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Where Was The Last Of The Mohicans Actually Filmed?

Michael Mann has somehow avoided the same sort of pop culture reverence as many of his contemporaries (such as Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and William Friedkin), but movie lovers who are "in the know" would be quick to tell you that Mann's body of work is every bit as impressive. 

Mann is, of course, best known for his work in the crime genre, delivering staples like "Thief," "Heat," and "Collateral," over the years. Given the director's proficiency in the realm of crime fiction, 1992's period thriller "The Last of the Mohicans" is a bit of an anomaly in his cinematic oeuvre. Based on the beloved novel from James Fenimore Cooper, and set during the height of the French and Indian War, the film follows a trio of the titular native peoples (Daniel Day-Lewis, Russell Means, and Eric Schweig) as they attempt to escort the daughters of a British Officer (Madeleine Stowe and Jodhi May) to the safety.

Things do not go according to plan, with Mann and company delivering an electrifying tale of survival full of thrilling set-pieces, brutal fight scenes, and well-executed romantic entanglements. And it's all meant to be set against the lavish backdrop of upstate New York's Adirondack Mountain range. 

However, "The Last of the Mohicans" wasn't actually filmed anywhere near the Adirondacks, with the production shooting much further south, among the dazzling vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

The Last of the Mohicans was shot almost entirely in the mountains of North Carolina

For point of reference, the Blue Ridge Mountains largely run through Western North Carolina, though they stretch into parts of several other states. And yes, they're a long way from the Adirondacks. 

But per MovieLocations.com, most of "The Last of the Mohicans" production indeed went down in The Old North State. Specifically, the film was largely shot just outside of Asheville, NC and the nearby DuPont State Recreational Forest. In terms of jaw-dropping mountain views, "The Last of the Mohicans" could not have been better served by the region's lush forests, lakes, and riverside settings. Some of the key shooting locations, as Greensboro News and Record boasted in 1992, were at Lake James in Morganton, the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, and Asheville's Biltmore Estate.

Mann made particularly good use of the area's abundant water falls, with the Hickory Nut Falls proving a truly stunning backdrop for the film's final showdown between Means' Chingachgook, and Wes Studi's Huron warrior Magua. Ditto for the aptly-named Bridal Veil Falls, behind which Day-Lewis' Hawkeye utters the famous line, "Stay alive no matter what occurs. I will find you." — though the scene itself was apparently shot on a soundstage. And as for the picaresque Triple Falls Hawkeye and the gang traverse en route to safety, they're every bit as lovely in "The Last of the Mohicans" as they were in 2012's "The Hunger Games."

As it is, if you're ever in the Asheville area, you can actually visit most of the film's more prominent locations. And if you're a fan of the film, that trip would be well worth your time.