The Blue Ridge Mountains are noted for their bluish color when seen from a distance. Trees put the "blue" in Blue Ridge, from the isoprene released into the atmosphere, thereby contributing to the characteristic haze on the mountains and their distinctive color. The highest peak in the Blue Ridge (and in the entire Appalachian chain) is Mt. Mitchell
in North Carolina at 6,684 feet (2,037 m). There are 39 peaks in North Carolina
higher than 6,000 feet ; by comparison, only New Hampshire's Mt. Washington
rises above 6,000 feet (1,800 m) in the northern portion of the Appalachian chain.
Within the Blue Ridge province are two major national parks: the Shenandoah National Park in the northern section and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the southern section. The Blue Ridge also contains the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile long scenic highway that connects the two parks and is located along the ridge crestlines with the Appalachian Trail.