Origin of the Appalachian NameThe name of our region derives from the Apalachen natives. Ironically, this agricultural tribe did not live in any of the states that comprise the Appalachian Mountains, but in northern Florida. They were encountered by Spanish explorers in 1528 and their name was transcribed as Apalachee and used in later documents to name the tribe and the region spreading far north of their lands. The name stuck fas subsequent expeditions explored the territories to the north and used variations of Apalachee to name the mountainous terrain. By the mid-16th century, the name found its way onto European maps and over time eventually morphed into Appalachians.
Appalachian Mountains Cover an Immense AreaThe Appalachian Mountain range covers an area that is 1500 miles long and around 200 miles wide. These mountains extend from as far south as Georgia to as far north as Newfoundland. Out of that immense area, the AMJV boundary includes 103 million acres that include some of the largest expanses of deciduous forest remaining in the eastern United States.
Appalachian Mountains from SpaceOn November 17, 2012, a NASA satellite captured this image showing the Appalachian Mountains and the Piedmont Plateau. From the article found on NASA's Earth Observatory "This regional view shows the striking visual effect of the valley-and-ridge topography of the Appalachian Mountains as viewed from the International Space Station. The image shows more than 500 kilometers (300 miles) of this low mountain chain from northeast Pennsylvania (top right) to southern West Virginia, where a dusting of snow covers a patch of land (lower left)."
Take a look.
The Appalachian Trail turns 75
2012 marks the 75th anniversary of the completion of the Appalachian Trail. Meandering 2,180 miles through forests, farmlands, and towns, the trail goes from Springer Mountain in north Georgia to Katadhin Mountain in the wilderness of Maine. The longest footpath in the eastern U.S was completed in August of 1937 and has been maintained by local trail clubs and partnerships ever since.
Appalachians Declared Biodiversity Hotspots
The Nature Conservancy has identified the Central and Southern Appalachians as one of six biodiversity hotspots.
Appalachian Mountains are some of the Oldest on Earth
The oldest regions date back 480 million years ago when several tectonic plate collisions gave birth to the first mountain ranges in the Appalachians.