Photo Gallery: Exploring North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains
By Michael Lanza
Spanning Georgia to Pennsylvania, the Blue Ridge Mountains reach their apex in a rumpled carpet of forested mountains sprawling across western North Carolina. Scores of peaks over 5,000 and 6,000 feet—the highest east of the Mississippi—host craggy summits, hundreds of beautiful waterfalls, and more plant species than any other park in the country.
And, by the way, some of the nicest hiking in America.
The name “Blue Ridge” comes from the bluish tint of the mountains when seen from a distance (usually from a high overlook), caused by the trees releasing isoprene into the air, creating the blue haze.
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