The Blue Ridge Mountains form the eastern ranges of the Appalachian Mountains system. They extend from southeastern Pennsylvania across Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and northern Georgia. The blue tint that affects the lower slopes of the mountains when seen from a distance is the source of their name.
The highest peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains are in North Carolina. Grandfather Mountain, the highest peak, reaches 5,964 feet. The Potomac River and other rivers have cut narrow, picturesque valleys through the mountains.