While all the Appalachian Mountains are very old, these particular mountains are among Appalachian's oldest. One mountain has been geologically dated to being more than 400 million years old.
Many of the mountains in this area have sheer rock faces. The rock began as molten lava thousands of centuries ago. Wind and rain "beat" down the mountains, leaving the molten lava exposed as rock faces. They are lovely and popular destinations for rock climbers.
You can see houses built in this previously pristine area.
These mountains have become a playground for the rich and famous. Acres and acres of forest land have been turned into immaculately groomed golf courses and communities. With no zoning to prevent it, some houses are built directly on the ridge line. These people think it is perfectly all right to destroy the mountain in order to get the "perfect" view. My heart aches every time I see a huge house sitting astride the ridge line. I really dislike these people whom I do not even know. The homeowners in this area are now suffering the same housing slump that affects the rest of the nation. Many of these luxurious home are summer homes and the owners want to sell them and cannot. Perhaps that is the only positive thing to be found in this time of economic hardship. The houses are not selling, so there are no spec houses being built.