Tips on Activities and Attractions

Blue Ridge Mountains

One of the most recognized regions in the Appalachian Mountains are the Blue Ridge Mountains. Stretching from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee to Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, the Blue Ridge Mountains touch 7 States and encompass an area 615 miles (990 km) long but only between 5 to 65 miles (8 to 105 km) wide.

The Blue Ridge Mountains form a relatively narrow ridge between the Piedmont in the east and the Valley and Ridge landform in the west, which is followed by the Appalachian Plateau.

Unique to the Blue Ridge Mountains is their bluish color cast when seen from a distance. The blue tone comes from hydrocarbons, which trees release into the atmosphere giving the mountains their characteristic haze and distinctive color.

The Blue Ridge Mountains region counts two major national parks, the Shenandoah National Park in the north, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the south. The area is also home to many state parks.

One of the loveliest scenic roads in the United States is the Blue Ridge Parkway, which connects the Shenandoah National Park with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park through a 469-mile (755 km) long road.

The Blue Ridge Parkway meets the Skyline Drive, which is 109 miles (175 km) long and runs the entire length of the Shenandoah National Park mostly along the ridge of the mountains.

Generally, the Blue Ridge Mountains can be split into six regions:
- Shenandoah Region,
- Ridge Region,
- Plateau Region,
- Highlands Region,
- Pisgah Region and the
- Great Smoky Region.