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Guide to the Geology and Natural History of the Blue Ridge Mountains

Edgar W. Spencer


BUY Paper · 396 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780983747161 · $29.95 · Apr 2017

As you travel along the Blue Ridge Parkway, hike the Appalachian Trail, or visit the national and state parks scattered throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains, you will encounter an incredible variety of natural landscapes, microclimates, and fascinating rock formations. Over millions of years the ecosystems thriving here have evolved into some of the world’s most diverse collections of flora and fauna.

Full of rich detail and easy to use, this beautifully illustrated full-color guide to the region was written and designed for great accessibility, whether you’re a first-time visitor looking to understand the Parkway’s spectacular views or an experienced geology or nature enthusiast.

Beginning with an overview of the major geological and environmental processes that shape the Blue Ridge, the book includes a series of field guides to specific localities scattered along a 670-mile journey that begins at Catoctin Mountain in Maryland and concludes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. You will find points of interest along the Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, and the Blue Ridge Parkway, as well as side trips to nearby sites, including detailed itineraries and information on accommodations, trails, and local attractions. The book concludes with an illustrated identification guide to the Blue Ridge Mountains’ many rocks, minerals, trees, plants, flowers, and birds.

For those seeking a greater understanding of the inner workings of the geology and natural history of the Blue Ridge, this is an indispensable companion.

About the Author: 

Edgar W. Spencer is Professor Emeritus of Geology at Washington and Lee University. He has published many books on geology and has led countless field trips in the Blue Ridge and other locations throughout the world. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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