The Appalachians

The Appalachians

The Appalachians are the chief mountain system of eastern North America, and the oldest mountains in the United States. They stretch southwestward for about 1,500 miles from Quebec in Canada to central Alabama. The mountains form the eastern continental divide between the rivers that flow into the Atlantic Ocean and those that drain into the Gulf of Mexico.

The chief ranges are: Notre Dame Mountains (Quebec), Green Mountains (Vermont), White Mountains (New Hampshire), Adirondack Mountains (New York), the Alleghenies (Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia), the Blue Ridge Mountains (Extending from northern Georgia into southern Pennsylvania), the Cumberland (Virginia and Tennessee), the Black Mountains (North Carolina) and the Great Smoky Mountains (Tennessee and North Carolina).

There are more than 40 peaks over 6,000 feet (1,829 m.). The chief peaks of the range include Mount Washington in New Hampshire (6,288 feet; 1,916 m.), Clingmans Dome in Tennessee (6,642 feet; 2,024 m.) and the highest peak of the entire system, Mount Mitchell in North Carolina (6,684 feet; 2,037 m.), which is also the highest point east of the Mississippi River.

Rivers draining into the Atlantic Ocean have cut many valleys with steep sides, especially in the central part of the range. Geographers call these valleys water gaps or wind gaps, depending upon whether or not a river runs through them.

The Appalachian Mountains are my home range, and I have spent many a day hiking and climbing here. Some of my favorite spots are the Black, Balsam and Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.

Return to Mountain Ranges from The Appalachians

Weather for the southern Appalachians of NC:

Mount Mitchell


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