The Landscape of the Blue Ridge
This page is under construction.
There are at least three different things that calling something the "Blue Ridge" can mean. Sometimes it refers to the front range of the Appalachian Mountains, where they meet the Piedmont. This is perhaps better termed the Blue Ridge Escarpment. More often, the term includes all of the Appalachian Mountains between the Piedmont and the Valley and Ridge, and in terms of physiography—the landscape—this makes the most sense.
Geologically, the Blue Ridge includes all those rocks with a similar origin and metamorphic history. This extends the Blue Ridge into eastern Alabama in a narrow band just north of the Atlanta area ending at Cheaha Mountain.
The word "blue" comes from the color they appear in the distance. In the photograph above, the farther mountains appear to be blue. The front range has a distinct ridge along its southern line.
The Great Smoky Mountains are a part of the Blue Ridge, but they have their own page.