Mountain range in southeastern USA, and part of the Appalachian Mountains system. The Blue Ridge Mountains run from northwest Georgia to West Virginia. The highest summit (and also the highest point in eastern USA) is Mount Mitchell; height 2,037 m/6,684 ft.
The geologically complex Blue Ridge range, which includes some of the oldest (Precambrian) rocks of the Appalachian System, comprises largely metamorphic rocks, with igneous intrusions, and is known especially for its hard granites and gneisses. In the south it is crossed by the James, Potomac, and Roanoke rivers. The area is noted for its resorts, stands of hardwood, and isolated settlements retaining traditional agricultural lifestyles, and is the subject of many songs and legends. Lumbering and tourism are major economic activities. Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway run along the Blue Ridge range, and parts of the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Appalachian Trail are in the region.
Some of the other ranges usually considered as comprising the Blue Ridge (which has many spurs and extensions) include the Black Mountains, the Great Smoky Mountains, and the Unaka Mountains.