Central North Carolina
includes the 48 counties between the Atlantic Ocean counties and the Smoky/Blue Ridge Mountains. Raleigh, the state capital is in Wake County
The Piedmont plateau forms the central third of the state. The Piedmont is a hilly region and is the most urbanized and densely populated section, containing the state's largest cities. Due to rapid urbanization over the last 30 years, a significant part of the rural area in this region has been transformed into suburbs. In particular, the cities of Charlotte and Raleigh have become major urban centers, with large, diverse, and rapidly growing populations.
Elevations in the Piedmont vary from 300 feet to 1,100 feet above sea level. Isolated mountain ranges are scattered here, mostly on the Western side, but few of them reach over 1,200 feet. The Piedmont lies within the Southeastern mixed forests ecoregion and has many forests. The Piedmont borders the Coastal Plain at the Fall Line. An important resource throughout the Piedmont is tobacco.The original inhabitants of the Piedmont were the Catawba Indians. Europeans started settling in this region around the 1700s.
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