The Appalachian Mountains

The Appalachian Mountains are the oldest mountain chain in North America. They sweep from Newfoundland to Alabama. The Appalachian Mountains are made up of mountains, ridges, and valleys. The Great Smoky mountains are in this region. They run from Tennessee to North Carolina. The Blue Ridge mountains are the backbone of the system. They extend from Georgia to Pennsylvania. In the Appalachian mountains there is Mt. Mitchell. This is the highest mountain on the eastern coast.

The name Appalachian comes from the Apalachee Indians. A stream of pioneers first moved to the mountains where woodsmen found valleys and large gaps which made it difficult to travel. Later roads and trains ran through the valleys and gaps and tied the nation together.

Today, valleys and some small hillsides serve as small farms and orchards, and here and there are business, ranging from small craft shops to large paper and rayon manufacturing plants. In the north the farmers will grow potatoes, wheat, and they raise dairy products. In the south the farmers will grow corn, tobacco, and raise poultry. In the valleys they grow alfalfa, hay, and apples. Deciduous forests cover most of the Appalachian Mountains. Trees in this region consist of hickories, maples, and oaks. They are beautiful when they are changing colors, in the fall. The trees are shipped to North Carolina furniture makers. Coal is found in much of the region. It is a major industry, and employs many people. Also produced in the upper land is iron, stone, oil, and timber. The tumbling streams have been harnessed to supply hydroelectric power. This provides the region with electricity.

Tourism is an outstanding industry. Rivers, lakes, and state parks provide lots of recreational activities. In the winter it snows in this region, and people come from all over to ski. Trails and parkways serve many hikers and motorists. Many people come in the summer and fall to hike along the Appalachian Natural Scenic Trail. This trail is two hundred miles long, and is the longest foot path on the eastern coast. Go rafting , fishing , and take a balloon ride trough this region.

Some people come to the Appalachian mountains to take a drive through the scenic beauty. You will drive past farms, lovely trees, and running streams. The Appalachian people are very kind, down-to-earth people. Many of them own bed and breakfast places, and would be glad to have you. Many travelers come to visit Mount Mitchell National Park. It was established 1915,and was named after Dr. Mitchell. He was a scientist that was sent to the mountain to accurately measure it, but he died in a fall from the mountain. There is a memorial in his honor on Mount Mitchell.

The Appalachian Mountains are a perfect place for a relaxing vacation. Visitors can enjoy the fresh, clean air and see the true beauty of North America: the Appalachian Mountains.

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