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virginia regions

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Regions of VA

Print out the attached map of Virginia by clicking on the paperclip in the bottom right corner. Using pictures and short phrases, note at least three facts about each of the regions.

Appalachian Plateau

Valley and Ridge

Blue Ridge Mountains

Piedmont

Virginia's Coastal Plain

The land west of the Blue Ridge Mountains is called the Valley and Ridge Region. This region consists of a series of narrow, elongated, forested knobs and ridges, which are parallel to one another. Most of the ridges rise between 3 and 4 thousand feet. Some of the ridges found in this region are the Massanutten Mountain, Shenandoah Mountain, Brushy Mountain, Walker Mountain, and Clinch Mountain.The Valley and Ridge Region is west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It consists of an area of flatter land called the Valley of Virginia, or the Great Valley, and a line of mountains known as the Allegheny Mountains. This line of mountains is also part of the Appalachian Mountain range.The Great Valley is made up of several valleys. The largest of these valleys is the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, located in the northern section of the Great Valley.Also, in the Valley and Ridge region, you will find the Natural Hot Springs and Pinnacle Natural Area Preserve. These are popular tourist attractions.The Shenandoah River winds through the Valley.No one really knows exactly how the Shenandoah Valley got its name or what it means. Its most popular meaning is "daughter of the stars". A large part of Virginia's apple crop is grown in the Shenandoah Valley.There are many natural wonders in Virginia's Valley and Ridge Region. Among the best known are seven tall, gray stone towers in Augusta County. The towers are called Natural Chimneys.The Natural Chimneys were caused by water washing away the softer stone around them. After a very long time the Chimneys, which are made of harder stone, were left standing along.

The Appalachian Plateau Region of Virginia is located in Southwest Virginia. It is the smallest of Virginia's geographic regions. Only the counties of Wise, Dickenson, and Buchanan are in this region. Only a small part of the Appalachian Plateau is located in Virginia. A plateau is a raised, level piece of land. The Appalachian Plateau region of Virginia is sometimes called the "toe of the boot." Its major landform is a plateau which makes this region higher than the Ridge and Valley Region. The average elevation or height of this region is 2000 ft. above sea level. The land of the Appalachian Plateau Region is rugged and covered with forests and valuable coal fields.

The physical region of Virginia known as the Blue Ridge Mountains is located between the Piedmont Region and the Valley and Ridge region. The Blue Ridge Mountains are old, rounded mountains. The range of mountains known as the Blue Ridge Mountains is the eastern range of the Appalachian Mountains, which extends south from Pennsylvania to northern Georgia. Beginning with a narrow ridge in the north, the Blue Ridge Mountain range broadens toward the south, reaching a maximum width of 70 miles in North Carolina. The highest point in Virginia is found in these mountains. This peak, called Mount Rogers, is found in the southern part of the region in Grayson County. Mount Rogers is 5,729 feet high.When you look at these mountains from afar, they look blue. That is how they got their name.Receiving much rain, the region is covered with thick forests. Wood is the area's chief resource. The Blue Ridge Mountain Range was a barrier to the pioneers' westward movement. Many gaps cross the ridge; the gap at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, was an important railroad traverse. Most of the people of the Blue Ridge live on small farms in sheltered valleys and keep traditional lifestyles and speech.Principal economic activities found in the Blue Ridge Mountains include livestock raising, farming, tobacco growing and lumber production. Many apple orchards are found in this region of Virginia.The Blue Ridge is a major East Coast recreation area noted for its resorts and scenery. The Appalachian Trail winds atop the range.The Appalachian Trail is a hiking trail that begins in the state of Maine and follows the high mountains all the way south to the state of Georgia. The Appalachian TrailAnother famous sight in the Blue Ridge Mountain Region is the Natural Bridge. Natural Bridge is a stone bridge that is 90 feet long. Trees grow on top of this huge bridge, and a road crosses over it. A tiny stream flows under the bridge. Thomas Jefferson once owned the Natural Bridge.Over many years the little stream wore away tons and tons of stone, leaving this giant bridge that stretches high above it. It is said that George Washington carved his initials 23 feet up the wall under Natural Bridge.

The Coastal Plain (Tidewater) Region is an area of low, flat coastal plain (an area of low, flat land that lies along an ocean) that begins at the Atlantic Coast and stretches inland to the Fall Line. Here, at the Fall Line, rivers drop sharply from the Piedmont Region on their way to the sea. Rocks and waterfalls at the Fall Line stop ships from going any farther inland.There are four peninsulas in the Coastal Plain (Tidewater) Region. The part of Virginia known as the Eastern Shore is one of the peninsulas. The Eastern Shore is separated from the mainland of Virginia by the Chesapeake Bay, which borders it on the west while the Atlantic Ocean borders it on the east. The other three peninsulas are located on the mainland. One is the Northern Neck Peninsula. It is located between the Potomac River, which forms part of Virginia's northern border, and the Rappahannock River. One is the Middle Peninsula. This peninsula is between the Rappahannock and the York rivers. One is simply called The Peninsula. It is located between the York and James rivers. The James River is 340 miles long. It is the longest river entirely within Virginia.For years, the only way to get from the Eastern Shore to the mainland was by ferry. There are four peninsulas in the Coastal Plain (Tidewater) Region. The part of Virginia known as the Eastern Shore is one of the peninsulas. The Eastern Shore is separated from the mainland of Virginia by the Chesapeake Bay, which borders it on the west while the Atlantic Ocean borders it on the east. The other three peninsulas are located on the mainland. One is the Northern Neck Peninsula. It is located between the Potomac River, which forms part of Virginia's northern border, and the Rappahannock River. One is the Middle Peninsula. This peninsula is between the Rappahannock and the York rivers. One is simply called The Peninsula. It is located between the York and James rivers. The James River is 340 miles long. It is the longest river entirely within Virginia. For years, the only way to get from the Eastern Shore to the mainland was by ferry. There are four peninsulas in the Coastal Plain (Tidewater) Region. The part of Virginia known as the Eastern Shore is one of the peninsulas. The Eastern Shore is separated from the mainland of Virginia by the Chesapeake Bay, which borders it on the west while the Atlantic Ocean borders it on the east. The other three peninsulas are located on the mainland. One is the Northern Neck Peninsula. It is located between the Potomac River, which forms part of Virginia's northern border, and the Rappahannock River. One is the Middle Peninsula. This peninsula is between the Rappahannock and the York rivers. One is simply called The Peninsula. It is located between the York and James rivers. The James River is 340 miles long. It is the longest river entirely within Virginia. For years, the only way to get from the Eastern Shore to the mainland was by ferry. A ferry is a boat that carries people and things across small bodies of water. Farmers on the Eastern Shore once used the ferries to carry their produce to cities on the mainland. Now refrigerated trucks carry Eastern Shore fruits and vegetables across the Chesapeake Bay through tunnels and over bridges. This great bridge-tunnel is 17 miles of road--some of which is a tunnel that goes under the water.The rest of the Coastal Plain (Tidewater) Region, from the James River to the North Carolina border, has two natural features--the Hampton Roads harbor, which is the one of the world's largest natural harbors, and the Dismal Swamp.The Hampton Roads harbor is one of the world's finest natural harbors. It includes the ports of Newport News, Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth. Millions of tons of produce, products and goods are loaded into oceangoing ships in Virginia's ports. These ships sail to other ports in the United States and to ports all over the world. The Dismal Swamp is one of Virginia's most interesting natural features. It is a huge wetland area in southeastern Virginia. It provides protection and food for many types of wildlife. The wildlife include deer, rabbits, raccoons, foxes, bobcats, and even bears. Birds, snakes, frogs and turtles can also be found here. Virginia's largest natural lake, Lake Drummond, is located here.

The western edge of the Tidewater Region is formed by the Fall Line. The Fall Line is a line of small waterfalls and rapids. Rapids are places in rivers or streams where the water flows very quickly and roughly. The Fall Line is formed by these rivers and streams flowing from the older, harder rocks on the western side to the softer rocks on the eastern side.The land to the west of the Fall Line is called the Piedmont Region. Piedmont is a French word meaning "foot of the mountains". The land of the Piedmont Region is higher than the land of the Tidewater Region.Amherst County is in the Piedmont region. Richmond, the capital of Virginia is also located in the Piedmont Region. It is a trade center on the James River.If you travel west on any of the rivers in the Tidewater Region, you will come to the waterfalls and rapids of the Fall Line. Several important cities in Virginia grew up along the Fall Line. Early towns in the Tidewater Region were built on waterways. As people moved west, they also settled on waterways. The Fall Line cities of Alexandria, Fredericksburg, Richmond and Petersburg are all found on rivers.Ocean going ships could come up the rivers as far as the Fall Line. Because of the goods that these ships carried back and forth, cities along the Fall Line became major transportation centers. Many small towns grew into large cities.Richmond began as a small trading town at the Fall Line on the James River. The town of Richmond grew slowly at first. When it became the capital of Virginia in 1780, it expanded rapidly. The Piedmont Region to the west of the Fall Line is a plateau. A plateau is a large, raised, level piece of land. The Piedmont Plateau is Virginia's largest natural region. It has an elevation of about 850 feet. The Piedmont Plateau continues inland to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Much of the land of the Piedmont has beautiful rolling hills and valleys. Rivers and streams that cut across the Piedmont Plateau have helped to form those hills and valleys. It includes grassy meadows that are good for grazing. Many farmers raise crops in this region. Forests are also found in the Piedmont.

Read and listen to facts on each region.

Richmond

Cumberland Gap

Tidewater

The Great Dismal Swamp

Amherst is in the Piedmont Region. Find out what is special about this region.We share our region with Richmond,our state capital.

Click the name of the region to view a podcast on the area from Virginia Trekkers. Click the picture of the Trekkers for more podcasts.

Click the thumbnail photos to view well known VA attractions.

This is the commercial from Virginia's Live Passionately Campaign. Why would tourists want to visit our state?

Check out the quia games below.


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