Highlights of the Spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains
Aug 21, 2019
Formed some 400 million years ago due to the upheaval of the tectonic plates, this mountain range is one of the oldest and the most fascinating in the world.
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a segment of the Appalachian Mountains and run through southern Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.
It stretches for 550 miles in length and starts as a narrow strip of land and expands up to 60 miles in width when it reaches northeastern Georgia.
When seen from a distance, a blue haze appears over the mountains. This is due to the isoprene released into the air by the trees resulting in the mountains to appear blue in color. Hence the name, Blue Ridge Mountains.
Mount Mitchel of the Black Mountains in North Carolina is the highest peak in the Blue Ridge mountain chain. It’s a soaring 6,684 ft (2,037 m) in height. It is also the highest peak in the entire Appalachian system.
The southeastern highlands of this chain flaunt one of the most diverse vegetation in North America.
Stunted oak, oak-hickory forests, pine, maple, flowering shrubs like Eastern Redbud, Mountain Laurel, Catawba Rhododendron are commonly found.
American black bear, coyote, red fox, gray fox, bobcat, whitetail deer and grouse are native to the mountains along with a wide variety of reptiles, amphibians and fish.
Shenandoah National Park
It is one of the two major national parks in the Blue Ridge Mountains and is the ultimate place to experience the wildlife and nature, for hiking, rock climbing, camping, backcountry camping and photography.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Another major national park within the range, it’s loaded with a rich wildlife, gushing waterfalls, hiking trails, some of the most challenging climbs, and offers the most scenic drives.
Blue Ridge Parkway
Known for its jaw-dropping scenic beauty, this highway runs for an uninterrupted 469 miles (755km) from Virginia all the way to North Carolina, connecting two major national parks.
Blue Ridge Lake
This 3,290 acre lake has a 65 mile long shoreline and is one of the most spectacular and picturesque mountain lakes in America.