North Georgia is located in the southern section of what geologists call the Appalachian Province. This is an ancient region of mountains and hills that lie between the coastal plain on the east and the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys on the west. The eastern boundary of the Province is well marked by the fall line and a string of cities - Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Petersburg, Raleigh, Columbia, Augusta, Macon, Columbus and Montgomery. To the west the Appalachian Province is bounded by the edge of the plateau region which roughly lies along a line drawn between Cleveland, Ohio and north central Alabama. Of the some eight major subdivisions of the Appalachian Province, three lie in Georgia, namely, the Piedmont plateau of north and central Georgia, the Blue Ridge sub-province of northeast Georgia and the valley and ridge region of northwest Georgia. Each of these has distinctive features and together they make for a wide diversity of scenery and of plants and animals.
Millions of years ago, a shallow sea was located where the present Appalachian mountains occur, but since then numerous earth movements have resulted in the sinking of some of the areas and uplifting of others into high mountains. After the period of mountain building, millions of years of erosion have worn down the mountains and the plateaus to create the present gently rolling and rounded mountains and hills which we have today. Abundant rainfall throughout the region results in luxuriant forests and numerous streams and rivers which originate in the hills and flow out of the region onto the plains to east and west.
The flora of the southern Appalachians is one of the richest in the world. There are more kinds of trees in our region than are native in all of Europe. This richness in species is presumed to be the result of the fact that during the glacial age the southern Appalachians were a refuge for many species of plants which were pushed southward with the advancing ice sheets. The southern part of the Appalachian Province was never glaciated so there are very few natural lakes. However, man-made lakes now occur in great abundance throughout the region.