The Appalachian Mountains are one of the oldest mountain systems in North America that were formed almost 300 million years ago due to a collision and separation of the tectonic plates. Appalachian Mountains are a huge range and can be broadly divided into three sections. These include the southern section that start from New River and continues till the end. The central section extends from the Hudson Valley and extends up to the New River, and the northern section stretches from Newfoundland and Labrador province in Canada up to the Hudson River. The climate in the mountain range varies throughout the year. However, the weather remains cool and wet most of the time and this is the reason why these mountains attract travelers from across the globe. Although temperate forests are the common here, secondary habitats of boreal forests and mixed deciduous forests can also be found in these mountain ranges. There are many more interesting facts about the Appalachian Mountains, read the following lines to learn more about them.
Location: North America
Highest Point: Mount Mitchell (2,037 m)
Type of Rock: Sedimentary rocks, volcanic rocks and ocean floor
Vegetation: Evergreen forests, deciduous forests, oak forests, Red Spruce, Fir forests and the Black Spruce
Habitats: Flying/Tree Squirrels, white-tailed deer, American cougar, eastern wolf, moose, Black Bear, Bobcats, Skunks, Fox, Ravens, Salamanders, Newts, Barred Owls, Timber Rattler Snake and Speckled Trout.
First Ascent: 1835, by Elisha Mitchell
Interesting Facts About Appalachian Mountains
- The Appalachians is the oldest mountain range in the continent of North America formed during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic Eras. Since then the mountain range has undergone a lot of erosion.
- The Appalachians were once an extension of the Caledonian mountain chain, a mountain chain that is today in Scotland and Scandinavia.
- It is believed that the Great Appalachian Valley has some of the most arable and fertile soils in the United States.
- The mountain range is 1,500 miles long, spanning a couple of states in the United States.
- The highest peak in the Mississippi area is Mount Mitchell.
- Famous ranges of the Appalachians include the Great Smoky Mountains, Blue Ridge, Black Mountains, White Mountains, Green Mountains, Allegheny Plateau, Cumberland Plateau, etc.
- Since the mountain ranges span a couple of states in the country, it is dotted by 8 national forests and 6 major National Parks in the country. These parks and trails are managed and maintained by volunteer partnerships and hiking clubs.
- Towards the west and south of the Hudson River valley is a chain of lowlands, which is referred to as the ‘Great Appalachian Valley’.
- The name of this mountain range is derived from the name of an Indian tribe “Apalachees” who once used to inhabit this region.
- The Appalachian Trail is a famous hiking trail, a paradise for all hikers. This trail covers a distance of 2,175 miles, from Mount Katahdin to Springer Mountain in Georgia.
- The Appalachian National Scenic Trail stretching from Maine to Georgia, White Mountain National Forest stretching from New Hampshire and Maine, Great Smoky Mountains National Park stretching from North Carolina to Tennessee, and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, are some of the places to see wildlife along the Appalachian Mountains.
- The mountain range runs across 15 states.
- Appalachian Mountains are a rich source of anthracite coal and bituminous coal.
- Some parts of this mountain range are known to have metallic mineral deposits such as iron and zinc.
- The Great Appalachian Valley is a set of lowlands extending all the way from Hudson Valley. This is a popular trekking zone for tekkers.
- Petroleum has also been discovered in Appalachian Mountains that have led to the foundation of the modern United States petroleum industry.
- The mountains have played an important role in creating further trails such as the ‘Cumberland Gap’ and the ‘Mohawk Trail’.
- The mountain range is not only rich in mineral deposits but also has a diverse ecology.
- Although deciduous broad leaved trees are the major flora of the mountain, evergreen needle leaf conifers are also present at different altitudes.
- Red Spruce dominates the northern region of the mountain.
- The Appalachian Mountains are the oldest mountain ranges in the United States of America.