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Allegheny Front

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The Allegheny Front is the name of the well-defined eastern edge of the Allegheny Plateau, an escarpment rising 2,000 thousand feet that arcs across the eastern U.S. from New York to Tennessee. Its greatest development is over a distance of more than 160 miles through central Pennsylvania, eastern West Virginia, and western Maryland. The Back-Allegheny Front veers westward off the front in southern West Virginia toward Flat Top Mountain.

The front in West Virginia rises at the Potomac River near Cumberland, MD, in the northeast of the state, and trends southwestward through Mineral, Grant, Tucker, Pendleton, and Randolph, Pocohontas, Greenbrier, and Monroe counties. The Back-Allegheny Front rises in Pocahontas County, and extends southwest behind the primary front through Greenbrier, Fayette, Summers, Raleigh, and Mercer counties.

West Virginia's highest elevation, Spruce Knob, and scenic Dolly Sods both lie along the crest of the front. Southward, it is also known as Spruce Mountain. The front marks the division of the Allegheny Plateau, to the west, and the Appalachian Ridge and Valley Province, to the east. Much of Allegheny Front is also part of the Appalachian or Eastern Continental Divide. At its southernmost, the front has been more highly eroded by the Meadow, Greenbrier, and New rivers.


Topo Map showing summit area on the Allegheny Front

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