Grassy Bald

November 14, 2006


Provided and copyright by: Bryan Corkins
Summary authors & editors: Bryan Corkins, Jim Foster

Grassy balds are unique, wide-open areas on mountain tops in the southern Appalachian Mountains of the eastern U.S. They're formation is still a bit of a mystery. It has been suggested that native large mammals, such as bison and elk, were responsible for maintaining these balds; later early settlers grazed the same sites with domesticated livestock. The bald shown above, photographed in early June of this year, is located at Carvers Gap, on the Appalachian Trail in western North Carolina. Mountain laurel (a type of rhododendron) adorns the hillsides here in late spring.

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