Taconic Mountains

Taconic Mountains

[tuh-kon-ik]
Taconic Mountains, range of the Appalachian Mts., extending c.150 mi (240 km) north-south between the Green Mts. and the Hudson Valley along parts of New York's border with Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Mt. Equinox (3,816 ft/1,163 m) is the highest point. The Taconics, among the oldest mountains in North America, have been worn low by millions of years of erosion. The Berkshire Hills, W Mass., are part of the range. Taconic State Park along the N.Y.-Mass. and N.Y.-Conn. borders is a popular recreational area.

The Taconic Mountains are a physiographic section of the larger New England province and part of the Appalachian Mountains, running along the eastern border of New York State, United States and adjacent New England from northwest Connecticut to western Massachusetts, north to central western Vermont in the town of Brandon, after which they lose prominence and dwindle into scattered hills and isolated peaks which continue north toward Burlington, Vermont. To the south, they fade into the Hudson Highlands range.

In Massachusetts and Connecticut, the Taconic Mountains are often popularly grouped as part of the Berkshires; in Vermont they are similarly grouped as of the Green Mountains. However, the Taconic Mountains are geologically distinct from the Berkshires and Green Mountains.

The highest peak of the Taconic Mountains is Mount Equinox, with an elevation of 3,816 feet (1163 m), in Manchester, Vermont. "Taconic", a Native American name, was once transliterated as the Taghkanic--a name still used in parts of the western (New York) side of the range.

Geology and physiography

The Taconic mountain range was formed from the collision of the North American Plate into a volcanic island arc, similar to modern-day Japan, during the late Ordovician Period, around 440 million years ago (a more complete discussion is at Taconic orogeny).

The western side of the Taconics rise gradually from a series of hills in eastern New York to a sharp mountain crest along the west border of the New England states; the east side of the Taconics falls off abruptly where river valleys divide it from the Berkshires and Green Mountains. The total length of the range is about 200 miles with a varying width of 5 to 20 miles.

The Taconic Mountains are a physiographic section of the larger New England province, which in turn is part of the larger Appalachian physiographic division.

Notable summits

Notable peaks in the Taconic Mountains include, from south to north, Indian Mountain, Bear Mountain, Alander Mountain, Mount Frissell, Mount Everett, Harvey Mountain, Yokun Ridge, Shaker Mountain, Berry Hill, Berlin Mountain, Jiminy Peak, Brodie Mountain, Mount Greylock, Mount Anthony, Grass Mountain, Mount Equinox, Dorset Mountain, Tinmouth Mountain, Saint Catherine Mountain, Birdseye Mountain (Bird Mountain), and Grandpa Knob. Mount Frissell and Mount Greylock represent the highest elevations in the states of Connecticut and Massachusetts, respectively.

See also

References

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