As the oldest mountain chain in North America, the Appalachian Mountains are rich in history and overflowing with beauty. Your visit to this iconic area of the country will be more enriched if you acquaint yourself with some knowledge about this stunning mountain range. Here are four interesting facts about the Appalachian Mountains:
It’s Incredibly Vast
One of the most distinguishing attributes of the Appalachian Mountains is its vastness. Covering 736,888 square miles, the range stretches across a number of states, including Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, the northern part of Georgia, western South Carolina, and southern Ohio. The northern part of the range also stretches into the Newfoundland and Labrador province of Canada.
It’s One of the Oldest Mountain Ranges in the World
According to Smoky Mountains By Owners, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is between 200 and 300 million years old. The Appalachians as a whole are estimated to have formed 480 million years ago. Geologists are able to estimate its age by analyzing the amount of weathering that the rocks have gone through. Particles in the soil can also provide important clues to the age of the mountains.
It’s Home to the Appalachian Trail
This marked hiking trail extends over 2,000 miles beginning at Springer Mountain in Georgia and continuing through Mount Katahdin in Maine. According to Atlas Guides, it’s longest hiking-only trail in the world and sees about two million hikers each year. The trail passes through 14 total states. Nearly 1,000 hikers traverse the length of the entire trail each year. An average hike takes five to seven months, making it one of the most challenging physical endeavors on Earth. The trail is marked by white paint blazes and features more than 250 campsites and shelters.
It’s Home to a Myriad of Animals
Wildlife enthusiasts will delight in all of the animals that call the Appalachian Mountains home. Depending on what area you are exploring, you might find moose, white-tailed deer, black bears, coyotes, bobcats, beavers, and more. Elk have recently been introduced to parts of the mountains in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania. Visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina might also get the chance to see wild boar. Every experience is different!
There is so much to be discovered in the majestic Appalachian Mountains. Let Mother Nature be your guide as you experience the grandeur of this national treasure.
Looking for more outdoor adventure? National Parks are the perfect destination for you!