Talk:Appalachian Mountains

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Former good article nominee Appalachian Mountains was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
September 8, 2006 Good article nominee Not listed


I was appalled to see that this is only a C-class article, formerly a GA candidate. Looking in the history, I see it was downgraded in 2010[1] without much controversy and its status has remained unchanged. Since that time, some 908 changes have been made to the article. I think it is time to reconsider it for a reassessment and a peer review, because in my mind this is not a C-class article. What-all is missing from the article that makes it worthy of only a C that isn't better placed on Appalachia and other connected articles (e.g. Geology of the Appalachians etc.)? Presently, all I can think of is:

  • Appalachian_map.jpg is misleading since it implies that the Appalachians are limited to the USGS's geological sections
  • the map appears to be kind of haphazard, and possibly even WP:OR; surely there exists an XML on the USGS website that contains its real boundaries?
  • more text added about the northern Appalachians, esp. the Sutton mountain range
  • Others...?

- SweetNightmares 20:23, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

In addition, the lede probably needs to be overhauled, and at least a third paragraph added. Bms4880 (talk) 21:06, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I have changed the map for now, but this is still not preferable since it
  1. has text on it
  2. doesn't include the Canadian Appalachians
  3. focuses on the valley rather than its mountains
2 more bullets to add to the list:
  • The history section needs LOTS of references and should talk about the Cumberland Gap/Daniel Boone more... honestly the history of the Appalachians is so great it probably should have its own article :/
  • The section on "drainage" should be expanded with info on the Great Appalachian Valley and what-all happened during glaciation.
- SweetNightmares 22:40, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

There is lots of useful information to incorporate from here (Northern Arizona University). - SweetNightmares 18:48, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Another interesting tidbit from Ohio U. - SweetNightmares 18:59, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

weak sourcing for Wachesa Trail[edit]

Recent edits use a weakly-sourced Wikipedia topic as the source to support the contention that Wachesa Trail was a well-known, much-used route to the west. All that the reader can glean from the linked topic is that the trail was known, but not widely. The effect is apparent regional promotion, lacking further sources TEDickey (talk) 10:35, 20 September 2015 (UTC)

I agree, it is poorly sourced, as the passage isn't well covered, yet, by Wikipedia. It is of historical, but mostly forgotten importance, and was recently named as an National Millennium Flagship trail, named as the Unicoi Turnpike Trail. Sadly, it hasn't yet even received an article as such. It was known during the colonization of western Carolina, and played a role in the French-Indian wars, and the Revolutionay War.I will try to add better sources as time permits. User:Interstellarsurfer 13:15, 20 September (UTC)

This trail should be removed. The sentence mentions three major access points through the range. There were dozens of trails like this one, and mentioning it as though it had an importance similar to the Cumberland Gap or Mohawk Valley gives it undue weight. Bms4880 (talk) 14:10, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

Use of the trail pre-dates the discovery of the Cumberland Gap, and was the only passage through the southern Appalachians. It was in use by colonials concurrently with the Mohawk Valley, and played a similar role in the French-Indian war. It was even defended by Ft. Loudoun on it's eastern terminus, as Mohawk was defended by Ft. Oswego. The route was successfully defended by the Cherokee against the French and their indian allies, so it isn't quite as interesting as the Mohawk Valley, which was hotly contested by the French, British, and their indian allies.

As for my sourcing, I've occasionally tried to find online scanned-archives of the old history books, but I've not had much luck. This deserves more attention. I may have to go to a few local libraries, and blow the dust off of some century old books to find the primary sources. Just because it's not well documented on the internet, doesn't mean it is unimportant - and that's exactly why I'm trying to help. Interstellarsurfer (talk) 09:49, 31 December 2015 (UTC)

Just note that adequate sourcing is a critical factor for inclusion in a Wikipedia article. We're not saying it's unimportant, we're saying its importance needs to be well-documented, preferably in secondary source literature. I'm not finding anything. It's easy to find sources for Cumberland Gap or Mohawk Valley. Bms4880 (talk) 00:36, 2 January 2016 (UTC)

Railroad lines[edit]


In the North the Eastern Continental Divide in higher the West, in the South it's generally higher in East.

Historic Railroad Line / opening date Gap (highest point) Coordinate Map Comment Operator today
Pennsylvania Railroad Main Line (1854) Gallitzin Tunnel 40°28′46.11″N 78°32′23.51″W / 40.4794750°N 78.5398639°W / 40.4794750; -78.5398639 Bahnstrecke Pittsburgh–Harrisburg.png NS
Western Maryland Railway Connellsville Subdivision (1912) Big Savage Tunnel 39°44′40.88″N 78°53′45.28″W / 39.7446889°N 78.8959111°W / 39.7446889; -78.8959111 Improve me! abandoned, north of Potomac
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Main Line (1842), Magnolia Cutoff (1914) X 39°36′4.08″N 78°23′44.02″W / 39.6011333°N 78.3955611°W / 39.6011333; -78.3955611 south of Potomac CSX
Chesapeake and Ohio Railway name unknown 37°44′58.41″N 80°15′34.06″W / 37.7495583°N 80.2594611°W / 37.7495583; -80.2594611 ChesapeakeOhioRRMap1873.jpg CSX
Virginia Central Railroad Rockfish Gap 38°2′7.31″N 78°51′36.9″W / 38.0353639°N 78.860250°W / 38.0353639; -78.860250
Virginian Railway Clarks Gap (WV) 37°20′28.53″N 81°20′46.34″W / 37.3412583°N 81.3462056°W / 37.3412583; -81.3462056 Virginian Railway Map.png original route abandoned NS
Clinchfield Railroad CSX
Asheville and Spartanburg/
Southern Railway


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Appalachian Origin Dispute: Devonian or Ordovician?[edit]

According to the Read section here the Appalachians were created in the early Ordovician (488-443 MYA), but the authoritative World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2009 edition, clearly states that the mountains were created in the Devonian period (416-359 MYA), about 70 million years later "collisions between Gondawanaland and ancestral landmasses of N America and Eurasia produce mountains visible today as northern Appalachians". Somebody is wrong here. Which one is it? Young minds are at stake. Caveat lector. I'm sticking with received wisdom. Goodbye. Raylopez99 (talk) 05:40, 29 January 2017 (UTC)