The Natural Heritage of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina
An ancient mountain landscape, varied topography, and a temperate climate have given rise to a wonderland of natural heritage in Western North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Mountains have been a place of inspiration for Native Americans, artists, musicians, writers, doctors, entrepreneurs and many others throughout history. As a part of Appalachian history, the rich biodiversity makes the forests, rivers, plants, and wildlife here unique in many ways. It is the reason many people visit the Blue Ridge Mountains in NC and never leave. The natural beauty and heritage in the area make the NC mountains unforgettable for visitors and residents alike.
In the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area you will find the following natural heritage sites:
- Some of the oldest mountains in the world.
- The highest mountain peak in the eastern United States (Mount Mitchell).
- The oldest river in North America (New River).
- The deepest gorge east of the Grand Canyon (Linville Gorge).
- The highest waterfall east of the Rockies (Whitewater Falls).
- Some of the greatest biodiversity on the continent.
- Some of the richest deposits of certain gems and minerals on earth.
Watch these interesting videos about the Gold Rush History in the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area:
Listen to some interesting stories about our Natural Heritage by clicking on the links below:
Biodiversity in Western North Carolina
Catawba River Headwaters Conservation
Great Fishing in the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area
How Mount Mitchell Got Its Name
Legend of the Blowing Rock
Mineral Wealth of Western North Carolina
North Carolina Gold Rush
Scenic Byways Wind Through North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains
Whitewater Fun in the Blue Ridge
WNC Fly Fishing Trail