When people think of North Carolina, some think of nice beaches, others of mountains and climbing, and some of the prestigious schools. But true North Carolinians know the state has it all. Beautiful mountain views, plenty of beach options, and the brains and strength of successful schools in both academics and athletics. What type of North Carolinian are you? Take our fun quiz to find out.
North Carolina, a constituent state of the United States of America, is located on the Atlantic coast halfway between New York and Florida and is bordered to the north by Virginia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by South Carolina and Georgia, and to the west by Tennessee. The state's terrain is among the wettest in the country, with vast marshes in the tidal coastal zone and numerous lakes in the Piedmont and Appalachian regions. These three physical regions represent much of the diversity of lifestyles and cultures within the boundaries of the state. North Carolina extends across three main physiographic regions of the United States: the coastal plain (or tidal water area), Piedmont, and the Appalachian Mountains.
In addition to producing a spectacular landscape, this regional variation has influenced the state's climate, soils, plant life and human geography. As the land extends westward from sea level, it gradually rises to the fall line, an area about 30 miles (50 km) wide that separates the coastal plain from Piedmont. In the latter region, the topography becomes irregular and the land rises approximately 5 feet (1.5 meters) per mile to the base of Appalachia, a distance of approximately 140 miles (225 km). The mountains have a worn and rounded appearance, reflecting a geological origin earlier than that of the steep peaks of the western United States.
Mount Mitchell, which rises to 6,684 feet (2,037 meters), is the highest peak east of the Mississippi. The coastal plain, which makes up almost half of the state, consists of a gently undulating and well-drained interior and a marshy area of tidal waters near the coast. This last region was the first to be explored and settled. A long chain of islands, Outer Banks, extends from Virginia to South Carolina, and usually consists of sand dunes that can reach 100 feet (30 meters) in height or more.
Three layers: Hatteras, Lookout and Fear, the first two within the national coasts, delve into the ocean in an area known as the “cemetery of the Atlantic”, a reference to the many ships that have sunk in its dangerous waters. The elevation of the entire area averages less than 20 feet (6 meters) above sea level. Navigation in small boats is only possible due to sedimentation and shallow sounds and estuaries. The inland coastal plain extends 120 to 140 miles (190 to 225 km) west to Piedmont, which is a region of rolling, forested hills.
The prominent ridges and hills of eastern Piedmont may be remains of an ancient mountain range that was parallel to Appalachian Mountains from which foothills extend to western Piedmont. The area is well drained by rivers that flow into coastal plain or South Carolina. Dams on Catawba and Yadkin rivers are important sources of hydroelectric power. The mountainous region comprises a plateau divided by two southern Appalachian ranges.
In east are Blue Ridge Mountains which rise steeply from Piedmont to peaks 900-1200 meters (3000-4000 feet) with several reaching more than 6000 feet (1800 meters). At western end Unaka Mountains contain Great Smoky Mountains which roll west to Tennessee. This region is divided into several transverse ridges and series of smaller plateaus and basins. One main ridge is formed by Black Mountain group with about 100 peaks rising above 5000 feet (1500 meters) in western part of state.
North Carolina has about 3820 square miles (9890 square km) inland water which is third largest area its kind in any state. Lake Mattamuskeet which covers about 63 square miles (162 square km) in state's eastern tidal zone is North Carolina's largest natural lake. Lakes are especially abundant in Catawba River basin in southwestern region Piedmont & Appalachia; river itself is largely chain artificial reservoirs. Catawba is most densely populated river basin in state while Cape Fear River basin which occupies much North Carolina's southeastern quadrant is largest one.
Roanoke River drains northeastern corner state & flows southeast from Virginia to ocean at Albermarle Sound while Yadkin-Pee Dee River is divided into two parts North Carolina from north to south with Little Tennessee & French Broad Rivers flowing northwest from North Carolina Mountains to Tennessee & Raleigh drained by Neuse River which flows into Atlantic in New Bern. Soils in North Carolina are commonly grouped according to regional variations with coastal soils rich & humus-laden while further west hills consist mostly sand & have almost no organic materials; Piedmont region predominantly clayey & mountain soils combination clay sand & silt commonly called marl; all North Carolina soils affected by excessive leaching which causes large loss minerals & successful agriculture depends on large additions lime & fertilizers. If you like outdoors North Carolina offers you getaway no matter where you decide settle with world-class educational institutions including top colleges & universities nearly every area study & other taxes generally low making North Carolina great place settle your later years; if you're moving North Carolina from location with four distinct seasons mild climate can definitely take little getting used to while thriving sports scene awaits you.