Welcome North of the Ridge.
Well, it is the long ridge that separates the mountainous interior of Pennsylvania from the Great Valley and highly developed southeastern portion of the state. It is known variously as First Mountain or Blue Mountain, and it stretches from the Maryland border all the way to the Delaware River.
North of the ridge there is a unique physiographic, cultural, and ecological region called the Ridge and Valley, a land of steep 800 to 1000 foot mountains rising from narrow valleys, of parallel ridges that twist and fold back on themselves, of extensive forests, thriving farms, and tough, neighborly people.
To the north, the region is bounded by the Allegheny Front. At its widest, the Ridge and Valley is only 100 miles across; nevertheless, it has been a physical barrier since, at least, the last Ice Age, and a psychological barrier since man first settled along the Atlantic Coast–an obstacle to be breached, bypassed, or bulled through by ditches, tunnels, and turnpikes.
In their hurry to just get through the mountains, too many folks miss their unique beauty. That’s too bad; there is a lot to see and do hereabouts, if you’ll just get off the interstate and spend a little time north of the ridge.
And if you don’t have time for a visit, please check out the Outdoor Notes page and the Galleries, and stop by the Links page to find some truly outstanding websites, including some of the finest nature photographers in the State.
Also, we are an Amazon affiliate, so if you use our link to go to Amazon, we get a few cents. My current featured book is Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New England by Tom Wessel.
While this book is targeted on New England, it is an excellent resource for learning how to figure out the history of a piece of ground by reading the clues as to previous land use, climate effects, the effect of beavers, etc. I did not know that about the sheep….