The Southern Appalachians are some of the oldest mountains in the world and the birthplace of North Carolina Outward Bound School.

While the mountains themselves formed over 250 million years ago, some of the rocks that underlie the region are over a billion years old! 

The long geologic and evolutionary history of the Southern Appalachians has created one of the most biologically diverse regions in the temperate world; some even say it is “rainforest-like.” This region is home to beautiful rushing rivers, hundreds of waterfalls, and some of the highest peaks in the Eastern United States—including Mt. Mitchell (elevation 6,684’), the highest point east of the Mississippi River. Its diverse landscapes have been featured in many motion pictures, including The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans.

Outward Bound students can expect to share the wilderness with over 700 different kinds of trees, more than 50 types of mammals, 150 different types of birds, and over 50 species of amphibians. The huge number of tree and plant life is actually what gives these mountains their namesake. As plants breathe, they exhale and put the ‘blue’ into the atmosphere, thereby contributing the characteristic blue haze on these distinctive mountains. 

Temperatures in this area range from 50 - 85 degrees in the summer, 30 - 65 degrees in the spring and fall, and 10 - 50 degrees in the winter. 

These regions are the ancestral lands of the Cherokee.

Blue Ridge Mountain Courses



WATCH: Discover what the Blue Ridge Mountains have to offer you.

This trip was incredible and terrible at the same time. I would not have learned so much if I was not pushed out of my comfort zone. It was exactly what I needed at this point in my life.

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