The Blue Ridge Mountains extend from southern Pennsylvania to northern Georgia and are an important constituent of the Appalachian Mountain system. The range is divided roughly in half by the Roanoke River. North of the Roanoke, the range is known simply as South Mountain. On the south side are the Black Mountains and Unaka Mountains of North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee.
The highest peaks, both in North Carolina, are Grandfather Mountain (5964 feet) and Mt. Mitchell in the Black Mountains, at 6684 feet the highest point east of the Mississippi River.
The Blue Ridge Mountains are composed of some of the most ancient rocks found in the Appalachians. Untouched by Ice Age glaciation, the present smooth contours of the mountains, as well as the gaps in their structure, have resulted from eons of weathering and erosion.