Blue Ridge Mountain
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|Blue Ridge Mountain|
Blue Ridge Mountain as seen from across the Potomac on Weverton Cliffs
|Elevation||2,388 ft (728 m)|
|Location||Virginia, West Virginia|
|Range||Blue Ridge Mountains|
Blue Ridge Mountain, also known as Blue Mountain, is the colloquial name of the western most ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Virginia and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. The Appalachian Trail traverses the entire length of the mountain along its western slope and crest.
The Mountain extends from the Potomac River, in the north, to Chester Gap, in the south. Along this section of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountain comprises the sole ridge of the chain in the immediate vicinity and contains few spur ridges or peaks. The notable exceptions are the Bull Run and Catoctin mountains, which lie approximately 20 miles (32 km) to the east across the Loudoun Valley, and the Short Hill Mountain, located 4 miles (6.4 km) to the east, which runs parallel to the Blue Ridge for 12 miles (19 km) near its northern terminus. To the west of the mountain is the lower Shenandoah Valley.
Blue Ridge Mountain is noticeably lower in elevation than other sections of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. The southern section of the mountain contains the highest peaks and the ridge gradually loses elevation as it gets closer to the Potomac. Elevations in the gaps are typically around 1,000 feet (300 m) while peaks range from 1,200 feet (370 m) to 2,300 feet (700 m). Across the Potomac the ridge continues as Elk Ridge in Maryland.
The mountain's watershed forms the border between several counties, separating Loudoun County, Virginia from Jefferson County, West Virginia and Clarke County, Virginia and Fauquier County, Virginia from Clarke County and Warren County, Virginia.
Blue Ridge Mountain consists mostly of anticlinal Catoctin Greenstone and is not underlain by Old Rag Granite, as is the Blue Ridge south of Manassas Gap. This is why the mountain is more ridgelike and less rugged than sections to the south. The greenstone was deposited during the Catoctin Formation and uplifted during the Alleghenian Orogeny.
Blue Ridge Mountain contains several national, state, regional and private parks that offer recreational opportunities on the mountain including:
- Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
- The Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship
- The Rolling Ridge Foundation
- Sky Meadows State Park
- G. Richard Thompson Wildlife Management Area