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Appalachian Mountains

A system of mountains in eastern North America.

Runs from Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada in the north down to Alabama, USA in the south.

The highest peak in the range is Mount Mitchell, North Carolina (also the highest peak in mainland eastern North America.) 6,684 feet (2,037 m) above sea level.

Formed roughly 480 million years ago during the Ordovician period.

The Stairway of Time Geologic eras

They once reached elevations similar to those of the Alps and the Rocky Mountains.  Since then they have experienced natural erosion.


Definitions vary on the precise boundaries. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) defines the Appalachian Highlands physiographic division as consisting of thirteen provinces.

However, some definitions don’t include the Adirondack Mountains, which geologically belong to the Grenville Orogeny and have a different geological history from the rest of the Appalachians.

Great Appalachian Valley Wikipedia

Map of the Appalachian Mountain physiographic regions, highlighting the Great Appalachian Valley, naming the main valleys making it up and the main mountains on either side.

Compare to this map.

An article on Building the Northern Appalachian Mountains and New England.

Appalachian Trail

The AT is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. 2,200 miles (3,500 km) long.

Passes through Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

Maintained by trail clubs and partnerships. Managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, and the nonprofit Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Most of the trail is in forest or wild lands, although some portions traverse towns, roads and farms.


Extension into Europe and Africa?

The mountains of the British Isles and Scandinavia turn out to be made of the same kind of rock, and formed in the same historical era.

Evidence shows that in the past all of these were one mountain system, torn by the moving of the tectonic plates – continental drift.

Appalachian continents 3

Here we compare where the separate mountain ranges are today, with how they looked when they were connected in the past.

Appalachian Mt. Orogeny 1

The geographical regions of the east coast of the USA at one time were continuous with the western African coast.

Appalachian Mt. Orogeny 4

As the continents were separating.


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