falls ... "from downtown Hendersonville, NC ...take Kanuga Road. [You'll travel a distance to the Henderson/Transylvania county line.] Go 1.5 miles past the entrance to Holmes State Educational Forest to DuPont Road. Turn left on
Rd. and drive about three miles until you see Little River bridge (at the bottom of a long
hill). Park near the gated dirt road on the right just before the bridge. Walk around the gate
and along the dirt road, bearing left at the fork and continuing parallel to the river. In a few
minutes you will approach the top of Hooker Falls. Continue on the path to good viewing
location at the pool below!"
It has been brought to our attention, by a reader, that there may be some confusion in following the directions to the locations on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate. (page 48) Please consider all directions, to each individual location, as beginning at the Entrance Gate. They are NOT in any sequential order!
What we believe to be an excellent itinerary for a jaunt into MohicanLand ... a one day excursion ...
View of the gorge from The Final Scene.
Start at the location of The Opening & Closing Vistas. Be there at dawn for a spectacular view of a mountain sunrise (as you see on the front cover of the book). Next, explore the location of The Ambush, with its accompanying sites - this will include a pocket of Carolina virgin forest, as well as waterfalls and rugged gorge country. Move on to The Final Scene. A true adventure awaits you at this particular place, as you scramble over rocks, crawl through crevices, and gaze out at a truly awesome panorama. NOT recommended for small children. Then, you'll be able to make it to the site of Lake George & Fort William Henry in time for a soothing sunset over the lake. Watch, as Nature reclaims the area. It'll pretty much exhaust you - even though all these places are relatively close to one another - but it's a really fun day trip!
Don't be fooled ... Through the use of filters & other Hollywood effects, many of the locations appear somewhat different on film then they do in real life. If you've ever seen the trailer to the film - available with the THX version of the movie - you'll see the difference. Compare what you find out in the "wild" with these shots!
One of the more complex, and potentially disjointed, scenes in the movie is the filming of Canoes. Reading the corresponding excerpt of the script reveals several changes, not the least of which is the almost complete absence of the "white water" (excepting the waterfalls, of course).
After ruling out the French Broad River for this scene, the setting of Rescue was decided upon for the canoe chase. Here, there is much more white water than at the location seen in the film. Filming did occur at this site, though in discussion with Soldier #1 we have learned that he has no recollection of being in that area. This leads us to believe that the shooting that took place there was either just test shoots, or perhaps filming of segments that involved stunt men & women. According to Craig Northington of Carolina Wilderness, who offer white water rafting trips through this area, "He [Mann] was more impressed with [this area, scene of Rescue], because of its steep canyon walls and rocky bluffs that seemed to duplicate the frontier look of upstate New York in the 1750's."
Why all this footage was never used; why Michael Mann chose the location that appears on film; why he opted for an "over the falls" rather than a white water segment ... is unknown to us. Of course, it all works, and a side benefit is that it gives us an extra location or two to visit!
As with Canoes, there were other times where various scenes were filmed in more than one place, yet only one made it to the screen. Due to dissatisfaction with the results, or other factors - in some cases they were mere practice runs - scenes were often re-shot elsewhere. This happened with many of the soldier oriented segments, in particular.
The Duncan's Last Stand location you see in the movie.
One example is the "Duncan's Last Stand" scene. As with this example, much of the other Massacre Valley footage was originally shot in the vicinity of The Elk Hunt, in the picnic area and in the field directly across the road. Extras, National Forest Service personnel & locals all place such action at that site. None of the footage you see on screen is recognizable as having been filmed there, however ... even though shooting sequences, marching, etc. were all done there. In fact, one reliable source even insisted that the portion of the scene where Magua cuts the heart out of Colonel Munro was filmed there. I am confident that that scene was re-shot at the location mentioned in the book - having positively identified the spot myself, as the photo in the book bears out. Soldier #1 reinforces this ... as to some question regarding Col. Munro's withdrawn heart, it was filmed right there in Massacre Valley. I should know, see, i was Munro's stand in for that, or lay in. whatever . so, next time you watch, just remember it was me on the ground with my leg under a fake horse and a bucket of red karo syrup next to my head.
For those interested, here is a summary of the degree of difficulty each scene earned in my attempts to locate the actual locations:
There were a variety of minor mini-locations I discovered along the way. Invariably, they are in the vicinity of the locations chronicled above. Happy Trails!
The shot of the actual Burial Scaffold was NOT taken at the scene of The Burial Ground, but rather near the shores of Lake James, where it was constructed, at the scene of Lake George & Fort William Henry.
And, another little segment that was spliced in is the scene where Hawkeye shoots Duncan to end his agony. Duncan is, of course, in The Huron Village ... Hawkeye & company are across the road and up on the cliff, a little upstream of where Magua is killed. Soldier #1 says of this ... also, to make things more ludicrous, i also stood in for maddy stowe as they adjusted her lighting for the shot in which hawker shoots heyward. strange but true. all in a day's work.
Thanks to our Soldier friends for these bits of info ...
If you've got two or three days to spend in the area, here's another Mohican itinerary ...
You can begin up at The Elk Hunt ... this wilderness area can take a while to explore, especially if you take in the Tracking The War Party location. There's quite a bit of the movie you can see here. Take your time. Then, as you drive towards Albany ... err, I mean Asheville ... and if you're feeling really adventurous, drop by on the Camerons' and see what's cookin' at the old homestead. You should probably allow a full day in Asheville for the locales that comprise Albany, parts 1 & 2. There is an admission fee at part 2, so you may as well get your money's worth! Webb's HQ's won't take you long - you'll be amazed at how small the area of filming is - but the effect it should have on you will be everlasting! Then, head the 25 miles or so southeast to The Cliffs. If you haven't ever been there, or even if you have, this place will amaze. Probably the most powerful moments of LOTM occur here, and you can explore them all. Wear your hiking boots! If you've got an extra day, combine this tour with the first one described above and you'll have followed a large part of the trail of The Last Of The Mohicans!
If you haven't yet purchased the book, you may be wondering about some of the photos which are blended into the background of some of this site's pages ... They are all of the actual locations seen in the film and are contained (or most of them are) in the book ...
On the Home Page is a view of The Opening & Closing Vistas. Next, on the Pathfinding Menu Page, we find a scene from The Escort. Within the section of Samples From The Book is a view of the site of Cameron's Cabin, the fence from same, a view of Massacre Valley, and two views of Albany - the bridge and the courtyard. If you go to the Order Page, there is a view of The Cliffs. The view right behind this text comes from Tracking The War Party. The menu page for the Script has the creek crossing from The Elk Hunt as its backdrop. Finally, on our Links Page, is one of the beautiful waterfalls of The River Walk. And now you know!
On a past climb up at The Final Scene, Eric Hurley (Soldier #2) & Susan Houck (2nd from right) pose with assorted friends & family. Shortly after this photo was taken, it snowed!
Be sure to check out the map on THE FILMING AT LAKE JAMES page for a complete visual picture of the locations at this site.
VISIT OTHER MUSINGS PAGES:
The MOHICAN MUSINGS, MORE MOHICAN MUSINGS, STILL MORE MOHICAN MUSINGS, EVEN MORE MOHICAN MUSINGS, AND EVEN MORE MOHICAN MUSINGS, MORE, MORE MOHICAN MUSINGS, MOHICAN MUSINGS ... Part 7 & MOHICAN MUSINGS ... Part 8.
AND, THE MOHICAN MUSINGS INDEX.
Last Update: 02/04/2007