Blue Ridge Parkway Environmental Factors

For more than one billion years the lands that are now the Blue Ridge Parkway have been affected by a variety of environmental factors. Beginning with a collision between two huge land masses about 1.1 billion years ago and continuing up to the present day's weathering and erosion, the mountains have been built up and worn down. Once similar to the jagged peaks of the young Rocky Mountains, the older mountains of the southern Appalachians have been worn down by millions of years of erosion and now show the rounded topography and lower elevations that we enjoy today. Other factors are also at work.

Humans have been altering the natural systems here for thousands of years, with increasing impacts since Europeans arrived almost 300 years ago. With more than 1,200 miles of boundary, development encroaches along much of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Hundreds of utility rights-of-way and roads cross its length. Agricultural activities both on and off the Parkway and logging up to its boundaries have changed large patches of vegetation and fragmented remaining areas. Non-native pests and diseases are killing a variety of native plants and animals. Other exotic species are competing with or displacing natives from their habitat. Both air and water pollution have degraded entire systems along the Parkway. Despite all of these impacts the Blue Ridge Parkway continues to provide thousands of acres of natural habitat and refuge.

$150 25% off
An integrated spine protector won't do you much good if it doesn't fit correctly. For that reason Evoc has designed...
Price subject to change | Available through Backcountry.com
Featured Park
Rising above a scene rich with extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes, and alpine terrain, the Teton Range stands monument to the people who fought to protect it. These are mountains of the imagination. Mountains that led to the creation of Grand Teton National Park where you can explore over two hundred miles of trails, float the Snake River or enjoy the serenity of this remarkable place.
Featured Wildlife
The pika is a close relative of the rabbits and hares, with two upper incisors on each side of the jaw, one behind the other. Being rock-gray in color, pikas are seldom seen until their shrill, metallic call reveals their presence.