Asheville, NC: Gateway to the Appalachian Mountains
By the Reynolds Mansion B&B in Asheville, NC
Henry David Thoreau once related, “In wilderness is the preservation of the world.” There is not any larger example of this than the North Carolina Mountains. Western North Carolina (WNC) offers residents some of the most diverse climates, trees and wildlife in the world. It’s a place full of breathtaking, spellbinding, naturally occurring phenomenon including forests, mountaintop vistas, waterfalls and riverside. Over the years, people, local communities, state officers and the central government have worked to preserve the pretty landscape in Western North Carolina, along with the animals and plants that live there. This effort continues today and every year.
And, as new folks relocate to the area looking for a better standard of living, they discover an ancient mountain.
The Mountains in North Carolina Tell Their Story: Appalachian Mountain Facts
The Appalachian Mountains are a record of Earth’s history. According to the U.S. Geological Survey: The Appalachians are old. A look at rocks exposed in the present day’s Appalachian Mountains exposes lengthened belts of folded and thrust faulted sea sedimentary rocks, volcanic rocks and slivers of ancient ocean floor.
Robust proof [shows] that these rocks were deformed during plate collision. The birth of the Appalachian ranges, some 480 million years back, marks the first of several mountain building plate collisions that ended in the construction of the supercontinent Pangea with the Appalachians close to the center.
The start of the Appalachian Mountains led on to many millions of years of Earth changes. Ultimately, approximately 60 million years back, the Appalachians we all know today began to take shape. The exact boundaries of the Appalachian Mountains are debatable, but most professionals agree the range extends over 1,500 North to South miles from Canada to Georgia. As a system of ridges split into several distinct ranges, the Appalachian Mountains span two nations and 15 states : Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Perhaps the most famed attraction is the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail (AT) that runs from Springer Mountain in Northern Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine.
Access to the AT is easily found in Western North Carolina agricultural areas like Hot Springs, Max Patch, a well known bald, or on the Blue Ridge Parkway, just outside of Asheville, wherein you will also find the Reynolds Mansion B&B.
The Magic of the Blue Ridge Mountains
One of the most well known provinces in the Appalachian Mountains is the Blue Ridge. The Blue Ridge Mountains stretch through Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia.
They are home to the highest peaks in Eastern Northern America, the highest being Mount Mitchell in Western North Carolina at 6,684 feet. The trees are what give the Blue Ridge its name. According to the Nation’s Park Service, hydrocarbons released into the atmosphere by the trees create their signature color. The Blue Ridge offers a range of natural attractions including 2 countrywide parks : the Shenandoah in the North and the Great Smokies in the South. The Blue Ridge Parkway, a 496-mile scenic road that connects the 2 parks, provides amazing mountain lookouts and access to hundreds of hiking trails. The Great Hazy Mountains : A Union of Forest Preservation and Land Conservation The Great Hazy Mountains cover the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. The Great Hazy Mountains Countrywide Park is one of the biggest forest preservation areas in the Eastern United States.
According to StateParks the park was once part of Cherokee homeland and now pulls over nine million visitors every year. There are over 800 miles of hiking trails that range all the way from straightforward to difficult including seventy miles of the Appalachian Trail. In the summer, weather in the park consists generally of abundant rainfall and high humidity, making healthy growing conditions. Overall, Western North Carolina climate and Asheville weather brings four balanced seasons.
Winters and summers are moderate compared with other regions. Native trees, plants and flowers bloom during 3 seasons, and in the winter, snow-peaked mountain views peek thru barren, forest trees. StatePark reports that, “some 100 species of local trees find homes in the Smokies, more than any other Northern US state park.” The site adds that “almost 95% of the park is forested, and about 25% of that area is old growth forest — one of the biggest blocks of deciduous, temperate, old-growth forest remaining in North America.” The Nation’s Park Service explains that no other area of equal size in a gentle climate can match the park’s superb variety of plants, animals, and invertebrates. Over 10,000 species have been documented. The mountains in North Carolina, surrounding Asheville, are a place where the mountains, rivers, trees and animals tell an ancient story.
Be still and listen and you’ll hear the voice of the land.
Come enjoy the splendor of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Trail, and stay with us at the Reynolds Mansion B&B in Asheville, NC.