Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge, or Blue Ridge Mountains, is a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian Mountains. The province consists of the Northern and Southern physiographic sections, which divide near the Roanoke River gap. They are a mountain chain in the eastern United States, part of the Appalachian Mountains, forming their eastern front from Georgia to Pennsylvania To the west of the Blue Ridge, between it and the bulk of the Appalachians, lies the Great Appalachian Valley, bordered on the west by the Ridge and Valley province. The mountains are well known for their bluish color when seen from a distance. Trees put the "blue" in Blue Ridge, from the isoprene released into the atmosphere, thereby contributing to the characteristic haze on the mountains and their distinctive color.
Within the Blue Ridge province, there are two two national parks: the Shenandoah National Park in the northern section and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the southern section. The Blue Ridge also contains the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile long scenic highway that connects the two parks and is located along the ridge crestlines along the Appalachian Trail.