Portal to the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains
in North Carolina and Tennessee

View west from the crest of the Great Balsam Mountains, over the Nantahala National Forest, at sunset. Location: NC, Jackson County, The Blue Ridge Parkway, Cowee Mountain Overlook, MP 431. [ref. to #212.236]
View west over the Nantahala National Forest, at sunset. Location: NC, Jackson County, The Blue Ridge Parkway, Cowee Mountain Overlook, MP 431. [ref. to #212.236]

An Island in the Sky


Hundreds of miles west of the Atlantic coast, the Blue Ridge forms a nearly continuous line of cliffs that stretch from the Potomac to Georgia, a barrier for settlers in the colonial era and interstate highways in the modern. For most of its length it is only a few miles wide — but North Carolina is different. The North Carolina Blue Ridge widens to more than a hundred miles east-to-west, and reaches upward well over a mile above sea level, with forty peaks topping 6,000 feet. This is no narrow mountain barrier; it is an island in the sky.

The Northern Mountains

The Linn Cove Viaduct viewed from its northeastern end on the east slope of Grandfather Mtn. Location: NC, Avery County, The Blue Ridge Parkway, Grandfather Mountain, Linn Cove Viaduct, MP 304. [ref. to #214.071]
The Linn Cove Viaduct viewed from its northeastern end on the east slope of Grandfather Mtn. Location: NC, Avery County, The Blue Ridge Parkway, Grandfather Mountain, Linn Cove Viaduct, MP 304. [ref. to #214.071]
Tobacco, drying in a field, in front of a red barn. Location: NC, Yancey County, Mayland Valley, Bald Creek Area, Possum Trot Community. [ref. to #235.306]
Tobacco, drying in a field, in front of a red barn. Location: NC, Yancey County, Mayland Valley, Bald Creek Area, Possum Trot Community. [ref. to #235.306]

More Images of the Blue Ridge's Northern Mountains...

The Mountains of Asheville

Chimney Rock Park. View from Skyline Trail towards Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. Location: NC, Rutherford County, The Blue Ridge Mountains, Hickory Nut Gorge. [ref. to #232.392]
Chimney Rock Park. View from Skyline Trail towards Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. Location: NC, Rutherford County, The Blue Ridge Mountains, Hickory Nut Gorge. [ref. to #232.392]
Gardens of the Richmond Hill Inn,a luxury hotel near downtown. Location: NC, Buncombe County, Asheville, Richmond Hill Neighborhood [ref. to #237.504]
The Richmond Hill Inn, viewed from its gardens in autumn. Location: NC, Buncombe County, Asheville, Richmond Hill District [ref to 237.504]

More Images of Asheville's Mountains...

The Great Smoky Mountains

Fall view south over Cades Cove, towards the Great Smoky Mountains and the Methodist Church. Location: TN, Blount County, Great Smoky Mountains Nat. Park, Cades Cove, Rich Mountain Road. [ref. to #228.747]
Fall view south over Cades Cove, towards the Great Smoky Mountains and the Methodist Church. Location: TN, Blount County, Great Smoky Mountains Nat. Park, Cades Cove, Rich Mountain Road. [ref. to #228.747]
Greenbriar School; Teacher Miss Elsie Burrell in doorway of one room log schoolhouse. Location: TN, Sevier County, Great Smoky Mountains Nat. Park, Little River Road, Little Greenbrier. [ref. to #204.018]
Greenbriar School; Teacher Miss Elsie Burrell in doorway of one room log schoolhouse. Location: TN, Sevier County, Great Smoky Mountains Nat. Park, Little River Road, Little Greenbrier. [ref. to #204.018]

More Images of the Smokies...

South of the Smokies

Craft artist Brant Barnes of Dillsboro throwing pottery; mt.s in bkgd; RELEASED. Location: NC, Jackson County, Sylva Area, Dillsboro. [ref. to #216.032]
Craft artist Brant Barnes of Dillsboro throwing pottery; mt.s in bkgd; RELEASED. Location: NC, Jackson County, Sylva Area, Dillsboro. [ref. to #216.032]
Red barn & ponds in meadow; snow. Location: NC, Swain County, Tuckaseegee Valley, Whittier Area, Conley Creek Community. [ref. to #223.003]
Red barn & ponds in meadow; snow. Location: NC, Swain County, Tuckaseegee Valley, Whittier Area, Conley Creek Community. [ref. to #223.003]

More Images South of the Smoky Mountains...

Clickable Map Showing the Four Parts of this Region

The Northern Mountains area of the Blue Ridge region of North Carolina and Tennessee The South of the Smokies area of the Blue Ridge region of North Carolina and Tennessee The Great Smoky Mountains area of the Blue Ridge region of North Carolina and Tennessee The Mountains of Asheville area of the Blue Ridge region of North Carolina and Tennessee The Northern Mountains area of the Blue Ridge region of North Carolina and Tennessee
Map created using DeLorme XMap 4.5®, ©2004 DeLorme XMap® (www.deLorme.com)
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