What Are Some Facts About the Appalachian Mountains?

The Appalachian Mountains are the oldest mountain chain in North America, stretching for 1,500 miles down the eastern portions of Canada and the United States. The tallest mountain is Mount Mitchell in North Carolina, with an elevation of 6,684 feet above sea level. The mountain range is about 480 million years old, first forming during the Ordovician Period.

The United States Geological Survey divides the Appalachian Mountains into 13 provinces, known as the Atlantic Coast Uplands, Western Newfoundland Mountains, Eastern Newfoundland Atlantic, Maritime Acadian Highlands, Maritime Plain, Saint Lawrence Valley, Notre Dame and Mégantic Mountains, the Adirondack, Piedmont, Blue Ridge, Valley and Ridge, Appalachian Plateaus and New England province. The northernmost part of the range is located in Newfoundland, Canada. The southermost part of the Appalachian Mountains is found in central Alabama.

American states that are part of the Appalachians include Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, along with the northern part of Georgia, western South Carolina and southern Ohio. Important geographical areas of the Appalachian Mountains include the Allegheny and Cumberland plateaus and The Great Appalachian Valley. West Virginia contains over 150 peaks exceeding 4,000 feet above sea level, including the highest point of the Allegheny Mountains, Spruce Knob. The highest point of the Blue Ridge Mountains is Quirauk Mountain in Maryland.