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Nature in Cinema: a movie tour through Georgia’s parks

June 7, 2024 1:32 PM

By: Sammie Purcell

Sweetwater Creek State Park.

Credit: Courtesy of Georgia Department of Natural Resources State Parks & Historic Sites

With summer just around the corner, I’ll bet you movie buffs are wondering how to get some good outdoors time in. What if I told you you could do so and get your movie fix at the same time?

The film industry in Georgia has grown exponentially over the past few decades, and so much of the state’s beautiful scenery can be found in some of Hollywood’s biggest films and television shows. Keep scrolling for a Georgia movie tour through some of the projects that have put the state’s natural beauty on the big screen.


Amicalola Falls State Park

Movies: A Walk in the Woods and Trouble With the Curve

A shot from “A Walk in the Woods” in Amicalola Falls.

Credit: Photo courtesy Frank Masi / Broad Green Pictures

The next time you take your first steps onto the Appalachian Trail in Amicalola Falls State Park, take comfort in knowing that Robert Redford and Nick Nolte have taken those same steps. The stars filmed the 2015 movie A Walk in the Woods, about two friends who decide to hike the trail, in the park, and also hit some other gorgeous spots along the way.

Clint Eastwood’s 2012 baseball film, Trouble With the Curve, filmed in several cities across Georgia, including Atlanta, Athens and Gainesville. Reportedly, the longest stretch of filming took place over 10 days at the Amicalola Lodge in Dawsonville.


Currahee Mountain

TV Series: Band of Brothers

Before the 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone besides history buffs who knew the importance of Currahee Mountain. The mountain served as a training site for Army paratroopers at Camp Toccoa during World War II and is featured prominently in the Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks-created series. The first episode is called “Currahee,” chronicling the training that went on at Toccoa. 


Hard Labor Creek State Park

Movies: Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

Friday the 13th is still months away, but if you want to brave this natural landmark before the scariest day of the year comes around, now’s your chance. Back in the 1980s, Hard Labor Creek State Park served as the filming location for Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. If you want to get extra spooky, also check out New Covington Cemetery, which was used reportedly for the scenes where Tommy digs up Jason’s grave.


Panola Mountain State Park

TV Series: Cobra Kai, The Vampire Diaries and The Outsider

Vaughters’ Barn in Panola Mountain State Park, which can be seen in the television show “The Outsider.”

Credit: Photo courtesy Pineapple Public Relations

Many projects have been filmed in the gorgeous Panola Mountain State Park, but if you’ve ever seen the HBO series The Outsider, you’ve already seen one of the park’s most famous landmarks up close and personal. The spooky barn that features prominently in the Jason Bateman show is none other than the historic Vaughters’ Barn. Hopefully, seeing it in real life won’t be nearly as scary as what happens in The Outsider.


Red Top Mountain State Park

Movies: Kill the Messenger

Back in 2013, Kill the Messenger – starring Jeremy Renner as a reporter looking to expose the CIA’s involvement in running cocaine – filmed in multiple locations all over the state, including the State Capitol building and Red Top Mountain State Park. During filming, our friends at Georgia Entertainment snapped a few photos of the set, including some of the period cars that would be used in the film. Take a look here.


Sweetwater Creek State Park

Movies/TV Series: The Resident, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Killing Season, Boy Erased, A Very Loud Christmas, Jungle Cruise, Just Mercy, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, The Walking Dead, Cobra Kai, Atlanta

The New Manchester Mill Ruins in Sweetwater Creek State Park, which can be seen in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”

Credit: Photo courtesy Pineapple Public Relations

A slew of films and television shows have used the beautiful Sweetwater Creek State Park as their backdrop. But perhaps the most iconic use of the park in film is in The Hunger Games series. In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, the stunning New Manchester Mill Ruins are on full display. 


Tallulah Gorge State Park

Movies: Deliverance, Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

A behind the scenes shot from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” in Tallulah Gorge State Park.

Credit: Photo by Matt Kennedy

From the beginning of Georgia’s film history to now. The film that put Georgia on the map as a spot for film production was 1972’s Deliverance, starring Burt Reynolds, and Jon Voight and featuring the stunning landscape of Tallulah Gorge State Park. Deliverance is landmark feat of cinema, and just a year after its release then-Gov. Jimmy Carter would create the Georgia Film Commission to profit off of the film’s success.

Decades later, Tallulah Gorge has continued to be a popular filming location for movies such as Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.


Wormsloe State Historic Site

Movies/TV Series: Roots, The General’s Daughter, The Last Song, Magic Mike XXL

Wormsloe State Historic Site.

Credit: Photo by Victoria Comella

Savannah has a been a popular spot for film production in the state, with the Wormsloe State Historic Site featuring prominently in a number of movies and television shows. 

The 1977 acclaimed series Roots was filmed at Wormsloe, the location chosen after author Alex Haley visited Savannah and thought the salt flats in the area could pass for Gambia. The iconic tree-lined road in Wormsloe can be seen in movies such as The Last Song, starring Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth.

This story comes to GPB through a reporting partnership with Rough Draft Atlanta.

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