The Appalachian Mountains are an American landmark, but many Americans probably couldn’t name one fact about them. They are such an iconic part of the United States, and at almost
2,000 miles long, cut through 18 states as well as parts of Canada! Many people don’t realize that the Appalachian Mountains are actually made up of many other well-known mountain ranges. They span from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the South, to the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee, all the way up to the Berkshires in Massachusetts. These smaller mountain ranges are called subranges, and together they make up the full mountain system that is the “Appalachians”.
The Appalachian Mountains are an integral part of American history and have been around since its birth. It’s thought that the first mountains cropped up as early as a billion years ago, so it’s safe to say that the Appalachians had no human interaction for quite some time. Sadly, some of its beautiful peaks have been destroyed due to coal mining. The Appalachians are home to an abundance of coal reserves, and while miners in earlier times would drill into the mountains to retrieve the coal, mining companies are now removing the tops of the mountains. This violent process destroys forests and causes pollution. Luckily, the Environmental Protection Agency has taken a stand against this practice.
Hiking has always been a popular pastime in the United States, and the Appalachian Mountains are home to one of the most popular trails in the world: The Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail was completed in 1937, and since then, hikers have flocked to it. It attracts more than 3 million people per year, although a very small percentage of that number attempt to traverse the entire trail, which is 2,193 miles. One of the reasons why so many people enjoy visiting the Appalachian Mountains is its diverse ecosystem. The mountains are blanketed in beautiful wildflowers and 140 different tree species. Hikers can also hope to see wildlife such as deer, moose, elk, foxes, wild boars, and black bears. Birdwatchers can look to the skies to search for eagles, falcons, songbirds, and much more. It’s no wonder why people from all over the world seek out the Appalachian Mountains for their rich history and breathtaking beauty.