The Appalachians are rich in coal other resources include iron, petroleum, and natural gas. The scenic ranges also abound in resorts and recreation areas, including Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mts. national parks. The Appalachian Trail winds 2,050 mi (3,299 km) along the ridges of the Appalachians between Mt. Katahdin, Maine, and Springer Mt., Georgia.
Crossed by few passes, the Appalachians were a barrier to early westward expansion and played an important role in U.S. history major east-west routes like the Cumberland Gap and Mohawk Trail followed river valleys or mountain notches.
See E. Porter, Appalachian Wilderness (1970) H. M. Caudill, My Land is Dying (1971) M. Brooks, The Appalachians (1986) H. D. Shapiro, Appalachia on Our Mind (1986).
See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. Physical Geography
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