The Appalachian Plateau Region of Georgia

A Virtual Exploration of Georgia's Smallest Physiographic Region

Physiographic Regions of Georgia (2016) by Georgia Public BroadcastingGeorgia Public Broadcasting

Situated in the northwestern corner of Georgia and surrounded by the Valley and Ridge region to the south and east, the Appalachian Plateau is the state’s smallest physiographic region.

Because of its extensive natural areas and scenic views, this region is one of the most popular areas of Georgia to visit. Dade and Walker counties are located here as well as destinations that highlight the region’s beauty, such as Cloudland Canyon State Park and Lookout Mountain.

Appalachian Plateau Region Map (2016) by Georgia Public BradcastingGeorgia Public Broadcasting

A plateau is a geologic formation that is raised above its surroundings and characterized by a flat top. Visitors enjoy the panoramic views visible from the high elevations of the Appalachian Plateau.

Georgia's Largest Cities - Appalachian Plateau Region (2016) by Georgia Public BroadcastingGeorgia Public Broadcasting

Dade County, which is part of the Chattanooga, Tennessee, metro area, is the only county located completely within the Appalachian Plateau region of Georgia. Dade was founded in 1835 after Georgia took possession of Cherokee Nation land and reallocated it to white settlers in the state’s early land lotteries.

Georgia's Minerals - Appalachian Plateau Region (2016) by Georgia Public BrodadcastingGeorgia Public Broadcasting

The Appalachian Plateau and the Valley and Ridge regions are characterized by sedimentary rocks that are similar in age and composition. Examples include limestone and ironstone, both of which have been mined and sold commercially.

Historically, coal mining was an important economic industry in the region. Miners used a method known as strip mining to extract the resource. Due to the poor quality and acidity of the soil, agriculture was mainly limited to subsistence farming.

Piece of Coal (2016-07-15) by PavlofoxGeorgia Public Broadcasting

Mining was a historically important economic activity in the Appalachian Plateau region due to the presence of coalfields. Coal is a biological sedimentary rock that contains carbon and hydrocarbon. It is considered to be a nonrenewable resource because most deposits formed gradually over the past 300 million years from prehistoric plant debris.

Brachiopoda-limestone hg (2008-02-25) by Grobe, HannesGeorgia Public Broadcasting

The Appalachian Plateau is primarily underlaid by sedimentary rock. Limestone is a type of sedimentary rock that is found in abundance throughout the region.

Appalachian Plateau | Regions of GeorgiaGeorgia Public Broadcasting

Close Up of Dark Pink Lady Slipper Orchid or Moccasin Flower (2008-02-25) by Barnes, Thomas G.Georgia Public Broadcasting

The pink lady slipper, or moccasin flower, is a type of native orchid that is found in the Appalachian Plateau.

Cloudland State Park Overlook (2016) by Georgia Public BroadcastingGeorgia Public Broadcasting

Although the Appalachian Plateau is the smallest region in Georgia, its scenic attraction makes up for its size. Cloudland Canyon State Park is one of many places that showcase the natural beauty of the region.

Appalachian Mountains | Georgia's Physical Features (2016) by Georgia Public BroadcastingGeorgia Public Broadcasting

Did You Know - Appalachian Plateau (2016) by Georgia Public BroadcastingGeorgia Public Broadcasting

Did you know that the Appalachian Plateau region provides a unique habitat for bats?

Gray Bat Band Return (2014-01-15) by Bishop-Boros, LarisaGeorgia Public Broadcasting

Massive stretches of subterranean caves can be found throughout the limestone bedrock of the Appalachian Plateau. Several species of bats inhabit these caves, including the gray bat that migrates to the area for winter hibernation.

Bats! | Georgia Outdoors (2018) by Georgia Public BroadcastingGeorgia Public Broadcasting

Credits: Story

Cloudland State Park

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