Facts About the Appalachian Mountains
The Appalachian Mountains are a group of mountain ranges that extend for about 2,200 miles (3,540 kilometers) in the Eastern United States. The range runs from Alabama north to Canada and is divided into five sections (see map). From east to west, these divisions are the Great Smoky Mountains, Blue Ridge, Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians (Virginia), Cumberland Plateau and Appalachian Plateau.
The Appalachians have formed during the creation of Pangaea hundreds of millions of years ago from what was then one supercontinent. This led to an unusual mix in which some rocks contain both older and younger strata often called “tilt blocks. ” This became the foundation for the development of the Appalachian Mountains, first as a result of uplift and later as a result of erosion.
The Appalachian region is one of North America’s great natural resources. It contains many important minerals and hydrocarbons. In addition to providing coal, iron ore and limestone, it also offers recreational opportunities that bring millions of tourists into the region each year. The mountains also cover much of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut; representing millions of people whose economic well-being depends on the continued prosperity of the mountains.
The Appalachian Mountains began forming about 300 million years ago. The Appalachians are made up of sedimentary rocks that originally accumulated in a shallow seabed, an ancient arm of the Atlantic Ocean that was located where the continent of North America is today. Many of the sediments were deposited as layers of muddy sand and silt on the sea bottom. These layers eventually hardened into rock. Because some layers are made up primarily of sandstone, they have a grainy texture when worked or cut, whereas others consist mostly of shale and tend to split easily when exposed to stress.
Over thirty mountains exist in the Appalachian mountain range
Most people only know of the Appalachian Mountains from when they drive through them en route to visit family in the south. But these mountains traverse a large swath of land, from Western Maryland to upstate New York.
The Appalachian range covers over 1,500 miles and has an array of terrain including dense woods, rolling hills and lush rivers. The climate is similar to that of coastal areas with warm summers and cold winters. There are at least 31 mountains in the Appalachians that are higher than 5,000 feet.
The Appalachian mountain range is 2400 kilometers long
The Appalachian mountain range is part of the North American Cordillera, which stretches from Alaska to Newfoundland. The Appalachians cover a total length of 2400 kilometers and are bounded by the Atlantic Coast Ranges and the Mississippi Valley on either side. These mountains were formed around 200 million years ago after Pangea began to break up due to north-south tectonic forces.
The Appalachian Mountain Range spans from northeastern Alabama all the way up through Maine in New England, passing through Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and ending in Quebec.
The Appalachians go all the way to Canada
The Appalachian Mountains are among the oldest mountain ranges in the world, but why are they so significant to us today? The answer may not be clear until you take a closer look.
There’s no doubt that they contribute greatly to our beautiful landscape, create natural boundaries for cities and states, and serve as a valuable resource for those living in their foothills. But did you know that the Appalachian Mountain range also extends all the way up into Canada? Yes, Canada! In fact, this makes them one of only two mountain ranges in North America that span from coast to coast!
It sounds crazy (uhhh… Canadians?), but both the Rockies and Appalachians make up an integral part of our diverse geography. Let’s take a closer look at the full range of the Appalachians, including the highest peaks that lie within their borders.
In North America, they are only second to the Rocky Mountains in terms of size and diversity. In total, there are over 500 mountain peaks in this range (most of which can be found in Canada), and over half of those are taller than 6,000 feet! The Appalachian Mountains extend from Alabama to Canada and cover approximately 1,500 miles.
The Appalachian Mountain range is the oldest mountain range in the United States
The Appalachian Mountains are among the oldest mountain ranges in North America. They are approximately 500 million years old and continue to rise about one inch every year due to their composition of resistant metamorphic rock. The mountains extend over 1,000 miles from Alabama up through Maine with major gaps including Tennessee and Kentucky along the way.
The Appalachians are most famous for two things: they offer a continuous sweeping view from their crest that reaches eighty miles on clear days; they are home to some of America’s most economically important industries including coal mining and logging.
The Appalachian Mountains have humid weather
The Appalachian Mountains is a great example of a humid weather climate. This region of the United States has much higher levels of humidity than other parts of the country. The humidity here ranges from 50% to 99%. What does this mean? Essentially, it means that when you’re fighting off a cold in this part of the world, you’ll have an increased risk for contracting pneumonia due to exposure to water droplets in the air.
Mount Mitchell in North Carolina is the tallest mountain at almost 2,000 meters
Mount Mitchell is a prominence located on the border of North Carolina and Virginia. The mountain was first climbed in 1857 by Dr. Elisha Mitchell, who was also the first to accurately measure its height, using trigonometry. It is one of the few mountains in America which has a paved road to its summit – making it one of seven peaks in North America that have such accessibility. Moreover, Mount Mitchell is home to many endangered species including wildflowers and salamanders. In recognition for these environmental efforts, among others, Mount Mitchell has been designated as an International Biosphere Reserve that’s protected by UNESCO.
The entire Appalachian mountain range can be broadly divided into three sections
1) The Southern Appalachians, which are mainly an extension of the Blue Ridge, with the Great Smoky Mountains as their northernmost ridge.
2) The Central Appalachians, which are chiefly composed of the Great Appalachian Valley.
3)The Northern Appalachians, which terminate in a number of subranges that contain some of the highest mountains in eastern North America: such as Mount Mitchell and Mount Washington (in New Hampshire), and Mount Mitchell and Clingmans Dome (in Tennessee).
The Appalachian Mountain range possesses stunning natural resources including substantial deposits of iron, petroleum, and natural gas
The Appalachians contain a vast array of minerals including coal, natural gas, petroleum deposits (coal beds), streambed gravels rich in gold and platinum group metals (PGM’s) as well as zinc and iron deposits.
The southern Appalachian area is particularly rich in deposits of iron, zinc, and lead. Iron ore, limestone, and coal are found in the western part of North Carolina and Virginia, as well as in Tennessee. The mountains also have large deposits of Bauxite (the primary ore of aluminum), copper, zinc-lead-silver ores and gold-silver vein deposits.
The Appalachian Mountains host a variety of wildlife
There are higher mountains and deep valleys that make the Appalachian Mountains a distinct habitat for its many unique animal species. From apex predators to a plethora of plant life, here is a look at some of the wildlife you can expect to find in this beautifully wild region.
Black bears: Black bears are one of America’s most common mammals and they prefer the dense forests found throughout the Appalachians. They come out mostly at night to search for food, but can also be seen during daylight hours during their mating season or if there is an unseasonable food shortage.
Deer: Deer are often seen roaming around as they travel in herds, seeking food or moving from one area to another in order to avoid heavy hunting pressure. They usually live in open grasslands and forests, though some have also been spotted within city limits.
Elk: Elk are found in the forests of many western states and prefer mountainous areas where they can roam freely throughout the year. Large herds can be seen during rutting season, as bulls compete for dominance. Single bulls may be seen rattling their antlers to attract females during mating season.
Moose: The moose is the largest mammal found across both Canada and Alaska, and is one of the largest animals on land in North America. Though not found in all of the Appalachians, they do reside primarily along the northern coastlines where there are few human disturbances or predators.
Millions of people visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park each year
The Great Smoky Mountains, National Park is the most visited of the national parks in America.
Over 12 million people visit the park annually with many hiking on a trail or enjoying a meal at one of the many restaurants located within it.
Additionally, this national park offers multiple recreational activities such as fishing, horseback riding, and golfing at one of two courses.
And for those who love to shop will find plenty of gifts and souvenirs available from local artisans and other businesses within the park.
The Great Smoky Mountains, National Park offers something for everyone.
The Appalachian Trail is the world’s longest hiking-only trail
The Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine, and is approximately 2,185 miles long. The trail passes through fourteen states, including Tennessee which is home to the highest point on the AT at Clingmans Dome. The trail is marked by white rectangular blazes with a unique pattern that can easily be distinguished from other white paint marks. Hikers are advised to pay attention to these markings when they stray off of the trail as they may encounter potentially dangerous natural features or run into private property.