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mountain range in Yancey and Buncombe counties in western North Carolina, U.S., part of the Appalachian Mountains extending north from the Blue Ridge. The range includes Mount Mitchell (6,684 feet [2,037 metres]), the highest point east of the Mississippi River. Since the Black Mountains were not subject to glaciation, their slopes are covered with soil to the top, except for rocky precipices, and are heavily wooded. They lie within Pisgah National Forest and are a popular recreational site