Travel for Book Lovers: The Hunger Games Road Trip

If you’re a writer, odds are you’re also a reader. And if you’re a fan of The Hunger Games, the odds are in your favor. I’ve researched and created an awesome Hunger Games road trip that will bring the book to life.

Er…that is, without all the killing, mutant wasps, and fighting for your life stuff. You’ll be perfectly safe, I promise.

In the books, America has become the nation of Panem and divided into districts. Though Suzanne Collins has yet to release a map, she gives us clues in the book that lead us to suspect that District 12 lies within the Appalachian region. This includes parts of Kentucky, West Virginia, and North Carolina.

Here’s a fan-made map of what Panem and the districts might look like:

Are you ready to follow in Katniss’ footsteps? Here’s your guide to the ultimate Hunger Games road trip.

1. Tour a Coal Mine

Begin your journey in Beckley, West Virginia where you can visit a historic coal mine and camp. We all know that District 12 produces coal, and Katniss’ dad was a coal miner. Here you can discover what life was like in the mines for Katniss’ dad and other residents of District 12.

2.  Go for a Hike in Red River Gorge

Next, head to Eastern Kentucky. Not only is Kentucky part of District 12, but both Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson are Kentucky natives (And it’s my home state too!).

Discover why Katniss loved the woods and used it as a place to retreat from the hardships of her daily life by hiking through Red River Gorge. If you’re up for a challenge, test your Tribute skills by going rock climbing. And to make the experience complete, spend the night in a cabin.

3. Ride a Train through the Appalachian Mountains

Continue on to Stearns, Kentucky. Here you can ride the Big South Fork Scenic Railway and pretend like you’ve just been chosen as a tribute in the reaping and are now headed towards the Capitol.

4. Hit up a Bakery in Asheville

Next stop, Asheville, North Carolina! Many scenes from the Hunger Games were filmed in North Carolina, and this is where the stars stayed and spent their down time. Have fun exploring the city, and in honor of Peta, visit the City Bakery Cafe and have a slice of fresh bread or a cupcake.

 5. Get in Touch with Your Inner Tribute

There are lots of exciting adventures you can have around Asheville. If you’re feeling brave, you can go zip lining or white water rafting like Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson did while filming.

6. Visit the Film Locations in Dupont State Forest

Near Asheville you’ll find sights like Triple Falls, which was used in the scene where Katniss finds Peeta injured and camouflaged, and the spot where the cornucopia was placed in the arena. You can try to find the locations yourself, or you can take a guided Hunger Games tour.

I think the tour would be the better option; not only do they take you to the sites, but you’ll learn behind-the-scenes info. Plus, afterward you’ll get to participate in survival workshops and try your hand at archery!

7. Visit the Film Location of Henry River Mill Village

This abandoned mill near Asheville was used for parts of the Seam, as well as Peeta’s bakery. You can check this location out on your own, but because it’s on private property, you’ll only be able to see it from the road. To get up close, you’ll need to take a tour.

I think the tour would be worth it because you’ll get great photo opportunities and learn about the filming. And afterwards you’ll learn how to bake your own bread and play a game of archery tag with foam-tipped arrows!

8. Visit Filming Locations in Atlanta

For the final leg of your road trip, head down to Atlanta, Georgia. Here you can visit the Swan House, which was used as President Snow’s Mansion in the films, and “The Beach” in Clayton County International Park, which was used in arena scenes.

Again, you can visit these sites on your own, which are more easily accessible, or take a guided tour. The benefits of the tour are you’ll learn behind-the-scenes info, and take an archery workshop and play archery tag.

The End

You’ve reached the end of your journey! If you’re curious about what this route looks like on a map, I’ve plotted it out for you using roadtrippers.com because I’m a nice person:

route map2I’ve labeled all the points of interest in a nice bright green. Roadtrippers wouldn’t let me add Atlanta so I had to do it myself, so you’ll have to excuse some of the ghetoness.

But as you can see, I was careful to research and plot it out as a legit road trip you can actually take, not random locations spread out and zig-zagging all over 😉

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to take this trip! How did I do? Would you set out on this road trip adventure? Would you like to see more posts like this in the future? Give me your feedback in the comments below! 🙂

Until next time, may the odds be ever in your favor.

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