After our first class on North Carolina geology, I decided to do some of my own research on one of North Carolina’s major geologic features: the Blue Ridge Mountains. These mountains attract abut twenty million visitors every year. This is a major contribtion to North Carolina’s tourism industry.
The Blue Ridge Mountains got their name from the blue colored haze that can be seen above them from a distance. The Blue Ridge Mountain range extends from the Virginia- Maryland border down to the northern end of Georgia. the Blue Ridge Mountain Range includes the most of the Great Smokies and all of the Appalachians, excluding Mount Washington in New Hampshire. This mountain range, in general, are densely vegetated and rounded. Most moutnains in the Blue Ridge mountain range are so densely vegetated that lookout stations need to be built for visitors to have a view from the mountain. There are some exceptions to this generalization, though. Grandfather Mountain, for example, has a summit that includes a clear mountain view that is very popular with hikers and sight seers.
There are many other geological formations that occur in the Blue Ridge mountain range. One of these formations, for example, is known as the “humpback rocks” which is a series of rounded rocks that are located around a re-created farm. Also, waterfalls can be found int eh Blue Ridge mountains, such as the Fallingwater Cascades, which are also located in North Carolina. These mountains are also home to mineral mines, many of which have been used soley for sight seers and hikers to enjoy as a guided tour. Another unique geological formation is known as “Devil’s Courthouse.” This is an exposed mountain top with very rugged terrain.
Possibly the most well- known attraction of the Blue Ridge mountains in North Carolina is located in the town of Blowing Rock. This town gets its name from a mountain top that recieves vertical gusts of wind. According to fictional legends, even a person can be suspended by these gusts of wind. Although the wind is not that strong, light objects have been known to be lifted onto the mountain in a burst of wind. Not only does this mountain have an interesting story, it also provides a beautiful view of the mountains below and around it.
Although the Blue Ridge mountain range is only one of the many geological features that call North Carolina home, they are very popular and ancient. These mountains can be dated back millions of years, and at one time were much taller than they are now. These moutnains continue to become shorter due to erosion.