55 Appalachian Mountain Facts For Kids

Jo Kingsley
Dec 12, 2023 By Jo Kingsley
Originally Published on Dec 03, 2020
The Appalachian Mountain are a chain of mountains in the East of North America.
Age: 0-99
Read time: 8.0 Min

Here at Kidadl, we love to learn about our world's natural wonders!

And one thing we're particularly fascinated by is mountains: how they form, the plants and animals that live there and the humans that explore and form communities around them. We've put together some fascinating articles to help children get as excited as we are - why not take a look at these Fun Facts About Peru or Geologic Law of Superposition Facts with them?

Or if you or your children have a particular interest in the mountains of the USA, then this comprehensive collection of information all about the Appalachians is sure to please.

Information About The Appalachian Mountains

Learn all the essentials with this easy list of fun facts about the Appalachian mountains.

1. The Appalachian Mountains, commonly called the Appalachians, are a chain of mountains in the East of North America.

2. The Appalachians are the oldest mountain range in North America.

3. The Appalachians are one of the three major mountain ranges in North America, alongside the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada.

4. The Appalachians were originally formed around 480 million years ago during the Ordovician Period, the second of six periods of the Paleozoic Era, which occurred 85.4–443.8 million years ago.

5. The Appalachian mountain system runs from East to West.  

6. The Appalachian mountains are a barrier to travel, as they form a series of ridgelines and valleys that run in the opposite direction to most highways and railroads, that run East to West.

7. The Appalachian mountain chain is mostly in the United States, but it also extends into South-Eastern Canada.

8. The Appalachian mountain range runs 1 500 miles from the island of Newfoundland in Canada to central Alabama in the United States.

9. The Appalachian mountain range can be divided into three sections: northern, central and southern.

10. The Eastern Continental Divide, a hydrographic divide, follows the Appalachian Mountains from Pennsylvania to Georgia.

11. The Appalachian mountains are rich in deposits of iron, petroleum and natural gas, as well as iron and zinc.

12. The Appalachian trail is a 2,180 mile footpath that runs from Maine to Georgia.

13. The trail runs through New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina on its way to its final destination.

14. The Appalachian Trail was designated as the first National Scenic Trail by the National Trails System Act 1968.

15. It takes approximately 5 million steps to walk the entire Appalachian Trail.

16. Blue Ridge is a well-known range of the Appalachian mountains and has been the topic of several famous songs.

17. Although the weather changes with the time of year, the mountains mostly enjoy a humid climate.

18. The national park in the Great Smoky Mountains region of the Appalachians welcomes more than 12 million people each year.  

19. The Great Smoky Mountains are made up of 76,000 hectares of old forest and have been a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983.

20. The Great Smoky Mountains are called this because of the naturally occurring fog which, from a distance, looks like a cloud of smoke.

21. The ski resorts in the Appalachian mountains have 849 ski lifts which serve more than 100 snow slopes, for skiing, snowmobiling and other winter sports.

The Appalachian trail is a 2,180 mile footpath.

Information About Mount Mitchell

These Appalachian facts are all about the highest mountain in the range, Mount Micthell, and what makes it so special.

22. The highest in the range of the Appalachian mountains is Mount Mitchell in Yancey County, North Carolina in the United States.

23. With an elevation of 6,684 feet (2,037 meters), more than double the average mountain elevation of 3 000 feet, Mount Mitchell is the highest point in the United States, East of the Mississippi River.

24. Mount Mitchell is named after Elisha Mitchell, who first explored the Black Mountain region in 1835, and eventually died there whilst investigating it.

25. It was Mitchell, a professor at the University of North Carolina, who determined that the height of the mountain range exceeded that of Mount Washington in New Hampshire, which was previously thought to be the highest point east of the Rocky Mountains.

26. The mountain had previously been known as the Black Dome because of its shape and dark color, when seen at a distance.

27. The coldest temperature ever recorded in the state of North Carolina occurred on Mount Mitchell on 21 January 1985 when it fell to a sub-freezing −34 °F (or −36.7 °C).

28. The summit is often extremely windy, with gusts recorded up to speeds of 178 mph (or 286 km/h).

Facts About The Appalachian Mountains Geography

This collection of interesting facts about the Appalachian Mountains' geography will help to uncover their natural wonder!

29. The Appalachian system is divided into a series of ranges, and each range has an average elevation of around 3 000 ft, or 910 meters.

30. The Appalachian mountain chain also covers parts of the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, which are actually classed as overseas territories of France.

31. Some areas of the Appalachians once reached elevations similar to those found in the Alps, before they experienced natural erosion and wore down.

32. The United States Geological Survey says that the Appalachian Highlands consist of thirteen different provinces: the Atlantic Coast Uplands, Eastern Newfoundland Atlantic, Maritime Acadian Highlands, Maritime Plain, Notre Dame and Mégantic Mountains, Western Newfoundland Mountains, Piedmont, Blue Ridge, Valley and Ridge, Saint Lawrence Valley, Appalachian Plateaus, New England province, and the Adirondack areas.

33. The Northern section of the Appalachian Mountains runs from the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, through Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, all the way to the Hudson River New York, running through the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

34. The Central section of the Appalachian Mountains runs from Hudson Valley to the New River, running through Virginia and West Virginia.

35. The Southern section of the Appalachian Mountains runs onward from the New River.

36. The Appalachian mountain range is commonly considered to be the geographical divide between the East Coast of the United States and the Midwest.

37. The Blue Ridge mountain ranges in the Appalachians are known for having a bluish color when seen from a distance, which is caused by trees releasing isoprene, a common organic compound, into the atmosphere.

The Appalachian Mountains are home to deer such as caribou.

Facts About The Appalachian Mountains History

You won't believe how old these mountains are - find out more with these Appalachian mountains fun facts.

38. In 1528, members of the Narvaez expedition found a Native American village close to what is now Tallahassee in Florida, whose name was Apalchen or Apalachen. The name was altered by the Spanish to Apalachee and used as a name for both the tribe and the region in which they lived.

39. The Appalachian mountains appeared on a map for the first time in 1562.

40. The name 'Appalachian' was not commonly used for the entire mountain range until the late 19th century; before that, they were more popularly called the "Allegheny Mountains."

41. The name 'Appalachian' is the fourth oldest surviving European place-name in the United States.

42. The Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas and Oklahoma were also originally part of the Appalachian mountain chain, but they were disconnected through geologic history.

Facts About The Appalachian Mountains Biodiversity

From fish to firs, squirrels to spruce, these Appalachian region facts will help you to discover the mountains rich flora and fauna.

43. The Appalachians are one of the most biodiverse places in North America.

44. The dominant tree in the Eastern and North American regions is the Red Spruce.

45. The Appalachians are home to two species of fir, the Balsam Fir (native to Eastern and Central Canada and North-Eastern United States) and the Fraser Fir (native to South-Eastern United States).

46. Appalachian forests are home to five different species of tree squirrel.

47. Appalachian streams are a habitat for freshwater fish, particularly the minnow family and darters.

48. The Appalachians are home to a variety of deer including Caribou, Elk, Moose and White-Tailed Deer.

49. The Appalachians are home to several ground-dwelling birds including the Wild Turkey and the Ruffed Grouse, a non-migratory bird who lives in the forests of Canada.

50. Small animals such as the snowshoe hare, eastern cottontail rabbit and groundhog, or woodchuck, are common.

51. The Appalachians are home to a variety of different species of salamanders including the lungless species.

52. The Appalachians are also home to several different species of owl, including the great horned owl, barred owl and screech owl and hawk, including the red-tailed hawk, red-shouldered hawk, and northern goshawk.

53. The beaver is enjoying a resurgence in population, however, it is resulting in a drastic alteration in habitat throughout the mountains because of the construction of dams.

54. The Appalachians are home to a large variety of deciduous broadleaf, or hardwood, trees including white basswood, yellow buckeye, sugar maple,  American beech, tuliptree, white ash and yellow birch.

55. The Appalachian forests have been previously subjected to severe logging and land clearing, particularly during the 19th and early 20th centuries, which caused terrible destruction. Because of this, many state protected areas and national forests and parks have been designated.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 55 Appalachian Mountains Facts For Kids, then why not take a look at Nicaragua Facts, or Greenland Facts?  

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Written by Jo Kingsley

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Film and English

Jo Kingsley picture

Jo KingsleyBachelor of Arts specializing in Film and English

Jo is a versatile writer with a Bachelor's degree in Film and English from the University of Southhampton who is passionate about mental health and well-being, history, art, food and drink, and photography. As a work-from-home mom to two adventurous boys, she loves exploring local castles, museums, and galleries with them, and sharing her knowledge and interests through her blog.

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