North Mountain (Virginia-West Virginia)

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For the similarly named mountain farther south in Virginia and West Virginia, see Great North Mountain.
North Mountain
Shanghai WV.jpg
North Mountain's Roundtop summit in the distance seen from Shanghai, West Virginia, to the west.
Elevation 1,673 ft (510 m)
Prominence 1,073 ft (327 m)
Location
Location Frederick County, Virginia / Berkeley County, West Virginia, U.S.
Range Allegheny Mountains, part of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians
Coordinates 39°25′14″N 78°05′20″W / 39.42056°N 78.08889°W / 39.42056; -78.08889Coordinates: 39°25′14″N 78°05′20″W / 39.42056°N 78.08889°W / 39.42056; -78.08889
Topo map USGS Tablers Station
Climbing
Easiest route Drive

North Mountain is a mountain ridge within the Ridge-and-valley Appalachians in the U.S. states of Virginia and West Virginia.

Geography[edit]

North Mountain spans 23.5 miles (37.8 km) from the Potomac River in the north to the community of Green Spring in Frederick County, Virginia in the south. The ridge is divided into two sections; the north and south spans. The north span consists of the portion of the ridge from the Potomac to the town of Hedgesville, West Virginia, which lies 3.5 miles (5.6 km) to the south within Skinners Gap in between the mountain's two spans. The northern span is characterized by lower elevations, its highest point is 920 feet (280 m) just north of Hedgesville, and numerous gaps at valley floor elevations. The southern span consists of the remaining 20 miles (32 km) of ridge line and is noticeably higher in elevation, containing the mountain's highest point of 1,673 feet (510 m) above sea-level at its Roundtop summit near Arden in Berkeley County, West Virginia. The southern section also contains many gaps, but all are several hundred feet above the valley floor. Back Creek Valley lies to the mountain ridge's west and the Shenandoah Valley to its east. Back Creek owes its name to North Mountain, as early settlers in the eighteenth century referred to the stream as to the "back" of the ridge when approaching it from the east.

Variant names[edit]

According to the Geographic Names Information System, North Mountain has also widely been known as Great Ridge and Little North Mountain, when in comparison to the much larger Great North Mountain to the south.

Summits, knobs and gaps[edit]

Although North Mountain is a continuous mountain ridge, it is made up of a number of summits, knobs and gaps with individual names. These are listed from north to south.

  • Potato Hill, 787 feet (240 m)
  • Skinners Gap, 640 feet (Hedgesville, West Virginia)
  • High Knob, 938 feet (286 m)
  • Parks Gap, 1,100 feet (Dry Run Road)
  • Boyds Gap, 1,480 feet (Tuscarora Pike)
  • Roundtop, 1,673 feet (510 m)
  • Mills Gap, 1,180 feet (Apple Harvest Drive and Gerrardstown Road)
  • Dutton Gap, 1,290 feet