North Carolina Mountain Region
The North Carolina Mountain region, with its beautiful views, agreeable climate and wide variety of recreational outlets has long been a favorite of tourists but is increasingly becoming one of the best places to live in North Carolina.
Since we think this area provides a number of Best Places to Relocate or Retire in North Carolina its worth looking at what makes the North Carolina Mountain region unique.
The North Carolina Mountain region consists of a large strip of the southern Appalachian Mountains that cuts across the western fifth of the state.
There are two major mountain ranges running parallel to one another in this area: the Great Smoky Mountains straddling the Tennessee border in the west, and the Blue Ridge Mountains just to the east.
Not to be outdone by their larger cousins to the north and east, there is also a series of shorter cross ranges running perpendicular to the Blue Ridge Mountains including the Black Mountains, Craggy Mountains, Cowees, Nantahalas, Pisgah Ledge, Balsams and Plott Balsams.
The mountain ranges of western North Carolina were formed hundreds of millions of years ago by a series of continental land mass collisions. The result of this geological process is an 11,000 square mile area boasting spectacular valleys, hundreds of mountains 4000 to 5000 ft. tall, 82 mountains between 5000 and 6000 ft. tall, and at least 43 “6ers” or mountains over 6000 ft. high, including the tallest mountain in the eastern United States, Mount Mitchell, elevation 6,648 ft.
Moreover, millions of years of wind, water and ice erosion and vegetation growth have provided the North Carolina mountains not only their distinctly rounded and rolling shapes but cut the rocky landscape with rivers, streams, waterfalls and mountain lakes.
Animal life and vegetation in the mountains is incredibly diverse, especially in the higher elevations, and has even drawn international recognition as when Grandfather Mountain near Linville, NC was added to the list of U.N. International Biosphere Reserves.
Also, as noted in our North Carolina Mountain Climate section, the mountain region provides four distinct seasons and the higher altitudes make it a much cooler place to live especially in the summer months.
Learn more about living in NC and find Your Best Place to Live:
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About Bob Bencivenga
|Bob Bencivenga is a professional site locator and location analyst for major corporations. Bob researches the growth of NC and SC to find the Best Places to Retire or Relocate that are still affordable.
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