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Top 10 Facts about the Appalachian Mountains

Top 10 Facts about the Appalachian Mountains

The Appalachian Mountain is one of the first things that come to mind when one thinks of North America. Nestled in the eastern region of North America, the Appalachian Mountains stand as a testament to the grandeur of nature. This large mountain range covering most of eastern North America is home to a lot of facts and secrets that might surprise the ones who have the curiosity to know more.

In this article, we will delve into the “Top 10 Facts about the Appalachian Mountains,” that are bound to leave you thrilled about this magnificent array of beauty.

1. Appalachian Mountains gets its name from a tribe

The name Appalachian did not come into a person’s mind out of nowhere. The name Appalachian Mountains comes from the Apalachee Tribe that used to inhabit the area of modern-day Tallahassee, Florida. This tribe was a group of farming Indians and was one of the strongest tribes that lived in the continent of North America. Also, they were one of the first Indian tribes that the Europeans faced.

However, they faced decline as they lost a battle to the Britain and Creek forces in 1703. Since then Apalachee were reduced to a lower number and after the war, some of the members of the tribe mixed in with the Creeks.

2. The Appalachian is the oldest mountain range to exist in America

Believe it or not, the Appalachian Mountains are the oldest mountain chain to exist in the North American continent. The mountain range is estimated to be about 480 million years old as they were formed around the Ordovician period and kept up its growth for the next 200 million years.

Although there are some parts of the Appalachian mountains that are found to be about 1 billion years old. Therefore, the different parts of the mountain were formed at separate times, making some areas old and some young. But the present Appalachian mountains that we can see were formed around 20 million years ago.

A snow covered peak in Appalachian mountains

3. The Appalachian Mountain chain is thousands of miles long

When you think about it, the Appalachian mountains range from Newfoundland, Canada in the north and the southern tip reaches Central Alabama, so, it covers a massive area. The range goes through 14 states of the United States and 4 provinces of Canada. So, the mountain range extends about 2000 miles and boasts about 37857 named peaks. The highest of them all is Mouth Mitchell which stands 6,684 feet or 2037 meters from sea level.

4. The southern part of the range was a result of a collision

You must’ve learned that mountains form as a result of the collision between two plates or landmasses. Even the Appalachian mountains show this feat. The southern part of the mountain chain was formed as a result of a collision between Gondwana and the landmass of North America.

The impact between the two landmasses resulted in Gondwana being pushed upward the North American landmass and went in for about 186 miles. After 100 million years after the collision, the two landmasses separated and the southern part of the range was left standing.

The southern Appalachians

5. The Appalachian range is home to a wide variety of fauna

The mountains are home to a great variety of exotic and rare animals. The Appalachians are more than just mountains, there are thick forests that are home to a lot of wildlife. You can see a variety of coyotes, tree squirrels, bears, foxes, weasels, skunks, wild horses, and many more. Also, you can see hawks, falcons, eagles, flycatchers, and many more.

A coyote sitting on a grass

When it comes to flora, deciduous trees, and flowers are what you can see, and a lot of varieties of it. There are also majestic grasslands which attract a lot of hikers.

6. The Appalachian mountains attract millions of hikers annually

The Appalachian Mountain has a trail that stretches over 2193 miles and attracts millions of hikers aspiring to complete the trail. The trail begins at Springer Mountain and ends at Mount Katahdin Maine in Canada. Therefore, hikers have to go through millions of steps to complete the hike and not everyone can achieve this. But not being able to complete is not a regret, a hiker can still enjoy the serene scenarios that are sure to take your breath away.

The Appalachian Mountain trail

7. Home to various national parks and wildlife refugees

The Appalachian Mountain range is a magnificent gift of nature. The presence of fascinating landmasses, forests, and grasslands has allowed it to have the beautiful places it deserves. It is not just the trail that makes the Appalachian Mountain popular, it is also the national parks and wildlife refugees. The mountain chain has about 6 national parks and 2 wildlife refuges. Among them, the most popular ones are Great Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Parkway which attracts millions of visitors every year.

8. Some of the oldest rivers run through the Appalachian mountains

Out of all the rivers in the world, the Appalachian Mountains are known to have the 3 of the oldest rivers in the world. These are the New River, the French Broad River, and the Susquehanna River are among the oldest rivers in the world. These rivers are estimated to be 300 million years old.

The French Broad River

9. Lots of minerals are present in the Appalachian Mountains

In addition to all the national parks, and varied wildlife, the mountains contain a lot of valuable minerals in their arsenal. There are a lot of minerals present, but the most valued of them are petroleum, natural gas, and coal. These are one of the most prized minerals in the world and this mountain range has rich deposits of it. Other than this there are iron and zinc present within the far depths of the Appalachian mountains.

10. Coal mining is tearing down the Appalachian mountains

As already mentioned, the Appalachian Mountains are home to minerals such as coal and petroleum. But the rich resources are the very things that are slowly degrading it. As coal mining began around the early years of the 20th century since then the mountain has been drilled countless times. Also, new methods such as blowing off of the rocks started to gain access to the coal and hence the mountain is being degraded day by day.

The constant mining has destroyed forests, and the mountain itself, and if it gets worse the Appalachian mountain might lose its significance of being one of the most popular mountain ranges.

Coal Mines in Appalachian Mountains


In conclusion, the Appalachian is a popular mountain range as it comes with unending majestic beauty and allure. As we’ve explored the top 10 fascinating facts about the Appalachians, we’ve uncovered a world of wonder that gives it its status and popularity. From the beautiful flora and fauna to national parks and trails, it is something you want to experience once in a lifetime.

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