Of the ten highest mountains in the eastern United States, six are in the Black Mountain Range of western North Carolina. The most famous of these is Mount Mitchell, which at 6684 feet is the tallest peak east of the Mississippi River.
The Southern Appalachian Mountains are not high enough to have a natural tree line or Alpine zone, yet the region has hundreds of treeless areas called balds. Their origins- whether or man-made or the product of climatic changes- still remain a mystery.
Towns do not survive forever. Western North Carolina has a number of its own lost towns. They disappeared for a number of reasons.
People like to name natural features. In Appalachia, place names often stand out because of the wide variety of ethnic groups that have settled the region. Many places, like Cullowhee and Nantahala, retain their Cherokee names.