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in reference to the North American mountain range, c.1600, Mountaynes Apalatsi; written apalachen by Spanish explorers and originally in reference only to the southern end of the range. Originally the name of the Apalachee, a Muskogean people of northwestern Florida, perhaps from Apalachee abalahci "other side of the river" or Hitchiti (Muskogean) apalwahči "dwelling on one side." Spelling shifted under influence of adjectives in -ian.
Note: Location of the Appalachian Trail, the world's longest continuous hiking path. It extends over two thousand miles from Maine to Georgia.
Note: Historically, the Appalachian Mountains were a barrier to early western expansion. In the early 1840s, railroads began to transport settlers across the mountains, permitting access to the frontier.