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Alabama (tap the map to enlarge)

About Alabama
- Alabama is one of the 50 states in the US, located in the southeastern United States between Mississippi and Georgia
- it borders Tennessee in the north along the 35th parallel north, and Florida in the south, a small lobe of Alabama's southwestern land reaches the Gulf of Mexico
Area
- the state occupies an area of 135,767 km² making it somewhat larger than Greece (131,957 km²)
- compared with other US states by area, Alabama is six times larger than New Jersey, but it would fit into Texas about five times
- nearly 70% of Alabama's landscape is covered by forest
Alabama's Landscape
- it offers five major physiographic regions; all areas are sections of the far greater geographic regions of the Eastern and Southeastern United States:
I. the Highland Rim section in the northwest and north-central Alabama is the southern portion of the Appalachian Highlands
II. the Cumberland Plateau , the dissected tableland to the southeast of the Highland Rim (aka Allegheny Plateau), the southern part of the Appalachian Plateau
III. further southeast stretches out the belt of the Appalachian Ridge and Valley, a region with ridges along valleys in between, like the Red Mountain ridge that separates the Jones Valley from the Shades Valley south of Birmingham (AL)
IV. the Piedmont Upland Alabama's landscape between the Ridge and Valley area and the Atlantic Seaboard fall line, a triangular shaped area with rolling hills in the central eastern part of the state
V. The Coastal Plain province of Alabama is the largest geographic region (about 60%) in the state - it is a mostly flat region, but here and there, it offers some change in the landscape, rounded and eroded hills, cuestas, and Flatwoods; and the are the floodplains of the Alabama and Black Warrior rivers
Rivers
- principal rivers in Alabama are the Coosa River, which becomes the Alabama River, which is then fed by its tributaries, the Tallapoosa, and the Cahaba rivers
- when the Tombigbee River joins the Alabama, the river changes its name again to Mobile River
- the Tennessee River, the largest tributary of the Ohio River, crosses Alabama in north
- the Chattahoochee River forms a section of Alabama's border with Georgia
- the Black Warrior River empties the largest drainage area that lies entirely within Alabama
Lakes
- major lakes are Lake Guntersville, a reservoir along the Tennessee River; it is Alabama's largest lake
- Wheeler Lake, Alabama's second-largest lake, is a human-made lake along the Tennessee River
- Walter F. George Lake (aka Lake Eufaula) is a reservoir formed on the Chattahoochee River along the state line between Alabama and Georgia
- lake Martin is a reservoir along the Tallapoosa River, Pickwick Lake is another reservoir along the Tennessee River, and Lewis Smith Lake, a barrier lake on the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River
Mountains
- in the northeastern corner of the state is the Sand Mountain, a sandstone plateau, part of the southern tip of the Appalachian mountain chain
- the highest point in Alabama is Mount Cheaha at 735.5 m (2,413 ft), located in Cheaha State Park
Population
- Alabama has a population of 4.9 million people (2019 est.); [4] the state capital and largest city is Montgomery, the second-largest city is industrialized Birmingham
- other major cities are, Mobile, a major port and the Cotton state's oldest city; Huntsville, Alabama's largest city by land area and Tuscaloosa, which served as Alabama's capital city from 1826 to 1846
Ethnic groups
- white (65%), African-American (27%), Hispanics or Latino (4.6%), and Asian (1.5%)
Alabama State Capitol

Rendered image of Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, the state's capital. The Greek Revival style building houses the Alabama Legislature

Alabama
Alaska (tap the map to enlarge)

About
- the largest US state occupies a huge peninsula in the extreme northwest of North America
- with coastlines on the Arctic and North Pacific oceans and on the Chukchi and the Bering Seas
- the state is separated from the contiguous 48 US states by Canada and by the Bering Strait from Russia
- Alaska is one of two US states not bordered by another state, Hawaii is the other
Area: 1,723,337 km² (665,384 sq mi) and is the largest of all US states
Climate: a tundra climate dominates the northern third with temperatures around freezing point, causing permafrost to prevail (the ground stays frozen all year long.) The southern parts of Alaska are mainly characterized by a subarctic climate with very cold winters, and short, cool to mild summers.
Population
- Alaska is among the least populated states in the US
- In mid-2018, less than 740,000 people were residents of Alaska
- The capital city is Juneau
- Spoken languages are English and 20 indigenous American languages
- Largest cities are Anchorage (pop.: 291,538), Juneau (pop.: 32,113), Fairbanks (pop.: 31,516)
Ethnic groups: White American 60%, Alaska Native 15.6%, Hispanic or Latino 7.3%, Asian 6.5%, and African American 3.7%
Borders: Alaska is bordered by Canada (by the Canadian provinces of Yukon Territory and British Columbia) to the east, and it shares a maritime border with Russia to the west. The state's nickname is "The Last Frontier."
Mountains:
- number one in altitude is Denali (also known as Mount McKinley and Bolshaya Gora)
- the highest mountain in the United States and North America with a summit elevation of 6190 m (20,310 ft)
- the mountain is located in the Alaska Range in the southern part of the peninsula
- it is the highest mountain range in the world outside Asia and the Andes
Rivers:
- There are more than 3,000 rivers in the state
- Alaska's chief river is the Yukon, its source is in British Columbia, Canada and empties into the Bering Sea.
- The river flows for 3,017 km (1,875 mi) within Alaska and has a total a length of 3,698 km (2,298 mi).
- The Yukon ranks third in length of all US rivers, behind the Mississippi and Missouri.
- Major tributaries of the Yukon in Alaska are the Porcupine, the Tanana, and the Koyukuk rivers.
- Alaska's other big rivers are the Colville River, one of the northernmost major rivers in North America empties into the Beaufort Sea (Arctic Ocean)
Lakes:
- Alaska has over 3 million lakes, more than 3,000 are officially named
- there are 94 lakes with a surface area of more than 25 km² (10 sq mi)
- the largest natural freshwater lake in the state is Iliamna, with a surface area of 2,978 km² (1,150 sq mi).
Islands:
- There are 1,800 named islands in the state, 1,000 of which are located in Southeast Alaska
- The largest island is Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska; it is separated from Alaska's mainland by the Shelikof Strait
- The island has an area of 9,293 km² (3,588 sq mi), making it slightly larger than Cyprus.
Alaska

Shishaldin, an active volcano on Unimak Island in the Aleutian Islands. It is probably the most symmetrical cone-shaped glacier-clad large mountain on the planet

Alaska
Arizona (tap the map to enlarge)

About Arizona
- Arizona is a landlocked state situated in the southwestern United States, bordering Mexico in the south
- the Grand Canyon State (its nickname) borders Utah to the north, New Mexico to the east, the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south, California in the west, and Nevada in northwest
- at the Four Corners’ Point, Arizona meets Colorado in the extreme the northeast
Climate
- most of Arizona has a desert or semi-desert climate, while the north has a steppe climate
- as a result, there are relatively mild winters and hot summers, depending on the altitude
- there can be significant temperature differences between day and night, because of the proximity to the Rocky Mountains
Short History
- Spain colonized the area in 1598
- Arizona was part of New Spain until 1821, and then part of the short-lived Mexican Empire which became the United Mexican States
- in 1846 United States forces invaded and occupied the region, at that time known as Nuevo México (New Mexico)
- the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the war between the United States and Mexico in 1848. In 1850 New Mexico became a US territory
- in the Gadsden Purchase of 1854, the US pays Mexico $10 million for 76,845 km² (29,670 sq mi) of Mexican territory that becomes part of Arizona and New Mexico
- the area was organized as a US territory in 1863 from lands ceded by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848
- Copper was discovered in 1854, and copper mining was Arizona’s chief industry until the 1950s
- Arizona was the 48th state and the last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union on 14th February 1912
Area
- Arizona occupies an area of 295,234 km² (113,990 sq mi)
- compared Arizona would fit into Texas about 2.4 times
- the state is slightly smaller than Italy (301,318 km²) or the Philippines (300,000 km²).
Highlights of Arizona's Landscape
- Arizona is known for its desert landscape in the southern half
- the Colorado Plateau in the northern part of the state is primarily made up of high desert, with scattered areas of forests
- part of the plateau is the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest National Park
- on the Arizona-Utah state line, there is Monument Valley with its well-known sandstone buttes, the tallest reaching 300 m (1,000 ft) above the valley floor
- the valley has been featured in many movies, especially Western films
Highest Elevation
- Humphreys Peak is the highest natural point in the state with 3,852 m (12,637 ft) located within the Kachina Peaks Wilderness about 18 km (11 miles) north of Flagstaff
Major Rivers
- the Colorado River is one of the principal rivers of the Southwestern United States
- it forms a section of the state line between Arizona with Nevada and most of the border to California
- the Little Colorado River is a tributary of the Colorado; it provides the main drainage of the Painted Desert region
- the Gila River iflows through New Mexico and Arizona and is a 1,044 km (649 mi) long major tributary of the Colorado River
- the Salt River is the largest tributary of the Gila River and the Verde River is a major tributary of the Salt River
- the Santa Cruz River in southern Arizona and northern Sonora in Mexico is another major tributary of the Gila River
- the Puerco River in northeastern Arizona drains an arid terrain, including parts of the Painted Desert
- the Virgin River is a tributary of the Colorado and forms the north arm of Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States, in terms of water capacity
- the source of the San Francisco River is near Alpine, Arizona; it flows later into the upper Gila River
- the San Pedro River in southern Arizona is also a tributary of the Gila River
World Heritage Site
- Arizona has one UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the northwestern part of the state is one of America's best known natural landmarks, the Grand Canyon
- it is quite certainly the most spectacular gorge on this planet
- the Colorado River and its tributaries formed the steep-sided canyons of stratified bands of red rock over a period of 2 billion years
- the canyon is 446 km (277 mi) long, and up to 29 km (18 mi) wide, and in places over 1,500 m (nearly 1 mile) deep
- Grand Canyon National ParkUNESCO official website is one of 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the US
Population
- the Grand Canyon State (Arizona's nickname) has a population of 7.3 million people (in 2019)
- the capital and largest city is Phoenix; ; the second-largest city is Tucson, with more than half a million people
- the largest urban area is Phoenix Metropolitan Area (pop. 4.85 million)
- other major cities (pop. more than 200,000) are Mesa, Chandler, Glendale, Scottsdale, and Gilbert
Race and Ethnic groups
- White alone 54.4%, Hispanic or Latino 31.6%, Native American 5.3%, African American 5.1%, and Asian 3.7%
Arizona

Aerial view of Arizona's capital Phoenix with Piestewa Peak in the background, the second-highest peak in the Phoenix Mountains

Arizona
Arkansas (tap the map to enlarge)

About Arkansas
- Arkansas is nicknamed the Natural State, a landlocked state in the South Central region of the US
- Arkansas borders six other states. Missouri to the north, Louisiana to the south, Texas to the southwest, and Oklahoma in the west
- the Mississippi River forms the state borders to Tennessee and Mississippi in the east
History
- woodland people and Mississippians inhabited the river valleys of what is now Arkansas for thousands of years
- their descendants were among the first to encounter European explorers and colonists in the sixteenth century
- Arkansas Post was the first European settlement in the lower Mississippi River Valley and present-day Arkansas, established in 1686 as a French trading post on the banks of the lower Arkansas River
- the United States acquired the area of Arkansas from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803
- the trading town of Arkansas Post became the first capital of the Arkansas Territory in 1819, but the capital was moved to Little Rock in the center of the state
- Arkansas became a state on 15 June 1836; it was the 25th state to join the union
Area
- the state covers an area of 137,730 km² (53,178 sq mi), making Arkansas somewhat larger than half the size of the UK
- compared with other US states, Arkansas would fit into Texas about five times, but it is six times larger than New Jersey
Six regions that define the geography of Arkansas:
1. There is the U.S. Interior Highlands in the northwestern portion of the state, the deeply dissected Ozark Plateau with the Boston Mountains, which form the southwestern part of the Ozarks
2. South of the plateau lies the Arkansas River Valley, a 65 km (40 mi) wide basin that separates the Ozarks from the Ouachita Mountains
3. The Ouachita Mountains, is a mountain range in west-central Arkansas, within the range is the highest point in the state, Mount Magazine, at 2,753 ft (839 m)
4. To the south of the Ouachita Mountains, in the southwestern part of Arkansas, there are the southern lowlands, known as the West Gulf Coastal Plain, an area with a hilly topography and large regions with mixed forest
5. The Arkansas Delta, the fertile, agriculture dominated region in the eastern part of the state along the Mississippi River, is part of the Mississippi River Alluvial Plain, lowlands formed by the Mississippi and its tributaries over geological times
6. Crowley's Ridge is a 340 km (207 mi) long unique geological formation that rises to 170 m (550 ft) above the delta region of northeastern Arkansas in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain. It is believed that the ridge was once a giant sand and gravel island left between the Mississippi and Ohio rivers
Rivers
- main rivers in Arkansas are the Mississippi, the Arkansas, and the White River
- other major rivers are St. Francis River, Red River, the Ouachita River, and their tributaries
Population
- the 'Natural State' has a population of just 3 million people (est. 2019)
- the capital and largest city is Little Rock
- much of the state is still rural and predominantly agricultural
- population centers are in Little Rock-North, Little Rock, Conway, Fort Smith, Pine Bluff, and Jonesboro
Race and Ethnic Groups
- Caucasians (white) 72%, African Americans 15.7%, Hispanics or Latinos 7.8%, Asians 1.7%, and Native Americans 1%
Arkansas

Skyline of Little Rock, capital city of Arkansas

Arkansas
California (tap the map to enlarge)

About: California is the third largest state in the United States
Area: 423,970 km²
Population:
- 39.5 million people (est. 2019) making it the most populous U.S. state
- the state capital is Sacramento
- the largest city is Los Angeles
- other major cities are San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, and Long Beach
- spoken languages are English (60%) and Spanish or Spanish Creole (26%).
Borders: the Pacific Ocean in the west and bordered by Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona; it shares a border with Mexico in the south
Geographical Regions of California
California has four main geographic regions: the Coast, the Central Valley, the Mountains, and the Desert
1. The Coast
- California has some really interesting geographical features like the Pacific Ocean coastline, with a length of 1,350 km (840 mi)
- large parts of the coast are accessible by the California State Route 1
- the Pacific Coast Highway is famous for running along some of the most beautiful seashores in California, connecting the Greater Los Angeles Area with the San Francisco Bay Area
- the (in)famous and very active San Andreas Fault zone which is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire is a continental transform fault, where the North American Plate and the Pacific Plate slide past each other
- the San Andreas Fault stretches for more than 1300 km lengthwise through California
- this tectonic plate movement will be responsible for "the next big one" in the area, an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 or higher with a potentially devastating impact to urban centers in California
2. The Central Valley
- the flat, fertile central valley runs along the center of the state
- the northern part is named Sacramento Valley, the southern part is known as the San Joaquin Valley
- it is California's most important agricultural region
- but industrial agriculture and factory farming takes its toll, they radically altered the habitats of the Valley, grassland has been overtaken by new species, ponds and marshland have been drained or destroyed
- California's state park, the Great Valley Grasslands State Park official website, preserves some example of the native grass habitat in the valley
- major cities in the valley are the state capital Sacramento, Redding, Stockton, Modesto, Bakersfield, and Fresno
3. The Mountains
- in terms of mountains, California offers the Sierra Nevada, a 640 km (400 mi) long mountain range running north to south
- within there is Lake Tahoe, the large freshwater lake is the second deepest lake in the United States and the largest alpine lake in North America at an elevation of 1,900 m (above sea level)
- the next attraction within the Sierra Nevada is the highest mountain in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney with an altitude of 4,421 m
- then there are the Inyo Mountains near dry Owens Lake, and the Warner Mountains, an 85-mile-long mountain range running north-south through northeastern California
4. The Desert
- the Mojave Desert, a vast arid region in southeastern California, is the driest desert in all of North America
- the 35,000 km² desert basin is bounded by the Tehachapi Mountains, the San Gabriel Mountains, and the San Bernardino Mountains which prevent rainfall in the area beyond
- the desert is named after the tribal nation of the Mohave
- situated within the desert is the Death Valley, which holds the record for the highest recorded air temperature on Earth (56.7°C (134°F))
California

San Francisco at Sunset, Transamerica Pyramid in the center. The cultural, commercial, and financial hub of Northern California is the fourth largest city in the state by population

California
North Carolina (tap the map to enlarge)

About:
- the state's nickname is "Tar Heel State"
- North Carolina is located in the center of the eastern United States and has a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean to the east
Area: 139,390 km²
Population:
- North Carolina is one of the ten most populous states in the country
- it has a population of 10.5 million people (est. in 2019)
- the capital is Raleigh (469,000)
- the largest city is Charlotte (872,000)
- the largest urban area in the state is Charlotte metropolitan area (Metrolina)
Ethnic groups: North Carolina's population is composed of White 62.8%, African American 22.2, Hispanic or Latino 9.6%, Asian 3.2%, and Native Americans 1.6%.
Borders: Virginia in the north, South Carolina in the south, Georgia in southwest and Tennessee in the west
North Carolina's Landscape
The geography of North Carolina consists of four different regions (from east to west):
- the sandy islands of the Outer Banks, a 300 km long string of barrier islands and spits off the coast of North Carolina separating the Atlantic Ocean from the brackish inlets and sounds of the coastal region
- North Carolina has its share of the Atlantic Coastal Plain, the Tidewater region covers roughly 40% of the state's area
- the Piedmont Plateau, a hilly region between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the Appalachian Mountains, is marked by the escarpment of the Atlantic Seaboard fall line in the east,which separates the Coastal Plains from the Piedmont
- to the west of the Piedmont rise the densely forested mountain chains of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains, both are subranges of the larger Appalachians
- the highest elevation in the state is Mount Mitchell at 2,037 m
- the highest mountain in the Eastern United States is located in the Black Mountains, a subrange of the Blue Ridge Mountains
Climate: most of the state features a humid subtropical climate
North Carolina

City of Asheville in North Carolina. Asheville is home to the United States National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), the world's largest active archive of weather data

North Carolina
South Carolina (tap the map to enlarge)

About: South Carolina is a state in the southeastern United States, the state's nickname is "The Palmetto State"
Area: 82,931 km²
Population:
- 5 million people (2018 est.)
- the capital and largest city is Columbia (133,000)
- other major cities are Charleston (128,000) and North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, and Rock Hill.
Ethnic groups: white (64%), African-Americans (27%), Hispanics or Latino (6%), and Asian (1.8%)
Borders: Atlantic Ocean in the southeast, by North Carolina in the north and northeast, the Savannah River forms a natural border with Georgia in the west
South Carolina's Landscape:
Five different regions define SC (from southeast to northwest):
- Outer Coastal Plain (or Lower Coastal Plain), with swamps along the rivers (some swamps have been drained to gain farmland)
- the gradually rising, fertile Inner Coastal Plains (or Upper Coastal Plain)
- within the region lie the Sandhills, sandy hills and dunes, the remains of an ancient coastline
- the 'fall line' escarpment marks the border between the lowlands of the coastal plains and the Piedmont plateau, it is the site where rivers and streams drop off the Piedmont tableland onto the Coastal Plain
- the hilly Piedmont is a highland region, the remnants of the foothills of an ancient, eroded mountain chain, the Appalachian Mountains
- the state's mountain region in northwest represents a small portion of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a range in the much larger Appalachian Mountain chain
- the highest elevation in the state is Sassafras Mountain at 1,085 m (3,560 ft), located near the South Carolina - North Carolina border.
Rivers:
- the Savannah River, which forms a natural border with Georgia in the west
- its tributaries, the Tugaloo River and the Chattooga River form the northernmost part of the border. - the (Great) Pee Dee is a free-flowing major river in the east of the state, used for recreation and as a source for water supply
- the Catawba River is a dammed river that feeds the human-made Lake Wylie (formerly Catawba Lake). - the Catawba is also the source for the human-made Lake Wateree; the lake's primary outflow changes the river's name to Wateree River, which becomes a tributary of the Santee River. - the Santee and its tributaries, the Broad River, the Wateree, and Congaree rivers drain large areas of central South Carolina.
Lakes: Lake Marion, Lake Strom Thurmond, and Lake Moultrie
Climate: South Carolina has a humid subtropical climate, with hot and humid summers and relatively mild winters in most parts of the state, mild winters prevail in the eastern and southern parts, cool to occasionally cold winters are the rule in the northwestern region, especially at higher altitudes
South Carolina

View of Table Rock and Pinnacle Lake at Table Rock State Park in Pickens County

South Carolina
Colorado (tap the map to enlarge)

About: Colorado is one of the 50 US states. The landlocked state, named for the Colorado River, is situated in the central United States; it is one of the three states (the others are Wyoming and Utah) that have only straight lines of latitude and longitude for boundaries.
Area: 269,837 km²
Population:
- 5.75 million people (est. 2019)
- the capital and largest city is Denver
- the largest metro area is Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area, where you can find half of the state's population (2.8 million)
- other cities are Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Aurora
Ethnic groups:
- white (68%), Hispanics or Latino (22%), African-American (4.6%), and Asian (3.5%)
- Spanish is the second-most spoken language in Colorado, after English
Borders: Wyoming and Nebraska in the north, Kansas in the east, Oklahoma and New Mexico in the south, and Utah in the west
Mountains: The highest point in Colorado is Mount Elbert at 4,401 m (14,440 ft), it is the second-highest peak in the contiguous United States after Mount Whitney in California. The semiarid Great Plains in the east are the agricultural heartland of Colorado. Drought-resistant grama and buffalo grasses are the predominant natural vegetation.
Colorado's four geographic regions:
I. the Great Plains (High Plains) in the east is characterized by flat prairie land with aplenty prairie grass and little trees and shrubs
II. the Rocky Mountains in the central-west of the state are Colorado's share of the Rockies, the massive mountain range with its subranges dominate the central-western third of the state
III. the Colorado Plateau in the west is a desert area of the Intermontane Plateaus, roughly centered on the Four Corners region (Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico); the region is characterized by sparsely vegetated plateaus, mesas, deep canyons, and barren badlands
IV. the Intermontane Basin, also known as Wyoming Basin, is a small area northwest of the Colorado Plateau, the Wyoming Basin is an elevated depression, lying between the Middle Rockies and the Southern Rockies, characteristic features of the Wyoming Basin include hogbacks (ridges), cuestas (hills or ridges), and numerous basins which are separated by mountains of varying size
World Heritage Site
- Colorado has one World Heritage Site in Montezuma County in south-west Colorado
- a high concentration of ancestral Pueblo Indian dwellings can be found on the Mesa Verde plateau at an altitude of more than 2,600 m.
- the landscape in southwest Colorado contains a great number of Indian habitations built of sandstone and mud mortar, constructed by ancient Pueblo peoples on the Mesa Verde plateau between the 6th and 12th centuries
- the archaeological site is now known as Mesa Verde National Parkofficial UNESCO website, the plateau at an altitude of more than 2,600 m contains also imposing cliff dwellings, built of stone and some comprising more than 100 rooms
Colorado

The Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde National Park is the largest cliff dwelling in North America. The complex was built between the 6th and 12th centuries by ancient Pueblo people (Anasazi) on the Mesa Verde plateau

Colorado
Connecticut (tap the map to enlarge)

About: Connecticut is one of the six New England states; it is situated in the northeastern corner of the United States.
Area: it is the third smallest US state with an area of 14,356 km²
Population:
3.56 million people (est. 2019)
- the capital city is Hartford
- the largest urban area is Greater Hartford, and the largest city is Bridgeport (145,000 residents)
Ethnic groups: white 66%, Hispanic or Latino 17%, African American 12%, Asian 5%, and Native American 0.6%
Borders: the small state borders Massachusetts in the north, Rhode Island in the east, and the State of New York in the west, in the south Connecticut is bounded by the Long Island Sound, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean.
Mountains: Olympos 1953 m
Rivers:
- almost all of Connecticut's rivers end up in the Long Island Sound
- some rivers in the east empty into Block Island Sound
- major rivers are the Connecticut River, the Housatonic River, and the Thames River
Lakes:
- across the state, there are over 3,000 lakes, ponds, and reservoirs that offer all kinds of water activities
- major lakes are Bantam Lake, the largest natural lake in CT; Lake Waramaug in Lake Waramaug State Park, a natural lake fed by the Sucker Brook
- Candlewood Lake in western Connecticut is the largest lake in the state, the Rocky and the Housatonic Rivers feed the human-made reservoir.
Connecticut's Geography
The state offers four distinct geographic regions:
- the west of Connecticut is dominated by the Western New England Upland (or Northwest Highlands)
- the east by the Eastern New England Upland (or the Eastern Highlands)
- these highlands are separated by the Connecticut River and its flood plains, the Connecticut River Valley, which runs north to south through the center of the state
- the foothills gradually give way to the low relief of the Atlantic Coastal Plains in the south, the plains are a narrow strip of land about 10 km to 25km (6 to 16 mi) wide along the coast of the state
- situated in the Northwest Highlands, a small portion of the Taconic Mountains covers the northwestern corner of the state
- right there, near the CT/MA/NY Tri-Point, on the slope of a hill on the Connecticut-Massachusetts border is Mount Frissell, 748 m (2,454 ft; a.s.l.) tall, the highest point you can get in Connecticut
- the rest of the western highlands is covered by the dissected Berkshires, a range of the Northeast Appalachian Mountains, in Connecticut known as the Litchfield Hills
Connecticut

Rendered image of Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, the state's capital. The Greek Revival style building houses the Alabama Legislature

Connecticut
North Dakota (tap the map to enlarge)

About: it is a landlocked state in the Great Plains of the north-central US, south of Canada
Area: 183,107 km²
Population:
- 762,000 people (est. in 2019)
- it is among the least densely populated US states (rank 47)
- the state's capital is Bismarck (73,000)
- the largest city is Fargo (124,000)
- the largest urban area is Fargo-Moorhead, which includes Fargo, North Dakota, Moorhead, Minnesota, and surrounding communities (pop. 234,000)
Ethnic groups: White American 84.0%, Native American 5.5%, Hispanic or Latino 3.9%, African American 3.4%, and Asian 1.8%
Borders:
- South Dakota in the south, Montana in the west, and the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba in the north
- the winding Red River of the North shapes its border with Minnesota in the east
Mountains: highest point is White Butte at 1069 m (3,508 ft) located in the Badlands in the south western corner of the state
Rivers:
- the Red River of the North, which defines North Dakota's border with Minnesota
- the Sheyenne River is one of the major tributaries of the Red River of the North
- the Missouri, the longest river in North America with a length of 3,767 km (2,341 mi), flows east and south through North Dakota
- the river was one of the principal transportation routes for the westward expansion of the United States during the 19th century
- the Garrison Dam is a dam on the Missouri River in central North Dakota, which forms the Lake Sakakawea reservoir.
Lakes: geographical highlights are Lake Sakakawea, a reservoir within the Lake Sakakawea State Park in the Missouri River basin
Area:
- the landscape of the state varies from region to region
- in the east, there is, along its border with Minnesota, the flat Red River Valley, it is the lake bed of the ancient Lake Agassiz, a remnant of the last glacial period (ice age)
- further west lies the Drift Prairie, the area is several hundred feet higher than the Red River Valley
- its landscape with gently rolling hills and shallow lakes covers most of the eastern half of the state
- the Laurentian Divide, also known as the Northern Divide, cuts from northwest to southeast diagonal through North Dakota
- this continental divide separates the river systems that flow northwards to the Arctic Ocean and Hudson Bay from those rivers that flow southwards into the Gulf of Mexico
- the Missouri Escarpment defines the edge of the Missouri Plateau in the center of North Dakota
- the plateau (Coteau du Missouri) is a vast upland expanse of the Great Plains that occupies the southwestern third of the state
- within the plateau are North Dakota's Badlands, the hilly, treeless landscape along the Little Missouri River offers buttes, pyramids, domes, and cones
North Dakota

Frozen Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota in January. The reservoir is created by an earth-fill embankment dam on the Missouri River; it is the third-largest human-made lake in the US

North Dakota
South Dakota (tap the map to enlarge)

About: is a landlocked Midwestern state in the Great Plains region of the US mainland
Area: 199,730 km²
Population:
- 884,000 people (2019 est.), making it the third-least populated US state
- it is the state with the third-highest American Indian population in the US (9.0%; see below)
- the state capital is Pierre
- the largest city is Sioux Falls (pop. 174,000), the largest urban area is Sioux Falls metro area (pop. 268,000 in 2019)
Ethnic groups: Caucasian 81.4%, Native American 9.0%, Hispanic or Latino 4.1%, African American 2.4%, and Asian 1.7%. [6]
Borders: North Dakota to the north, Nebraska to the south, Minnesota to the east, Iowa in the southeast, and Wyoming and Montana to the west
Mountains: Black Elk Peak (formerly known as Harney Peak) at an elevation of 2,207 m (7,242 ft), situated in the Black Elk Wilderness area of the Black Hills
Rivers:
- the Missouri is the longest river in North America
- it flows north to south through the center of South Dakota
- near the state capital Pierre, the river turns southeast, and further downstream, it forms a section of the state border with Nebraska
- the principal western feeder rivers of the Missouri in South Dakota (from north to south) are the Grand River, the Moreau River, the Cheyenne River, the Bad River, and the White River
- the James River (aka Dakota River) is another tributary of the Missouri; it flows from north to south and drains the lowlands of the Dakotas
- the Big Sioux River in eastern South Dakota rises in the Coteau des Prairies and generally flows southward
- it forms the state's border with Iowa in the southeast and empties into the Missouri
South Dakota's landscape
- in the east is dominated by the Coteau des Prairies, an upland (plateau) with numerous small glacial lakes
- the plateau is 320 km long and 160 km wide (200 mi by 100 mi)
- it is separated by the James River Basin from the Coteau du Missouri, also known as the Missouri Plateau
- the plateau represents a typical landscape of the Great Plains, with low, undulating rolling hills, potholes, grasslands, and incised stream valleys
- in the southwest are the geographical highlights of South Dakota, the Badlands, and the Black Hills
- the Black Hills is a small, isolated mountain range with towering rocks and ponderosa pines rising from the Great Plains, for the Sioux and Cheyenne people the sacred center of the world
South Dakota National Parks
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
- four miles to the east of Black Elk Peak is the Mount Rushmore National Memorial
- it features some 18 m (60 ft) high sculptures of the heads of four United States presidents
- the project of carving Rushmore was undertaken to increase tourism in the Black Hills region
- the United States seized the area of previously granted land from the Lakota tribe after the Great Sioux War of 1876
- to the Plains Indians, the Black Hills area is sacred
- the remote wilderness became of sudden interest for the White Men when gold was found in the 1870s
- when the miners left some years later, the region’s economy sagged
- to crank up tourism to the remote area, an idea was born, carve one of the oldest rock on Earth into a national monument
- work began in 1927 under the direction of sculptor Gutzon Borglum and a ceremony overseen by then President Calvin Coolidge
- in 1941 the monument was (more or less) completed, for the local Indians, it was a desecration of their sacred lands
Badlands
- the Badlands in southwestern South Dakota is an amazing collection of eroded buttes, pinnacles, spires, and the largest undisturbed mixed grass prairie in the United States
- the White River Badlands are a significant paleontological resource
- they contain the largest assemblage of known late Eocene (56 to 33.9 million years ago) and Oligocene (33.9 million to 23 million years ago) mammal fossils
South Dakota

Welcome to South Dakota – Great Faces • Great Places. The sign features an image of the Mount Rushmore Memorial

South Dakota
Delaware (tap the map to enlarge)

About: Delaware is one of the Middle Atlantic states, situated almost entirely on the northeastern part of the Delmarva Peninsula (the peninsula became an island after the digging of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal)
Area: 6,446 km², it is the second smallest state in the US after Rhode Island
Population:
- according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Delaware has a population of 973,300 people (est. 2019)
- it is the sixth most densely populated state in the US
- the capital and second-largest city is Dover with a population of about 38.000 citizens, about 162,000 live in its metropolitan area
- the largest city is Wilmington (pop. 71,000)
Ethnic groups: White alone 61.9%, African American 23.0%, Hispanic or Latino 9.5%, Asian 4.1%, and Native American 0.7%
Borders: New Jersey to the east across the Delaware River and the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean in the southeast, it borders Maryland in the south as well as in the west along the Mason–Dixon line, and it has a short border with Pennsylvania in the north, formed by the so-called Twelve-Mile Circle
Mountains: Munamagi 318 m
Rivers: Delaware River, Mispillion River, Indian River, and Nanticoke River
Area
- situated at the northern end of the low-lying Atlantic Coastal Plain, Delaware's landscape is mostly boring flat
- it has the lowest mean elevation of any state in the US
- the highest point of Delaware (at about 460 ft, or 140 m), situated in a mobile home park, close to the official benchmark monument of the Ebright Azimuth
Beaches in Delaware
- beaches in Delaware are popular tourist destinations for locals and visitors from the nearby areas of Washington D.C., Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, South Jersey, and Hampton Roads
- Delaware Beaches ranked nationwide number 1 in water quality in 2011
- southern Delaware is home to more than 25 miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay
- major tourist towns at the Atlantic are the bustling towns of Dewey Beach and Rehoboth Beach, and "The Quiet Resorts" of Bethany Beach, South Bethany, and Fenwick Island
Delaware

Rendered image of Delaware Legislative Hall. The red-brick state capitol building is located in Dover, the state's capital, it houses the bicameral General Assembly of Delaware. Legislative Hall is opposite the small Old State House on the mall

Delaware
Florida (tap the map to enlarge)

About:
- it is an internationally well known US state in the southeastern part of the United States
- the Sunshine State (its Nickname) occupies a long flat peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean in the east and the Gulf of Mexico in the west.
- the southeasternmost US state is a popular tourist destination and home to a variety of attractions like Walt Disney World, Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center, the Universal Orlando Resort, Miami Beach, the Ten Thousand Islands, the Everglades, Key West, and the Florida Keys
Area:
- the peninsula has an area of 170,304 km², over one-fifth of the state is water
- features more than 12,000 km² of lakes, with 7,700 of them greater than 4 hectares in size
Population:
- 21.4 million people (est. 2019), it is now the 3rd most populous state in the US, after California, and Texas
- Capital city is Tallahassee
- most populous city is Jacksonville (pop: 880,000)
- most populous metropolitan area is Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach with 5.5 million people
- other major cities are Miami, Tampa, Orlando, St. Petersburg, and Hialeah
- spoken languages are English (75%) and Spanish (19%)
Borders: in the north by the US states of Alabama and Georgia
Mountains:
Britton Hill at an elevation of 105 m (345 ft)
- Florida's highest summit would be indistinguishable from the surrounding countryside if there wouldn't be a stone marker with inscription
- Florida's highest point is on top of the Panorama Tower in Miami at 265 m (868 ft)
Lakes:
- the largest freshwater lake in the state of Florida is Lake Okeechobee with a surface area of 1,900 km² (730 sq mi)), referred to by locals as 'The Lake' or 'The Big O.'
- Lake George east of Ocala National Forest is a large, broad, and shallow lake with brackish water
- Lake Seminole is a reservoir in Georgia and Florida, filled by the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers and emptied by the Apalachicola River
- Lake Kissimmee is a recreational lake in the wildlife-rich Lake Kissimmee State Park
- Lake Apopka near Orlando is Florida's fourth, or fifth largest lake and was once a great bass fishing water, too bad it became Florida's most polluted large lake
- According to St. John's River Water Management District, ongoing remediation measures led to a significant decrease in phosphorus concentrations in the lake.
Florida's Geographical Features
- because its terrain is mostly flat, Florida's geographical features would be more or less boring, if there wouldn't be about 10,000 lakes
- the Florida Keys with thousands of islands and islets and the second longest coastline in the entire USA (after Alaska) with a length of 2,170 km (1,350 miles), making it a very long beach
- also popular with tourists are the Big Cypress Swamp and The Everglades, a large area of subtropical wetlands in the southern portion of Florida
- adding to the state's attractiveness is the pleasant climate which ranges from sub-tropical to tropical
- as mentioned above, the State of Florida is situated on a peninsula, which consists of karst limestone sitting atop a bedrock known as the Florida Platform
- the peninsula is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico in the west, the Atlantic Ocean in the east, and by the Straits of Florida in the south
- several Caribbean countries are geographically close to Florida, particularly The Bahamas and Cuba
World Heritage Site
- Florida has one UNESCO World Heritage Site
- at the southern tip of the peninsula is the largest designated sub-tropical wilderness reserve on the North American continent, known as the Everglades
- the Everglades National Park official website offers a variety of wetlands with fresh and brackish water, shallow bays and deeper coastal waters, tropical hammocks, and rainforest
- it is home to the largest mangrove ecosystem in the Western Hemisphere, making it a sanctuary for a large number of birds and reptiles, as well as for threatened species such as the manatee (sea cow; Trichechidae)
- by mischance, the park became a heaven for non-native species which are a substantial growing problem for the property
- !! The Glades was placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2010 due to degradation of the property resulting in a loss of marine habitat and decline in aquatic species
- the diversion of water to South Florida's still-growing metropolitan areas is the Everglades National Park's number one threat
Florida

And we have lift-off - SpaceX Falcon 9 from Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

Florida
Georgia (tap the map to enlarge)

About:
- it is one of the 50 US states situated in the southeastern mainland of the United States
- the state's nickname is "Peach State," and it is also known as the "Yankee-land of the South."
Area: 153,909 km²
Population:
- 10.6 million people (est. 2019). Georgia is the US state with the third-largest African-American population (32.6%)
- the state's capital and primate city is Atlanta (420,000)
- the largest urban area is Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA Metropolitan Area, also known as Metro Atlanta, with a population of 4.6 million citizens (in 2019)
- its economic and cultural center is Atlanta.
Ethnic groups: White alone 52%, African American 32.6%, Hispanic or Latino 9.9%, Asian 4.4%, and Native American 0.5%
Borders:
- the Atlantic Ocean in the southeast, and it shares state lines with Tennessee and North Carolina in the north
- the Chattahoochee River defines a section of Georgia's border with Alabama in the southwest and a short length of its border with Florida
- the Savannah River forms a natural border with South Carolina in the east.
Mountains: Halti 1328 m
Rivers: the Savannah River, the Chattahoochee River, which forms part of the border with Alabama, and the Altamaha River, fed by the Oconee and Ocmulgee rivers
Lakes: Lake Sidney Lanier, a reservoir at the Chattahoochee River; Lake Seminole, a reservoir located in the southwest corner of Georgia; and West Point Lake, a reservoir at the Chattahoochee River
Georgia's Geography
Four different major regions define Georgia's landscape (from north to south):
1. in the northwestern corner is the Valley and Ridge region, a zone of alternating mountain ridges and valleys in Georgia's portion of the Appalachian Plateau
2. in the northeastern corner is the southern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a subrange in the much larger Appalachian Mountain Chain
- situated here is the highest elevation in the state, Brasstown Bald (Enotah) at 1,458 m (4,784 ft)
3. the hilly Piedmont part of the state is Georgia's most populated area, within the region are the fall line cities of Augusta, Macon, and Columbus
- the fall line is the natural border between the lower coastal plain and the higher terrain of the Piedmont
- before the improvement of navigational facilities such as locks, the fall line was usually the head of navigation on rivers due to insurmountable rapids or waterfalls
- fall line cities developed at the end of the navigable part of a river, where boats could go no further
- trading posts were established in these places, where materials brought from the coastal plains could be traded for goods from Piedmont
4. The relatively flat Coastal Plain is Georgia’s largest geographical region, it covers about 60% of the state, expanding from the Atlantic Ocean to the Fall Line
- in prehistoric times, this area was a seabed, and the coast was near the fall line. When the ocean retreated, it left a vast expanse of limestone, clay, sand, and other 'soft' sedimentary deposits
- the land is usually poorly drained, and there are often marshy areas
- the Okefenokee Swamp in southwest Georgia and northern Florida is a 1,770 km², peat-filled wetland, considered to be one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia
- the Suwanee River rises in the Okefenokee Swamp
Georgia

Rendered image of Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta. The Neo-classical National Historic Landmark building is the primary office of Georgia's government

Georgia
Hawaii (tap the map to enlarge)

About: it is an island group located in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States
Area:
- the Aloha State (its official nickname) consists of hundreds of islands spread over a distance of more than 2,400 km
- the total area of the islands is 28,313 km²
- on the map above, you see the eight largest islands, the "main islands" located at the southeastern end of the archipelago
- in order from the northwest to southeast, they are Niihau (Ni'ihau, The Forbidden Isle), Kauai (Kaua'i, The Garden Isle), Oahu (O'ahu, The Gathering Place), Molokai (Moloka'i, The Friendly Isle), Lanai (Lānaʻi, The Pineapple Isle), Kahoolawe (Kaho'olawe, The Target Isle), Maui (The Valley Isle), and Hawaii (Hawai'i, The Big Island)
Population:
1.41 million people (in 2019).
- the capital, principal port, and largest city is Honolulu (360,000)
- Hawaii's largest urban area is the Island of Oahu, the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands is home to about two-thirds of Hawaii's entire population
- official languages are English and Hawaiian
Ethnic groups: Asian 37.6%, Caucasian 21.8%, Hispanic or Latino 10.7%, Native Hawaiian 10.2%, African American 2.2%, and Native American 0.4%
Main Geographical Features of Hawaii
- the geographical features of Hawaii are just stunning
- the islands rise from the floor of the abyssal Northeast Pacific Basin that has an average depth of 5,000 m
- the Hawaiian Islands are the exposed peaks of the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain. The massive submarine mountain range was formed by volcanic activity over several hotspots in the earth's mantle and extends for about 6,200 km (3,900 mi) from the Aleutian Trench in the far northwest Pacific to the island of Hawaii
Highest point
- Hawaii's tallest mountain is Mauna Kea, a sleeping volcano that rises 4,205 m (13,796 ft) from sea level
- but measured from its base on the ocean floor to its peak, its height is 10,203 m (33,476 ft)
- nmaking it the highest mountain on Earth
World Heritage Sites
- the Hawaii' s Volcanoes National Parkofficial website is an American National Park's featuring two main attractions, two active superlative volcanoes on the island of Hawaii, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa
- Mauna Loa is the world's largest shield volcano, and Kīlauea is one of the world's most active volcanoes
- the site serves as an excellent example of island-building through volcanic processes
- Volcanic eruptions have created a constantly changing landscape, and the lava flows reveal extraordinary geological formations
- rare birds and endemic species can be found there, as well as forests of giant ferns
Hawaiian Archipelago Papahānaumokuākea
- the Marine National Monument is one of the world's largest protected areas with a length of over some 1930 km.
- the archipelago has deep cosmological and traditional significance for living Native Hawaiian culture
- it is considered as an embodiment of the Hawaiian concept of kinship between man and nature
Hawaii

Halemaumau Crater, the pit crater within the much larger summit caldera of Kīlauea in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii
Idaho (tap the map to enlarge)

About: is a landlocked mountainous state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States
Area: 216,632 km²
Population:
- 1.78 million people (est. 2019) , Idaho was the nation’s fastest-growing state in 2016
- the largest city and the state's capital is Boise (pop. 223,000)
- the largest metro is the Boise metropolitan area (Boise City–Nampa, Idaho Metropolitan Statistical Area), also known as the 'Treasure Valley'
- other major cities are Meridian, Napa, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, and Caldwell
Ethnic groups: 81.7% Caucasians, 12.7% Hispanics or Latinos, 1.6% Asians, 1.7% Native Americans, and 0.9% African Americans
Borders:
- at 45th parallel north, it shares a 72 km (44.7 mi) long border with the Canadian province of British Columbia
- the ridges of the Bitterroot Range define its border with Montana
- Idaho also borders the U.S. states of Wyoming in the southeast, Nevada, and Utah in the south, and Washington and Oregon in the west.
Some Idaho Geography
Rivers, mountains, and farmland dominate Idaho's landscape, which includes a portion of the Rocky Mountains
Mountains - the Bitterroot Range is a subrange of the Rockies; it runs along the Idaho-Montana border
- the Salmon River Mountains and the Smokey Mountains are both parts of the Rocky Mountains; they cover most of the central region of the state
Highest point: Idaho's highest point is Borah Peak at 3,859 m (12,662 ft), located in the Lost River Range, another subrange of the Rockies
Canyon
- the deepest gorge in North America is located along the border of eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, and western Idaho
- the canyon is part of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area USDA official website and is North America's deepest river gorge at 2,436 m
- the canyon was created by the Snake River, which flows more than 1.600 m (1 mi) below the canyon's west rim, and 2,300 m (7,400 ft) below the peaks of Idaho's Seven Devils Mountains range to the east
Plains
- in the southern part of the state, the Snake River Plain dominates the landscape, the flat, arc-shaped depression covers about a quarter of Idaho, on its course through the plain, the Snake River has created many canyons and gorges
- within the Snake River Plain is the Craters of the Moon National Monument, a vast flood basalt area with scattered islands of cinder cones and sagebrush, midway between Boise and the Yellowstone National Park
- the three major lava fields are the result of volcanic eruptions between 15,000 and 2,000 years ago
Towhee River Wilderness
- the wilderness area is located on the high basalt plateaus (Towhee Plateau) of Towhee County in southwestern Idaho near the Oregon border
- it protects the upper Towhee River, its tributaries, and the surrounding desert canyon landscape
World Heritage Site
- Famous Yellowstone National Park UNESCO official website is mostly in Wyoming, but the park also spreads into parts of Montana (3%) and Idaho (1%)
- the park is since 1978 a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Idaho

Lake Pend Oreille in the northern Idaho Panhandle is the state's largest lake

Idaho
Illinois (tap the map to enlarge)

About: is a landlocked state in the east north-central US, a region also known as the Midwestern United States, its nickname is "The Prairie State."
Area: 149,998 km²
Population:
12.6 million people (est. 2019)
- the capital city is Springfield (116,000)
- the state's primate city is Chicago (2.7 million)
- its largest metro is the Chicago metropolitan area (Chicago-Naperville-Michigan City, aka Chicagoland)
- other metropolitan areas are the Quad Cities Metropolitan Area and Greater St. Louis (Metro East)
- major cities of Illinois (with more than 100,000 inhabitants) are Aurora, Rockford, Joliet, Naperville, Peoria, and Elgin
Ethnic groups: White alone 61.0%, Hispanic or Latino 17.4%, African American 14.6%, Asian 5.9%, and Native American 0.6%
Borders:
- Wisconsin to the north, Michigan via a water boundary in Lake Michigan to the northeast, Indiana to the east, and Kentucky to southeast
- the Mississippi River forms a natural border with Missouri and Iowa in the west
Mountains: in the flat landscape of Illinois, the highest point is the banana-shaped Charles Mound at 376 m
Rivers: the Ohio, the Mississippi, the Wabash, the Kaskaskia, and the Illinois rivers
Lakes: lake Michigan, the Rend Lake, a 21 km long, 4.8 km wide reservoir at the Big Muddy River in southern Illinois
World Heritage Site
- Illinois has since 1982 a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- the site is the archaeological remains of a pre-Columbian urban settlement of a mound-building Native American civilization
- the urban center was located at the Mississippi River in southern Illinois between East St. Louis and Collinsville, across the river from modern St. Louis, Missouri
- the city's original name is unknown
- today the site is known as Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site; UNESCO official website it was the central section of a large ancient cultural and urban complex that existed from c. 600 to 1400 CE
- it is assumed that the site was a political and religious center that attracted a variety of different Native American people from the plains
- in its heyday (between AD 1050 and 1100), Cahokia was the largest pre-Columbian urban center north of Mesoamerica with a population of more than 10,000 people, that number doesn't include the large population inhabiting outlying farmsteads and villages throughout the surrounding floodplain
- the huge settlement was located in a strategic position near the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois rivers
- the city featured platforms, ridgetops, and conical mounds; residential, and public areas; a large sundial and a (now reconstructed) palisade/stockade surrounding the central ceremonial precinct
- the pyramid-like mounds or terraces were constructed almost entirely of many layers of soil and clay
- for ascending the sanctuaries, they featured ramps with log stairs
- dominating the complex is Cahokia’s largest mound now known as the Monks Mound, it is the largest Pre-Columbian earthwork in the Americas and the largest 'pyramid' north of Mesoamerica
Illinois

View of Chicago's skyscrapers from John Hancock Center looking south

Illinois
Indiana (tap the map to enlarge)

About: is a Midwestern US state located at the 'Crossroads of America' (Seventh Street and Wabash Avenue intersection at Terre Haute), "The Hoosier State" (Indiana's nickname)
Area: 131.992 Km²
Population:
- 6.73 million people (2019 est, US rank 17)
- located in the center of the state is Indianapolis, the capital and largest city with a population of 876,000 people
- other major cities are Fort Wayne (270,400), Evansville (118,000), South Bend (102,000), Carmel (101,000), and Fishers (95,300)
Ethnic groups: White alone 78.9%, African American 9.8%, Hispanic or Latino 7.1%, Asian 2.5%, and Native American 0.4%
Borders:
- Ohio in the east
- in the west, the Wabash River forms the southern section of its border with Illinois
- in the south the Ohio River creates the natural border with Kentucky
- and in north it shares a state line with Michigan
- also has a short coastline at Lake Michigan in the northwest
Rivers:
- the Wabash is the longest river in Indiana
- its main tributaries, the Salamonie River, Mississinewa River, Eel River, Tippecanoe River, White River, Vermilion River, and Embarras River drain Central Indiana
- the source of the Iroquois River, a tributary of the Kankakee River, which is a tributary of the Illinois River, is in Indiana
Lakes:
- Indiana's largest lakes are artificial
- Patoka Lake in southern Indiana is a reservoir that was created by damming the Patoka River
- Lake Monroe is Indiana's largest lake
- the barrier lake was created by damming the Salt Creek
- on its southern shore is Charles C. Deam Wilderness Area, the state's only federally protected wilderness area
Climate: Indiana had a humid continental climate, with cold winters and hot, wet summers. Only the southernmost portion of the state is within a humid subtropical climate.
Indiana's Main Geographical Regions
Indiana can be divided into three principal geographical regions:
I. The northern third of the state is dominated by the Great Lakes Plains, a landscape with rolling to flat farmland, dotted with small cities and towns. Much of Northern Indiana is considered part of Amish Country
II. The Tipton Till Plain in the central third is the most populous region, and right in the middle extends Indiana's largest urban area, Indianapolis metropolitan area
- the flat to gently rolling landscape of the Till Plain is the product of continental glaciation during the Ice Age
- in the east of the plain, north of Richmond is the highest natural point in Indiana, known as Hoosier Hill, at 383 m (1,257 ft ), located in central east near the state's border with Ohio
III. In the southern third is the Southern Hills and Lowlands region, a mixture of farmland, forest, and very hilly areas
- it is the part of Indiana that has not been covered by the Continental Ice Sheet
- the region includes the flat Wabash Lowland, the mountainous terrain of the Crawford Upland, the karst area of the Mitchell Plain, and the rugged Norman Upland
Indiana

Lake Michigan viewed from Indiana Dunes State Park

Indiana
Iowa (tap the map to enlarge)

About: it is a landlocked Midwestern U.S. state, the only state whose eastern and western borders are created entirely by rivers
Area:
- 145,746 km²
- the 'Land of the Rolling Prairie' offers rolling prairies and cornfields, plus some steep hills and valleys in the paleozoic plateau area, the Driftless Area in the northeast, a region that has escaped the flattening effects of glaciation during the last ice age
- most of Iowa's land is used for agriculture; crops cover about 60% of the state, 30% is grasslands (pasture and hay with some prairie and wetland)
Population:
- 3.15 million people (est. 2019)
- the capital and largest city is Des Moines
- other major cities are Cedar Rapids, Davenport, and Sioux City
Ethnic groups: 85% white, 6.3% Hispanic or Latino, 4.1% African American, 2.7% Asian, and 0.5% Native American
Borders: Minnesota to the north, Wisconsin to the northeast, Illinois to the east and southeast, Missouri to the south, Nebraska to the west, and South Dakota to the northwest
Highest point:
- it is Hawkeye Point at a whopping 509 m, situated close to the state line with Minnesota in the northwest, north of Sheldon
- the hill is easy to find, there is a flagpole, a picnic bench, a tile mosaic, and several granite markers
Rivers:
- the Missouri River and the Mississippi are border rivers which define Iowa's border in west and east
- other major rivers are the Des Moines River, the Cedar River, the Iowa River, and the Wapsipinicon River (Wapsi); they are all tributaries of the Mississippi
- the Big Sioux River, in the northwest, is a tributary of the Missouri River, it marks a section of Iowa's border with South Dakota
- the Chariton River and the Grand River have their sources in Iowa
Lakes:
- largest lakes in Iowa are Lake Red Rock, a reservoir on the Des Moines River, and Iowa's Great Lakes, several deep glacial lakes in the northwest corner of the state
- they are the largest natural lakes in the state
- Rathbun Lake, Iowa's second-largest lake is located in Appanoose County
- West Okoboji Lake and Spirit Lake are the two largest lakes of Iowa's Great Lakes, Saylorville Lake, another reservoir on the Des Moines River
- Clear Lake is one of the largest natural lakes in the state.
National Monuments
- Effigy Mounds National Monument in Allamakee County is an archaeological reserve and a National Monument in the Mississippi River valley in northeastern Iowa
- Effigy Mounds preserves over 200 artificial hill structures called Mounds, built by Native Americans from the Woodland period (1000 BC - 1000 AD)
- About 30 mounds are shaped in the outlines of mammals, birds, and reptiles. These hills are considered sacred by many Americans
Iowa

Sunset over Big Woods Lake, as seen from the Big Woods Lake Campground in Cedar Falls, Iowa

Iowa
Kansas (tap the map to enlarge)

About:
- it is a landlocked state in the Midwest of the USA, located on the eastern edge of the Great Plains, more or less in the center of the nation
- most of the state is situated in the Great Plains of North America, a broad expanse of flat land covered by prairie, steppe, and grassland that extends from the valleys of the Mackenzie River in Canada to southern Texas
Area: 213,099 km²
Population: 2.91 million people (est. 2019)
- the state capital is Topeka (126,000), the largest city is Wichita (390,000)
- other major cities are Overland Park (part of the Kansas City metropolitan area), Olathe, Topeka, and Lawrence
- the region's largest urban conglomerate is Kansas City metropolitan area, a two-state metropolitan area that extends across the border between the US states of Missouri and Kansas
Ethnic groups: Caucasians (white) 75.7%, 12.1% Hispanics or Latinos, 6.1% African Americans, 3.1% Asians, and 1.2% Native Americans
Borders: Nebraska to the north, Missouri to the east, Oklahoma to the south, and Colorado to the west
Major physiographic regions
- Kansas landscape is mostly flat with hills and forests in the east
- a tiny portion of the Springfield Plateau of the Ozarks reaches into the southeastern corner of the state
- the upland of the Ozark Plateau merges with the rolling hills of the Cherokee Lowlands to the northwest
- in the northwest of the lowlands are the Osage Cuestas, also known as Osage Prairie, a region of east-southeast facing escarpments that can range from 50 to 200 feet high
- within the Osage Prairie are the Chautauqua Hills, sandstone-covered ridges and rolling hills that are usually densely covered with oaks and other trees
- further west are the Flint Hills (also known as Osage Hills), a range of hills with the densest cover of intact tallgrass prairie in North America
- the Red Hills, an upland also known as Gypsum Hills, covers the central southern portion of Kansas and northern Oklahoma
- the north-central part of Kansas is dominated by the Smoky Hills, a dissected upland area with outcropping rocks
- in the western third of Kansas the High Plains dominate the landscape, the High Plains are an upland subregion of the Great Plains
- from the east to the west, the land rises in elevations from around 350 m (1,160 ft) to 1,200 m (4,000 ft)
- mount Sunflower, the state's highest point, is located in that upland close to the Colorado state border
Kansas

Monument Rocks in Gove County of Kansas. The US Department of the Interior chose the 80 million years old chalk pyramids landmark as the first National Natural Landmark (in 1968)

Kansas
Kentucky (tap the map to enlarge)

About:
- Kentucky, officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is one of the 50 US states located in the east south-central region along the west side of the Appalachian Mountains, an area known as the Upland South.
- the state's nickname is Bluegrass State, the nickname is based on Kentucky bluegrass
Area: 104,659 km²
Population:
- 4.46 million people (2019 est.)
- the capital is Frankfort
- the largest city is Louisville
- the largest urban area is the Louisville metropolitan area
- other cities: Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, Covington, Hopkinsville, Paducah, and Frankfort
Ethnic groups: White alone 84.3%, African American 8.4%, Hispanic or Latino 3.8%, Asian 1.6%, and Native American 0.3%
Borders:
- Virginia to the southeast, and Tennessee to the south
- the Ohio River forms a natural border with Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio
The Big Sandy and the Tug Fork Rivers define the state line with West Virginia in the east
- the Mississippi River creates the border to Missouri in the southwest
Kentucky Geography
Kentucky's five major regions are:
I. the Cumberland Plateau in the southeast is a deeply dissected high plain
- it is the southern section of the Appalachian Mountains, also known as the Appalachian Plateau
II. the Bluegrass region in the northeastern part of the state is centered around Lexington, a farmland savanna of extensive grasslands, oak trees, country roads, and world-renowned horse farms
III. The landscape of the Pennyroyal Plateau (aka Mississippi Plateau) offers rolling hills, caves, and karst topography
IV. The rugged terrain of the Western Coal Fields is the region of coal mining in Kentucky since 1750
- in 2010 there were still more than 400 operating coal mines in the state
V. The Jackson Purchase in the southwestern corner of Kentucky near Missouri was land purchased from the Chickasaw Indians in 1818
Rivers and Lakes
- major rivers are the Cumberland River, the Kentucky River, the Licking River, and the Green River
- major lakes in the state are Lake Barkley, Lake Cumberland, and the Kentucky Lake freshwater reservoir, a major navigable dammed lake along the Tennessee River in Kentucky and Tennessee
Highest Elevation Point
The state's highest elevation point is on Black Mountain at 1,263 m (4,145 ft), located in Harlan County near the Virginia border
Horses
- the state is home to the Kentucky Derby, a horse race, and "The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports." The Kentucky Derby is usually held on the first Saturday in May
- thoroughbred horses and beef cattle are Kentucky's most important livestock products
Whiskey
- Bourbon whiskey is a type of American whiskey, a white oak barrels-aged brandy made mainly from corn
- although Bourbon can be produced anywhere in the United States, it has strong ties to the American South, and especially Kentucky
- according to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, Kentucky produces 95% of the world's supply of bourbon whiskey
World Heritage Site
Within Mammoth Cave in Kentucky
- the Mammoth Cave National Park preserves a part of the Green River valley and hilly country of south-central Kentucky and the Mammoth Cave -- the longest known cave system in the world
- the cave system is a network of natural caves, vertical shafts, and extremely large horizontal underground passageways with an unbelievable length of more than 650 km (405 mi)
- the limestone cave system is an unrivaled example of a number of stages of Earth's evolutionary history with almost every type of cave formation known, and it contains the most abundant known cave-dwelling wildlife
- the Mammoth Cave National Park is since 1981 a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Mammoth Cave National Park - U.S. National Park Service (https://www.nps.gov/maca/)
Kentucky

Downtown Louisville at Ohio River with the Belle of Louisville, a paddle steamer owned and operated by the city. Louisville is the largest city in the Commonwealth, founded in 1778

Kentucky
Louisiana (tap the map to enlarge)

About: the Pelican State (Louisiana's official nickname) is one of the 50 states in the US, located in the West South Central region of the mainland, between Texas and Mississippi, and south of Arkansas
Area: 135,658 km²
Population:
- 4.7 million people (est. 2019)
- state capital is Baton Rouge (227,500)
- the largest cities are New Orleans (391,500), Shreveport, Metairie (part of the New Orleans Metropolitan Area), Lafayette, and Lake Charles
Ethnic groups: White alone 58.6%, African American 32.7%, Hispanic or Latino 5.2%, Asian 1.8%, and Native American 0.8%
Borders:
- - the state features 4,800 km of twisty, meandering shorelines along the Gulf of Mexico in the south
- the Sabine River forms two-thirds of the border with Texas, the Mississippi and the Pearl River define sections of the border with the state of Mississippi
Louisiana's landscape
- it is mostly flat
- the highest point is Driskill Mountain, the hill with an elevation of 163 m (535 ft) is the highest natural summit in the state, located 80 km (50 mi) east of Shreveport
- the state's geography offers a coastal marsh, known as the wetlands of Louisiana, a water-saturated coastal swamp region of bayous (more or less standing water) and cheniers (ridges) in the southern part of the state
- but the wetlands of Louisiana in the Mississippi Floodplain, have suffered severely from human interference in the last decades
- other features of Louisiana's landscape are the Red River Valley, the Terraces, and the Hills
Lakes
- the largest lake is Lake Pontchartrain (not really a lake but an estuary)
- other major lakes are Calcasieu Lake, the Grand and the White lakes, and the Toledo Bend Reservoir on the Sabine River between Texas and Louisiana
- the Sabine Lake is a saltwater estuary shared by Texas and Louisiana
Rivers
- important rivers are the Mississippi, the Red River, the Ouachita River, the Atchafalaya River, and the Sabine River
Islands
- the largest island in Louisiana is the marshy uninhabited Marsh Island southwest of the Atchafalaya Delta
World Heritage Site
- Louisiana has one amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site, known as the Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Pointofficial website
- the site is a vast area of earthen architecture built by an ancient indigenous hunter-gatherer society that inhabited the area of the Lower Mississippi Valley
- the site consists of a complex of earthen monuments constructed 3,700-3,100 years ago in the Late Archaic period
- it is the oldest earthworks of this size in the Western Hemisphere
Louisiana

ExxonMobil oil refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, seen from the Capitol tower. The refinery alongside the riverbank of the Mississippi is the fourth-largest oil refinery in the United States

Louisiana
Maine (tap the map to enlarge)

About:
- it is the easternmost US state, situated in the northeastern part of the country, bordering Canada, it is also the northernmost of the six New England states
- the state's nickname is "The Pine Tree State;"the destination-marketing organization for the United States promotes Maine as "Vacationland"
Area: 116 Km²
Population: 1.34 million people (est. 2019)
- it is the most sparsely populated state east of the Mississippi
- the state's capital is Augusta
- the largest city, Maine's largest port, and economic capital is Portland (66,200)
- the largest metropolitan area is Greater Portland (Portland-South Portland-Biddeford).
- other cities: Lewiston (36,600), Bangor (33,000), South Portland (25,000; adjoining Portland), Auburn (23,000; Auburn and Lewiston are known as the Twin Cities), Sanford (21,000), Biddeford
Ethnic groups: predominantly white population (93%), the rest of the population is made up of 1.8% Hispanics or Latinos, 1.7% Black or African Americans, 1.3% Asians, and 0.7% Native Americans
Borders: the Canadian provinces of Québec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the north and northeast, the state borders the Atlantic Ocean (Gulf of Maine) to the southeast and the US state of New Hampshire in the southwest
Maine Sights
- Maine's landscape offers some unique geographical features: the state is number one in forestry in the US, about 83% of its territory is forested
- West Quoddy Head is the easternmost point on the U.S. mainland
- the northern section of the Appalachian Mountains, the eroded remains of an ancient mountain range of once alpine proportions, runs along the northwestern border of the state
- the highest elevation in the state is Mount Katahdin 1606 m (5,270 ft), located in Baxter State Park, almost in the center of Maine, it is the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, the 3,500 km (2,200 mi) long marked hiking trail in the Eastern US
- in the disputed maritime border area is Old Sow whirlpool, the largest tidal whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere
Coastal Maine
- Coastal Maine, with its charming maritime towns, seaside drives, peninsulas, lighthouses, lakes, and mountains, is a popular tourist destination
- Old Orchard Beach is a popular summer beach destination with the usual clam shacks and T-shirt shops
Maine Islands
- Machias Seal Island and North Rock are two of Maine's 3,166 coastal islands, the sovereignty of both islands is disputed between Canada and the US, the area is referred to colloquially as the "Grey Zone"
- Mount Desert Island is Maine's largest coastal island and home to the first national park east of the Mississippi, the Acadia National Park
- the Acadia National Park official website protects more than half of the island
- the park also includes Isle au Haut, parts of Baker Island, all of Bar Island, three of the four Porcupine Islands, and a portion of the Schoodic Peninsula on the mainland
- other popular islands worthwhile a visit are Chebeague Island, the largest of the Casco Bay Islands, and Squirrel Island, which is Maine's oldest summer colony
- there is genteel North Haven, and neighboring Vinalhaven, Maine's largest offshore island has one of the world's largest lobster fishing fleets
Lakes
- Maine is a lake-rich region, hundreds of lakes and ponds are decoratively distributed throughout the state, the largest are Moosehead Lake, Sebago Lake, and Chesuncook Lake
Maine

The pier at Old Orchard Beach, a popular summer beach destination in York County, about 20 km south west of Portland, Maine

Maine
Maryland (tap the map to enlarge)

About: it is located in the Mid-Atlantic region in the northeast of the United States
Area: 32,131 km²
Population: - 6 million people (in 2019)
- major cities in the state are Baltimore, which is by far the largest city with a population of 602,000 citizens
- 2.8 million people live in the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson urban area
- all other cities like Frederick, Gaithersburg, Rockville, and Bowie, have a population of under 70,000 people, including Annapolis, the state's capital
- besides those cities, there are urbanized census-designated places (CDP) like Columbia (pop. 106,700), Germantown (pop. 90,800), Silver Spring (pop. 81,800), Waldorf (pop. 78,600), and Glen Burnie (pop. 66,000). Source: USCB
Ethnic groups: White alone 50.5%, African American 30.9%, Hispanic or Latino 10.4%, Asian 6.7%, and Native American 0.6%
Borders:
it is bounded to the north by the Mason-Dixon line that forms the border with Pennsylvania
- the Potomac River creates most of its border with West Virginia and Virginia in the west
- in the east it borders Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean on the Delmarva peninsula
- Maryland surrounds a good portion of Washington D.C. in the west.
Maryland geography
Maryland's landscape offers three principal regions and six physiographic provinces (natural sites)
1. The state has its share of the Appalachian Mountains in the west, in the state's 'panhandle.' - The Appalachian region is further divided into several physiographic provinces; the Appalachian Plateaus Province (or Allegheny Mountains) in the far west borders the Ridge and Valley Province in the east, and the Great Valley Section in the areas around Hagerstown.
- Further to the east lies the more separate Blue Ridge Province, which borders the Piedmont Plateau
2. The Piedmont Plateau with its Lowland Section and its Upland Section with sprawling Baltimore at its edge
3. The Atlantic Coastal Plain is separated from the upland bedrock of the Piedmont Plateau by the Atlantic Seaboard Fall Line in the west
- Maryland's portion of the plain surrounds the Chesapeake Bay
- west of the bay lies the Western Shore Lowlands Region in the north, and the Western Shore Uplands Region in the south
- East of the bay is the Eastern Shore covering the west side of the Delmarva Peninsula, which Maryland shares with Delaware and Virginia
- Finally, in the far southeast is the Atlantic Continental Shelf Province along Assateague Island
Rivers: major rivers are the Patapsco, the Patuxent, the Susquehanna, and the Potomac River, all of them empty into the Chesapeake Bay
Lakes
- Maryland's largest lake is the Deep Creek Lake with a 111 km (69 mi) long shoreline
- Prettyboy Reservoir is a 206.5 km² (79.7 sq mi) barrier lake created to supply the Metropolitan Baltimore municipal water system; the lake is fed by the Gunpowder Falls
- The water from Prettyboy Reservoir is transferred to the Loch Raven Reservoir
- The water is then supplied through a tunnel from Loch Raven to the Montebello filtration plants in Baltimore
- The Liberty Reservoir is a reservoir northwest of Baltimore fed by the Patapsco River
- By the way, all of Maryland's lakes today are human-made
Islands
- Maryland has 281 named islands, including river islands, islands in the Chesapeake, and other bays
- Assateague Island is an elongated barrier island off the east coast of the Delmarva Peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean
- Fenwick Island is a barrier spit along the Atlantic Ocean; the barrier island is shared by Delaware and Maryland
- Islands located in the Chesapeake Bay: Kent Island in Maryland's Eastern Shore region is the largest island in the Chesapeake Bay
- Eastern Neck Island is home to the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge, a sanctuary for migratory birds
- The uninhabited Pooles Island is home to the oldest lighthouse still standing in Maryland
- Other islands in the Chesapeake Bay are rural Tilghman Island, Hart-Miller Island, a state-owned, public recreation area
- Gibson island, a gated community with expensive real estate
- In the south of the bay are the isolated Hoopers Islands, the Bloodsworth Island, a former shore bombardment and bombing range, the once settled and now abandoned Holland Island, and the car-free Smith Island on the border of Maryland and Virginia
Highest point: the highest point in the state is Hoye Crest at 1,024 m (3,360 ft) a.s.l., on Backbone Mountain in Garrett County on the Maryland-West Virginia border in the far west
Maryland

Aerial view of Fenwick Island. Maryland's Ocean City is at the bottom of the image

Maryland
Massachusetts (tap the map to enlarge)

About:
- it is a state in the northeastern United States, one of the six New England states
- its nickname is "The Bay State," or also "The Spirit of America" currently used on the state's license plates
- the name Massachusetts is derived from the word of the Massachusetts language (an Algonquian language) and means "at the big hill" or "at the small, big hill"
Area: 27,336 km²
Population: - 6.9 million people (est. 2019)
- its primate city, state capital, largest and most populous urban area, and major port is Boston (pop. 693,000)
- the largest metropolitan area is Greater Boston, with an estimated population of 4.7 million people, more than two-thirds of the total population of Massachusetts.
Ethnic groups: White 71%, Hispanic or Latino 12.4%, African American 9%, and Asian 7.2%
Borders: Vermont and New Hampshire in the north, Rhode Island and Connecticut in the south, and New York in the west, in the east by the Atlantic Ocean
Massachusetts Geography:
- it extends from the Berkshire Mountains (part of the Appalachians) in the west to the Atlantic Coastal Plain in the east
- the coast is shaped by several large bays, like Massachusetts Bay, Buzzards Bay, and Cape Cod Bay
- two large islands belong to Massachusetts, Martha's Vineyard, the 260 km² (100 sq mi) wide island is known for being an affluent summer colony (a quiet and genteel bastion of old money)
- another summer colony is Nantucket; the island is a popular tourist destination and an architectural example of a late 18th- and early 19th-century New England seaport town with exorbitant home prices
Highest point: the highest point in the state is Mount Greylock in the Taconic Mountains at 1063.4 m
Largest lake
- The Quabbin Reservoir in the center of the state is the largest lake in Massachusetts
- it is the primary fresh water supply for Boston
- three branches of the Swift River feed the reservoir
Massachusetts

Downtown Springfield, MA, seen from across the Connecticut River

Massachusetts
Michigan (tap the map to enlarge)

About: Michigan is one of the East North Central states in the US, the state's name is the French version of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake."
Area: it is an unusual shaped state, for it is situated on two separate peninsulas, the state covers an area of 250,485 km²
Population: - 9.98 million (est. 2019)
- the state's capital is Lansing, the largest city is Detroit, and the largest metropolitan area is Metro Detroit (the second-largest US metropolitan area)
- other major cities (with a population of more than 100,000) are Grand Rapids, Warren, Sterling Heights, Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Flint
Ethnic groups: White alone 74.9%, African American 14.1%, Hispanic or Latino 5.2%, Asian 3.4%, and Native American 0.7%
Borders: the Canadian province of Ontario, the US states of Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin, and it shares a water boundary with Illinois and Minnesota
More about Michigan
- The Wolverine State (its nickname) is divided into the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, which were physically separated from one another until the construction of the Mackinac Bridge in 1957, which provided easy access from one part to the other
Upper Peninsula
- the Upper Peninsula features low rolling hills and occasional swamps in the east and higher hills with rugged terrain in the west
- the eastern section of the Upper Peninsula is part of the Great Lakes Plain, while the western section from Lake Superior into the Porcupine Mountains lies within the Superior Upland
Lower Peninsula
- the Lower Peninsula, also part of the Great Lakes Plains, is bordered on the west by Lake Michigan, on the east by Lake Huron and Lake Erie, and on the south by Indiana and Ohio
- the terrain is made up of law rolling hills in the southernmost part and flatlands interspersed with hills in the northernmost section
- the Lower Peninsula includes four major landforms
- the hilly moraines region covers the bottom half of the peninsula; it is composed of moraines, rocks and sediment carried and deposited by a glacier forming low ridges
- the Beaches and Dunes section of the Lower Peninsula comprises of low forest-covered areas alternating with high bare dunes
- the High Plains and Moraines section, located north of Muskegon-Saginaw Bay, contains higher ridges
- the Eastern Lower Plains Lowlands, extending from the Saginaw Bay area to the tip of the Lower Peninsula, encompasses the most industrialized section of the state, including Detroit
Michigan

The Upper Falls of Tahquamenon River in Tahquamenon Falls State Park on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The 145 km long (90 mi) river empties into Lake Superior

Michigan
Minnesota (tap the map to enlarge)

About Minnesota
- Minnesota is one of the 50 states of the US, located in the western part of the Great Lakes Region
- the 'Land of 10,000 Lakes' borders the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba in the north, North Dakota and South Dakota in the west, Iowa in the south, and Wisconsin in the southeast
- it shares a water border with Michigan in Lake Superior
- Minnesota is divided into 87 counties
Short History
- a part of what is today Minnesota was ceded to Britain by the French in 1763, and 20 years later acquired by the US in 1783
- the remainder formed a portion of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Minnesota joined the Union on 11th May 1858, as the 32nd state
Area
- Minnesota occupies an area of 225,181 km² (86,939 sq mi)
- compared it is somewhat smaller than Romania (238,391 km²) or just slightly larger than the US state of Utah
- the state would fit into Texas about three times
Mountains
- In the Arrowhead Region, a triangle-shaped region in the northeastern part of the state, is Minnesota's only mountain range, the Sawtooth Mountains, a series of hills and small mountains on the North Shore of Lake Superior
- Northwest of the Sawtooth Mountains lies a major iron ore mining area of the United States, the Mesabi Range, collectively known as the Iron Range
- it is the largest of three iron ranges in northern Minnesota
Highest point
- the highest point is "Eagle Mountain" at 701 m (2,301 ft), part of the Misquah Hills, located in the northeastern corner of the state
Lakes
- the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" is abundant with water, the state counts exactly 11,842 lakes, which are larger than ten acres (40,000 m²) in size
- some of the largest lakes besides Lake Superior are the Lake of the Woods (partly in Canada), the Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, Lake Winnibigoshish, and the Upper and Lower Red Lake. Lake Itasca, a small glacial lake, is the source of North America's longest river, the Mississippi
Rivers
- besides the Mississippi, other major rivers are the Red River (aka Red River of the North), which forms the border with North Dakota and a short section of the border with South Dakota. The Rainy River defines a long section of the United States border with Canada, separating north eastern Minnesota and Northwestern Ontario
the Minnesota River and the St. Croix River are both tributaries of the Mississippi River
Population
- the "North Star State" (its other nickname) has a population of 5.61 million people (est. 2018)
- the capital of Minnesota is Saint Paul
- the state's largest city is Minneapolis; the largest urban area is the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area, also known as Twin Cities, with a population of 3.1 million
- this corresponds to approximately more than half of the state's entire population
- the remainder of the state is known as the Outstate or Greater Minnesota, much less urbanized and populated than the Twin Cities
- the population of Minnesota is predominantly white (84%), African-American (7%), Hispanics or Latino (5.6%), and Asian (5.2%)
Minnesota

Minnesota's capital Saint Paul, with riverboat. The city on the east bank of the Mississippi River adjoins Minneapolis, the state's largest city. Together they form Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area with about 3.5 million people (est. 2017)

Minnesota
Mississippi (tap the map to enlarge)

About:
- Mississippi, one of the 50 US states, is situated in the Southern United States, known as the 'Dixie' region
- the Magnolia State (Mississippi's official nickname) is part of the Bible Belt, a region of the southern and Midwestern US where Protestant fundamentalism is widely practiced
Area:
- 125,438 km²
- the state lies entirely in the Central Lowland of the US mainland; its flat landscape is crisscrossed by many rivers
- Mississippi is located within two major regions in the United States: the Gulf Coastal Plain, a generally flat, broad, coastal area along the Gulf of Mexico, and the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, in the western part of the state, known as the Mississippi Delta, and sometimes called the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta
- in the southeast, Mississippi has a 120 km (75 mi) long coastline at the Gulf of Mexico
- the coast features a number of large bays, including the Bay of Saint Louis, Biloxi Bay, and Pascagoula Bay
- the urban metropolitan zone along the coast is Gulfport–Biloxi–Pascagoula, a combined statistical area with an estimated population of 400,000
- the Mississippi District of the Gulf Islands National Seashore features natural beaches, some historic sites, wildlife sanctuaries, the Mississippi Sound, and the Gulf Islands, which are only accessible by boat
Population: - 2.97 million people (est. 2019)
- the capital and largest city is Jackson
- the second-largest city is Gulfport, a major port on the Mississippi Sound (Gulf Coast)
- other major cities (with a population of more than 40,000) are Southaven, a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee, Hattiesburg, a city that played a key role in the civil rights struggles of the 1960s ), Biloxi, and Meridian
Ethnic groups: 56.4% Caucasians (white), 37.8% African Americans, 3.4% Hispanics or Latinos, 1.1% Asians, and 0.6% Native Americans
Borders: rhodeisland a NORD, carolinas ad EST, indiana a SUD, Alabama a OVEST
Main Geographic Regions of Mississippi
Mississippi is divided into six major geographic regions: the Delta, the North Central Hills (or Red Clay Hills, or simply, the Hills), the Appalachian Foothills, the Black Prairie, the Piney Woods, and the Gulf Coast
1. The Mississippi Delta in the eastern part of the state is not a delta, but in reality, a two hundred miles long alluvial plain created by regular flooding by the Mississippi and the Yazoo rivers. Before colonization, the Delta was covered in hardwood forest, but European settlers developed it soon into one of the most fertile cotton-growing areas in the nation
2. The Loess Bluffs or Loess Hills, in the eastern rim of the Delta, is a narrow strip of hills and sharp bluffs along the lower Mississippi Valley, formed by windswept sand and clay deposits in the last ice age
3. The North Central Hills (also known as the Red Clay Hills) is a region situated in central-north of the state; the area got its name from the red color of its soil and the clay deposits there. The red clay soil supports only small farms
4. To the east of the Central Hills are the Appalachian Foothills, a small portion of the Appalachians, an area in the extreme northeastern corner of the state
- The hilly landscape and rocky soil allow only for small farming
- Mississippi's highest elevation is in this area, Woodall Mountain, a hill with an altitude of just 246 m
5. To the south of the Appalachian foothills are four distinctive landforms
- the Tombigbee Hills are hills along the border with Alabama, now covered with pine and hardwood forests
- the Pontotoc Ridge is a highland area along the Central Hills, the Black Prairie, a region with fertile black soil, excellent for agriculture, and the Flatwoods, a low-lying narrow region with heavy clay soils
6. Most of southern Mississippi lies in the gently rolling Southern Pine Hills (Piney Woods)
Rivers and Lakes
- Mississippi's major rivers are, besides the Mississippi, the Big Black River, a tributary of the Mississippi, which flows entirely in the state
- the Pearl River is the longest river that is entirely within Mississippi, and the Yazoo River, a Mississippi tributary, marks the eastern boundary of the Mississippi Delta
Largest Lakes
- Pickwick Lake, a reservoir at the Tennessee River, the lake is in three states Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee
- the lake is the north end of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, which provides a water transportation route to the Gulf of Mexico
- Grenada Lake, the reservoir at the Yalobusha River, was constructed to help control flooding along the Yazoo River Basin
- Sardis Lake is a 400 km² reservoir at the Little Tallahatchie River
Climate: Mississippi's climate is subtropical humid, with long summers and short, mild winters
Highest point
: the highest elevation in Mississippi is Woodall Mountain, a hill of 246 m (800 ft) in Tishomingo County in the northeastern part of the state
Mississippi

Ground fog on an autumn morning near Columbus, Mississippi

Mississippi
Missouri (tap the map to enlarge)

About:
- Missouri is a landlocked state in the Midwestern United States on the fringes of the Bible Belt
- it was named after the Missouri River, which in turn takes its name from the Missouria, a Native American tribe.
Area: 316 Km²
Population:
- 6.1 million people (est. 2019)
- the state capital is Jefferson City
- largest city is Kansas City
- Greater Kansas City extends across the state border between Kansas and Missouri and has a population of nearly 2.5 million people
- the state's largest metropolitan area is Greater St. Louis with 2.8 million inhabitants
- the Mississippi River cuts through the metropolitan area and forms the state line between Illinois and Missouri
- other major cities in Missouri are Springfield, Columbia, and Independence.
Ethnic groups: White alone 79.3%, African American 11.8%, Hispanic or Latino 4.3%, Asian 2.1%, and Native American 0.6%
Borders:
- the Show Me State (Missouri's unofficial nickname) borders a total of eight different US states
- Iowa in the north, Illinois in the east across the Mississippi River, Kentucky in southeast, Tennessee and Arkansas in the south, Oklahoma and Kansas in the west, and Nebraska across the Missouri River in the northwest.
Major Geographical Regions of Missouri
Missouri can be divided into four geographical regions:
1. The Central Dissected Till Plains are situated north of the Missouri River, high prairie landscapes with savanna and woodland valleys
- the wide floodplains of the Missouri River and the Mississippi River developed complexes of sandbars, marshes, and wet prairies
- today, much of the Central Dissected Till Plains have been converted to productive pastures and cropland
2. The Osage Plains in west-central Missouri are mostly flat plains with a few hills
- once a tallgrass prairie, but in the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, settlers transformed what was then known as the "Great American Desert" or "The Inland Sea" into farmland. The tallgrass prairie survives in tiny areas unsuited for agriculture, like in Missouri's Prairie State Park in Barton County
3. The Ozark Plateau, Missouri’s largest geographical region, is a heavily forested highland plateau dissected by rivers, valleys, and streams
- there are two mountain ranges within the Ozarks: the Boston Mountains of Arkansas and the St. Francois Mountains of Missouri, created by volcanic and intrusive activity 1.48 billion years ago
- portions of the Ozark Plateau, the Springfield Plateau, consisting of eroded limestone
- Missouri is known as "The Cave State" with over 6000 recorded caves; the majority of these caves are found in the Ozarks
4. The Mississippi Alluvial Plain a lowland in the "Boot Heel" of the state along the Mississippi River
- the broad Mississippi lowlands along the state's eastern borders are also known as the Mississippi embayment
Highest point
- Missouri's highest point is at Taum Sauk Mountain, a flat ridge at 540 m (1,772 ft), situated in a large parks-and-wilderness area, the Taum Sauk Mountain State Park in the St. Francois Mountains in the Ozarks
- another wilderness area is the Bell Mountain Wilderness of southern Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest
Missouri

The Climatron Geodesic Dome at the Missouri Botanical Garden (Shaw's Garden) in St. Louis. The garden is one of the oldest horticultural institutions in the United States

Missouri
Montana (tap the map to enlarge)

About:
- it is a mountainous, landlocked US state east of the Bitterroot Range of the Rocky Mountains and south of Canada
- the state is situated in the Northern Rockies and Plains region in the northwestern United States
Area: 381,154 km² (147,042 sq mi)
- it is the fourth-largest US state, compared it is somewhat larger than Germany or Japan
- in the western third of Montana, there are numerous mountain ranges
- the Northern Rocky Mountains run through the west part of the state
- some 100 smaller named mountain ranges are scattered throughout Montana
- the highest elevation in the state is Granite Peak at 3,904 m (12,807 ft) located in central south near the border with Wyoming
- Montana is the source of the Missouri River (near Brower's Spring), North America's longest river (3,767 km)
Population:
- about 1 million people (as of 2019)
- the state ranks 48th in population density
- the capital city is Helena (pop. 32,300 in 2018)
- the largest city is Billings, and the largest urban area is the Billings Metropolitan Area with a population of 181,600 (in 2019)
Ethnic groups:
- the population of Montana is predominantly white (86%)
- the rest of the population consists of Native Americans 6.6%, Hispanics or Latinos 4.0%, Asians 0.9% and African Americans 0.6%
World Heritage Site
Montana has one amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site, known as the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. official website
- in 1932 Waterton Lakes National Park (Alberta, Canada) was combined with the Glacier National Park of Montana (United States) to form the world's first International Peace Park
- the property is located on the border between the two countries and offers an exceptional landscape backdrop
- the park is extremely rich in plant and mammal species and offers prairie, forest, alpine, and glacial landscapes
Yellowstone National Park
- the world-famous Yellowstone National Park is mostly in Wyoming, but the park also spreads into parts of Montana (3%) and Idaho (1%)
- the park is since 1978 a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Montana National Parks
- the GNP (U.S.) is part of the greater Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, a combined park (Alberta, Canada and Montana, US) and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- the National Park offers more than 700 mi (1,130 km) of trails in 4,000 km² of spectacular mountain scenery, glacial landforms, along rivers and lakes, and encounter with an abundant diversity of wildlife and wildflowers
- the Triple Divide Peak in the Lewis Range is the hydrological apex of the North American continent, rainwater that falls at the summit can flow either to the Pacific, the Atlantic, or the Arctic Ocean
Other Points of Interest in Montana
Yellowstone River: the Yellowstone River is a tributary of the Missouri River and famous for its scenic beauty, it is the last major undammed river in the lower 48 states
Going-to-the-Sun Road
- the Going-to-the-Sun Road is a scenic mountain road in the Rocky Mountains in Glacier National Park in Montana, leading from West Glacier to Saint Mary
- highlights along the route are Lake McDonald, Trail of the Cedars, Heavens Peak, Bird Woman Falls, Garden Wall / Weeping Wall, Logan Pass, Clements Mountain, Mount Jackson / Glacier, Going-to-the-Sun Mountain, Rising Sun, and Saint Mary Lake
Watson Brake
- Watson Brake is an archaeological site in present-day Ouachita Parish, considered to be the oldest earthwork mound complex in North America, older even than the Egyptian pyramids or England’s Stonehenge
- the site was developed over centuries by a hunter-gatherer society, rather than by a more sedentary society
- its discovery and dating in a paper published in 1997 changed the ideas of American archaeologists about ancient cultures in the Southeast and their ability to manage large, complex projects over centuries
Montana

Hidden Lake with Bearhat Mountain in Glacier National Park within the Lewis Range, Montana. Glacier National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Montana
Nebraska (tap the map to enlarge)

About Nebraska
- Nebraska is a landlocked state, west of the Mississippi River in the central US mainland
- it is one of the states in the Great Plains region, the broad territory of mostly flat land expanding north to south in the middle of the United States
- Nebraska borders South Dakota to the north, Kansas to the south, Colorado to the southwest, and Wyoming to the west, the Missouri River creates the border with Iowa and Missouri in the east
History
- indigenous people of the Great Plains have occupied the area for thousands of years. - in 1682, René-Robert Cavelier (aka Sieur de La Salle), a French Jesuit and "discoverer," claimed a vast territory in Central North America for the French crown, including the region of present-day Nebraska
- the claim included all the territory drained by the Mississippi River and its tributaries
- La Salle named it Louisiana, later known as Louisiana Territory
- Nebraska was acquired in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase, a plot of land of 2.14 million km² (828,000 sq mi) changed ownership for $15 million, equivalent to $300 million today
- sixty-four years later, Nebraska became the 37th state of the US in 1867. The state's nickname is the Cornhusker State. Corn is a major cash crop that is farmed in Nebraska
Area
- the state occupies an area of 200,330 km² [1], it's about two-thirds the size of Italy. Compared with other US states, Nebraska would fit into Texas 3.5 times
- Nebraska's landscape is mostly flat with gently rolling hills in the east, known as the Pine Ridge escarpment
- the Sand Hills, a region of mixed-grass prairie on grass-stabilized dunes, and the semi-arid High Plains are also part of the Great Plains biome
- on the High Plains is Nebraska's highest point, the Panorama Point at 1654 m (5,424 ft), situated in the southwestern corner of the panhandle, in southwestern Kimball County in the middle of a vast flat landscape, the location is only visible by a stone marker
Rivers
- several rivers cross the state from west to east
- principal rivers are the Loup River, a tributary of the Platte River, the Platte River, and the Niobrara River, both tributaries of the Missouri River
- the Republican River in the south flows through Nebraska and Kansas
Population
- Nebraska has a population of 1.93 million people (est. 2019)
- the capital city is Lincoln; the largest city is Omaha, the largest metropolitan area is Omaha–Council Bluffs with a population of 942,000 people
Race and Ethnic groups
- the population of Nebraska is composed of Caucasian 78.2%, Hispanic or Latino 11.4%, African American 5.2%, Asian 2.7%, and Native American 1.5%
Nebraska

Omaha skyline from Gene Leahy Mall. Omaha is the largest city in Nebraska and the county seat of Douglas County. The downtown area is dominated by the First National Bank Tower (right), Woodmen Tower in the background center

Nebraska
Nevada (tap the map to enlarge)

About: it is a landlocked state in the western part of the United States
Area:
- 286,380 km²
- Nevada's landscape is dominated by the Great Basin Desert within the Great Basin
- Nevada's temperate desert covers most of the state's area
- the Great Basin Desert spreads over an area of more than 492,000 km² (190,000 sq mi)
- it is the largest of the four major deserts in the United States, with an area about twice the size of the UK. The arid region is located between the Sierra Nevada in the west, the Wasatch Range of Utah in the east, the Columbia Plateau in the north, and the Mojave and Sonoran deserts in the south
- the area is characterized by a unique basin and range topography – many parallel mountain ranges corresponding with flat, arid valleys running northeast-southwest
- there are more than 33 peaks within the desert with summits higher than 3,000 m (9,800 ft), but also the floor of the valleys in the region are at elevations above 300 to 1,800 m (1,000 to 6,000 ft a.s.l.)
- the Great Basin Desert is a "cold" desert, where most precipitation falls in the form of snow, especially at higher elevations.
Population:
- 3 million people (est. 2019)
- the capital is Carson City (55,000)
- the largest city is Las Vegas (644,000), the largest metropolitan area is Las Vegas-Paradise, NV MSA
- other major cities are Reno, Henderson, North Las Vegas, and Sparks.
Ethnic groups: Caucasian (white) 48.2%, Hispanic or Latino 29.2%, African American 10.3%, Asian 8.7%, and Native Americans 1.7%
Borders: Oregon and Idaho on the north, Utah on the east, Arizona on southeast, and California on the west and southwest
Lakes
- Nevada's natural attractions are Lake Tahoe to the west of Carson City
- north America's largest alpine lake is situated on the Nevada-California state line in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at an elevation of 1,897 m
- along the lake's northeastern shore is Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park
- Pyramid Lake in Washoe County east of the Virginia Mountains is a remnant of the ancient Lake Lahontan that covered much of northwestern Nevada at the end of the last ice age (Pleistocene)
- Lake Mead, in the southeast of the state, is the largest reservoir in the US
- the artificial lake is created by the Hoover Dam (formerly Boulder Dam) on the Colorado River
- the lake last reached its full capacity in the summer of 1983
Canyons
- Lamoille Canyon, a valley in Elko County in the Ruby Mountains, sculpted by glaciers in the last ice age
- Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, a region with large red rock formations west of Las Vegas
- (https://www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands/nevada/red-rock-canyon)
- Valley of Fire State Park offers red sandstone formations reflecting sunlight.(http://parks.nv.gov/parks/valley-of-fire)
Mountain Ranges in Nevada
- Nevada probably has more mountain ranges than any other state in the contiguous United States
- the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest (HTNF – https://www.fs.usda.gov/htnf), located in Nevada and a small portion of eastern California, is the principal U.S. National Forest in Nevada. It is the largest national forest in the lower 48 states
- the park is not contiguous, its seven ranger districts are scattered across the state's many mountain ranges
Major Mountain Ranges
- the Schell Creek Range within the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, adjacent to Humboldt National Forest, is Cave Lake State Park, a public recreation area southeast of Ely
- the highest point in the range is North Schell Peak at 3,622 m
- the Toiyabe Range in the Lander and Nye counties also lies within the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest; the highest point in the range is Arc Dome at 3592 m
- the Ruby Mountains in Elko County, dubbed "the Alps of Nevada," is a chain of mountains that reaches a maximum elevation of 3,472+ m at the prominent peak of Ruby Dome
Highest Point
- the highest mountain in Nevada is Boundary Peak, a summit in the White Mountains at 4,007 m, located near the California border, more famous is snow-capped Wheeler Peak (at 3,982 m) highest summit in the Snake Mountains near the state's border with Utah
Nevada

The pyramid of Pyramid Lake seen from the East Shore

Nevada
New Hampshire (tap the map to enlarge)

About: it is one of the six states of New England, a region in the northeastern United States
Area: 24,214 km²
Population: 1.35 million people (est. 2019)
- capital is Concord (42,000)
- the largest city is Manchester (110,000)
- the largest metropolitan area is Greater Manchester, with a population of 400,000 people
Ethnic groups: 90% White Americans, 4% Hispanics or Latinos, 3.0% Asians, 1.8% Black or African Americans, and 0.3% Native Americans
Borders:
- it is bordered by the Québec province of Canada to the north and northwest, by the US states of Maine in east and Massachusetts to the south
- the Connecticut River forms its border with Vermont to the west
- the Granite State (its nickname) has a short coastline (24 km or 15 mi) at the Gulf of Maine, a gulf of the Atlantic Ocean
Mountains
- several peaks in the White Mountains, are rising above 1,500 m (5,000 ft) in elevation
- the highlight of the state's mountainous landscape is the White Mountains range, the region is known for its winter sports areas
- the White Mountain National Forest links the Vermont and Maine portions of the Appalachian Trail
Highest point
Located within the White Mountains, in the Presidential Range, is Mt. Washington, the highest peak in New Hampshire and the Northeastern United States at 1,916.6 m (6,288.2 ft)
Lakes
- to the south of the White Mountains and the Sandwich Range is the New Hampshire's Lakes Region, an area surrounding Lake Winnipesaukee, Winnisquam Lake, Squam Lake, and Newfound Lake
- lakes Region is a popular tourist destination in the summertime. Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest of New Hampshire's many lakes
North Country
- in the north of the state is the Great North Woods Region, a sparsely populated area and a tourism region, also known as the North Country
- the Monadnock Region is an area in southwestern New Hampshire
- the region offers abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation like camping, Nordic skiing, and hiking Mount Monadnock
- the Merrimack Valley is a region in the central south of the state along the Merrimack River
- within the valley are the state capital Concord, and the state's two largest cities, Manchester and Nashua
- the Seacoast Region is a beach New Hampshire style
- the 24 km (15 mi) long coast is generally rocky and rough, with a few human-made sandy beaches in between
- the region along the shore was the first area of the state to be permanently settled by Europeans in the early 17th century
New Hampshire

View of Ice-covered Lake Winnipesaukee, looking north toward the Sandwich Range (White Mountains). The largest lake in New Hampshire is located in the Lakes Region

New Hampshire
New Jersey (tap the map to enlarge)

About New Jersey
- New Jersey is one of the 50 federal states of the United States of America, located in the northeastern US mainland
- it borders the State of New York in the north and northeast, Delaware, across Delaware Bay, in the south and southwest, and Pennsylvania in the west across the Delaware River
- it is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean in the east
- the region was colonized in the early 17th century by Dutch and Swedish settlers; they founded New Netherland and New Sweden
. the entire area was ceded to Britain in 1664, in 1776 New Jersey became one of the original thirteen states
- admission to the Union on 18th December 1787, it was admitted as the 3rd state
Area
- New Jersey Topographic Regions Map Topographic Regions Map of New Jersey
- the United States' fourth-smallest state occupies an area of 22,608 km² (8,721 sq mi) [1], compared it is about the size of Belize or half the size of Estonia
- compared with other US states, New Jersey would fit into Texas 31 times
- despite its relatively small area New Jersey is ranked 11th in the population list of US states
- the most densely populated state in the US is located at the center of the Northeast Megalopolis (also known as the Boston–Washington Corridor), between Boston and New York City to the northeast, and Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., to the southwest
- the most urbanized region in the United States has a population of over 50 million
Rivers
- New Jersey's main rivers are the Delaware River, which defines the border with Pennsylvania, and the Hudson River, which forms a section of the border with New York state
Highest point
- the highest point in the state is "High Point" with 549.6 m (1,803 ft) located in the northern corner of New Jersey
Jersey Shore
- along the Atlantic coast, in the east of the state, is Jersey Shore with its coastal cities and towns
- it is a popular vacation region, famous for its beaches, barrier island, many boardwalks with arcades, rock and roll clubs, water and amusement parks
- over 40 communities cater to visitors from New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia
Population
- the "Garden State" (its nickname) is the most densely-populated state in the US with a population of 8.8 million people (est. 2019)
- it lies within the sphere of influence of two major metropolitan areas: in the northeast, the huge urban area of New York City with a population of 23.7 million people, and in the west, the Delaware Valley, also known as the Philadelphia metropolitan area with more than 7 million people
- the state capital is Trenton (pop. 84,000), the largest city is Newark (pop. 281,000), the largest urban area is New York metropolitan area (New York-Newark-Jersey City; pop. 23.6 million)
- other major cities in New Jersey are Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Edison, Woodbridge, and Lakewood
- spoken languages are English 70% and Spanish 16%
Race and Ethnic groups
- White alone 54.9%, Hispanic or Latino 20.6%, African American 15.0%, Asian 10.0%, and Native American 0.6%
New Jersey

Downtown Jersey City at Hudson riverfront, New Jersey, seen from Manhattan, New York

New Jersey
New Mexico (tap the map to enlarge)

About New Mexico
- it is a landlocked state in the Mountain Division of the southwestern United States
- it borders (clockwise) Colorado to the north, Oklahoma and Texas to the east, the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora in the south, and Arizona in the west
Some History
- native Americans inhabited the territory of what is now New Mexico for thousands of years
- Clovis, Folsom, Cochise, Anasazi, and Pueblo Indian societies successive called the land their home
- for more than two centuries Santa Fe de Nuevo México was a province of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, the Spanish possessions in Central and North America
- it became a territory of Mexico that gained independence from Spain in 1821
- in 1846 United States forces invaded and occupied New Mexico
- the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the war between the United States and Mexico in 1848
- the treaty significantly expanded US territory. The amount of land gained by the United States increased further by the Gadsden Purchase of 1853-54, which added parts of present-day southern Arizona and southwest New Mexico to the United States. On 6 January 1912, New Mexico finally became the 47th state of the United States
Area
- topographic Map of New Mexico showing the location of the state's mountain ranges, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the Sacramento and San Andres mountain range, the Black Range, the Zuni, and the Chuska mountains
- New Mexico covers an area of 314,917 km² (121,590 sq mi), [1] making it the 5th largest US state
- in comparison, it is about the size of Poland or slightly smaller than half the size of Texas
Highest Elevation
- the highest point in the state is Wheeler Peak at 4013.3 m (13,167 ft); nearby Mount Walter is only six meters lower, so the two peaks are often confused with each other
- both mountains are part of the Sangre de Cristo Range, the southernmost mountain range of the Rocky Mountains
- the Wheeler Peak Wilderness Area was established to protect local fauna and flora
Main Rivers
- principal rivers are the Rio Grande (Great River), New Mexico's longest river, and the third-longest in the USA
- the Pecos River has its source near Santa Fe and flows over 1490 km through the eastern part of New Mexico
Best of New Mexico
- New Mexico's nickname is Land of Enchantment, its landscape offers a variety of appropriate amazing sights
- from white deserts to heavily forested mountain wildernesses and snow-capped peaks, and from Aztec Ruins to Gila Cliff Dwellings and petroglyphs in New Mexico's West Mesa
- tourism is one of the main pillars of New Mexico's economy
- highlights on a tourist's itinerary are the White Sands National Monument with its rare pure-white gypsum dunes in the northern Chihuahuan Desert (https://www.nps.gov/whsa/index.htm)
Bandelier National Monument
- human settlements from around 11,000 years ago
- the monument protects Ancestral Pueblo archeological sites within a diverse and scenic landscape. (www.nps.gov/band/)
- the Petroglyph National Monument, an archaeological site with thousands of prehistoric Native American drawings near Albuquerque (https://www.nps.gov/petr/index.htm)
- Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, in the Gila Wilderness, best of cliff dwelling ever (https://www.nps.gov/gicl/index.htm)
World Heritage Sites
- New Mexico has not one but three outstanding UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Chaco Culture National Historical Park Chaco is also known for its limited light pollution and unobstructed view of star constellations and was officially designated as Dark Sky Park in 2013
1. Chaco Culture
- Chaco Culture National Historical Park in San Juan and McKinley counties
- the site is registered as Chaco Cultureofficial website
- Chaco Culture is a network of archaeological sites in northwestern New Mexico which preserves outstanding elements of a vast pre-Columbian cultural complex that dominated much of what is now the southwestern United States from the mid-9th to early 13th centuries
- for over 2,000 years, Pueblo peoples occupied the vast region of the southwestern United States
- Chaco Canyon, a major center of ancestral Pueblo culture between 850 and 1250, was a focus for ceremonials, trade, and political activity for the prehistoric Four Corners area
- Chaco Culture National Historical Park (National Park Service https://www.nps.gov/chcu/index.htm)
- on 19 August 2013, Chaco Culture National Historical Park became a International Dark Sky Park
2. Taos Pueblo
- Taos Pueblo official website was a Pueblo Indian settlement from the late 13th and early 14th centuries, consisting of ceremonial buildings and facilities and multi-story adobe dwellings built in terraced tiers
- the site is situated in the valley of a small tributary of the Rio Grande in northern New Mexico
- Taos Pueblo represents a significant stage in the history of urban, community, and cultural life
- Taos Pueblo was a central trading point between the indigenous population along the Rio Grande and their neighbours in the northwest, the Plains Tribes
- Taos Pueblo has been continuously inhabited and is the largest of these Pueblos that still exist
3. Carlsbad Caverns National Park
- 250 million years ago, during the Permian period, the region of today Carlsbad Caverns National Parkofficial website was the coastline of an inland sea with a plethora of marine life, whose remains formed a reef
- the Permian reef deposits are now the rock formation called the Capitan Limestone
- the karst landscape in the state of New Mexico comprises over 80 recognized caves
- the caves are outstanding because of their size, mode of origin, and the abundance, diversity, and beauty of the rock formations within
- Geological processes within the caves continue to form rare and unique rock formations, like stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones, calcite crystals, cave popcorn (coralloids), and sinter terraces, particularly in the Lechuguilla Cave
- Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Stalactites and stalagmites in limestone chambers, ingredients to make a great tourist attraction
Population
- New Mexico has a population of 2 million people (in 2019)
- it is among the least densely populated US states (rank 45)
- the capital is Santa Fe; the largest city is Albuquerque
- the largest urban area is the Albuquerque metropolitan area with a population of 918,000 people
Race and Ethnic groups
- Hispanic or Latino 49.3%, Caucasian (white) 36.8%, Native American 11%, African American 2.6%, and Asian 1.8%
- spoken languages are English 64%, Spanish 28%, and Navajo 4%
New Mexico

Dunes of gleaming white gypsum crystals at White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

New Mexico
New York (tap the map to enlarge)

About New York (state)
- the State of New York is situated in the northeastern USA, between the Canadian provinces of Québec and Ontario and Lake Ontario in the northwest, and the Atlantic coast in the southeast
- it borders the US states of Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania
- the St Lawrence River forms a section of the state's border with Canada
- the region was initially settled by the Dutch, who surrendered the land to the British in 1664
- the area of today New York was part of the original territory of the United States. When chartered in 1664, it included a much larger area
- a portion was sold to create New Jersey in 1664, and title claims were ceded in 1682 to Delaware and Pennsylvania
- New York ratified the U.S. Constitution on 26 July 1788; it was the 11th of the original 13 states to join the Union
Area
- the "The Empire State" (its nickname) covers an area of 141,299 km² (54,556 sq mi)
- compared, it is somewhat larger than Greece (131,957 km²), but it would fit into Texas almost five times
New York State Landforms and Recreational Areas
- Upstate New York is the rural hinterland of the New York metropolitan area, comprising all of New York State but the primate city itself
- it is the backyard and orchard of the city of New York, providing the megacity with milk and dairy products, fruits (especially apples), wine, water, electricity, and a good deal of recreational areas
- touristic highlights in New York State's mountainous landscapes are the Adirondack Mountains
- the mountains are the source of the Hudson, the Black River, and the Mohawk River
- they are situated in the north-eastern quarter of the state, between Lake Champlain and the Hudson River in the east, the Lake Plains (Great Lakes Lowlands) of Lake Ontario in the west, and separated from the Appalachian Mountain chain by the Mohawk Valley in the south
- popular destinations are the Mirror Lake (Lake Placid), Tupper Lake, and The Wild Center in Adirondack Park
- new in the list of Adirondack's tourist attractions is the Wild Walk, a trail of bridges to the treetops of the Adirondack forest
- within the Adirondacks rises the highest point in the state, Mount Marcy at 1,628 m (5,344 ft), the mountain is situated approximately 20 km (13 mi) south of Lake Placid
Niagara Falls
- the amazing falling waters of the Niagara River are separated by Goat Island: the Horseshoe Falls adjacent to the western (Canadian) bank and fall 47 m (158 feet) the American Falls adjoin the eastern (US) bank and fall for 50 m (167 feet )
Allegheny Plateau
- the southwestern portion of NY State, south of Lake Ontario and the Mohawk Valley, is occupied by the vast dissected Allegheny Plateau (aka Appalachian Highlands), a series of rugged high plains, which are part of the larger Appalachian system
- in the eastern part of the plateau, just two hours north of New York City, rise the hilly Catskill Mountains, known for its abundant wildlife in forested areas, its hiking trails, and ski resorts
Lakes and Rivers
- New York State has more than 7,600 freshwater lakes, ponds, and reservoirs, as well as portions of two of the five Great Lakes and over 70,000 miles (113,000 km) of rivers and streams
- major rivers in the state are St. Lawrence River, Hudson River, Black River, Susquehanna River, and the Delaware River
Major Lakes in New York State
- the state has shorelines at Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, two of the five Great Lakes
- the largest lake within the state is Lake Oneida
- to the west of Oneida lake are the Finger Lakes, a group of 11 long, narrow, loch-like lakes
- Lake George (the Queen of American Lakes) in the Adirondack region is since the late 19th century a popular tourist destination
New York City and its environs
- New York City, a major port and the largest city in the USA is situated on the Atlantic coast at the mouth of the Hudson River
- the city is an international hub for trade, finance, the arts, and culture
- the metropolis boasts of being the World's Capital City
- anyway, it ranks first place on The Economist's Global City Competitiveness Index
- New York City is home to over two-fifths of the total population of New York State
- the city is divided into five county-level administrative divisions called boroughs
- the boroughs are Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island
- the city is spread over three large islands: Manhattan, Staten Island, and Long Island, only one borough, the Bronx, is on the mainland of the United States
- Long Island, the southeasternmost part of New York state, the island expands eastward from New York City for 190 km (119 mi), south of Long Island Sound, and more or less parallel to the southern coast of Connecticut. Situated on its western tip are New York City's boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens
World Heritage Site
- New York has one amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site
- the world-famous Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island in Manhattan, New York City
- the Statue of LibertyUNESCO official website is since 1984 a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- the statue was made in Paris by the French sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi, in collaboration with Gustave Eiffel (best known for the world-famous Eiffel Tower, who was responsible for the statue's steel framework)
- the artwork, also known as "Liberty Enlightening the World," was a gift from France on the centenary of American independence
- Liberty was inaugurated in 1886
- the copper sculpture stands on Bedloe's Island at the entrance to New York Harbor and has welcomed millions of immigrants to the United States ever since
New York State Population
- the 3rd-most populous state in the US has a population of 19.4 million people (est. in 2019)
- he capital is Albany; the largest city is New York City, the largest metro area is the New York City Metropolitan Area with a population of 22.2 million
- other major cities in New York State are Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse
Race and Ethnic groups
- White alone 55.4%, Hispanic or Latino 19.2%, African American 17.6%, Asian 9.0%, and Native American 1.0%
New York

The most famous place in the most famous US city, Times Square, New York

New York
Ohio (tap the map to enlarge)

About Ohio
- Ohio is a state in the northeastern United States, with a shoreline at Lake Erie
- it borders OntarioCanada across Lake Erie to the north, the US states of Michigan to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the east, and Indiana to the west
- the Ohio River forms its border with West Virginia in the southeast and Kentucky in the south
- Ohio was acquired by Britain from France in 1763 and by the US in 1783 after the American Revolution
- admission to the Union on 1 March 1803, it was admitted as the 17th state
Area
- the Buckeye state (its nickname) occupies an area of 116,096 km² (44,825 sq mi)
- compared it is somewhat larger than Bulgaria (110,879 km²) or slightly smaller than Nicaragua (130,370 km²)
- compared with other US states, Ohio would fit into Texas 6 times
Geographic Regions of Ohio
Ohio features basically three major geographic regions, the 330 km (210 mi) long Lake Erie coast, the Central Lowlands in the west, and the Appalachian Plateaus in the east
1. Shallow Lake Erie is the southernmost of the five Great Lakes in North America; it is the 11th largest freshwater lake in the world
- the lake and its surroundings are a significant source of many minerals
- several islands in the lake belong to Ohio; they are all situated in Ottawa County
- Kelleys Island is the largest of the American Lake Erie islands, others are South Bass Island, Middle Bass Island, and North Bass Island, with a village known as Isle St George
2. The Central Lowlands dominate the western portion of Ohio's landscape with its Till Plains and the Lake Plains at Lake Erie
- the Huron-Erie Lake Plains are the part of northwestern Ohio along Lake Erie, and the state's border with Pennsylvania, the nearly-flat region marks the former extent of Lake Erie as the last (Wisconsinan) glacier retreated from Ohio
- several glaciers across the area created the flat surface of the Central Lowlands Province during the Ice Age, the massive ice sheets gouged and smoothed the bedrock, destroyed drainage systems, and filled existing valleys with sediment
Highest point
Within the Central Lowlands, in Logan County, sits Campbell Hill at 472 m (1,549 ft), it is the highest natural point in Ohio
3. the Appalachian Plateaus in the east is Ohio's largest region
- the western and northern part of the Appalachian Plateaus was glaciated during the Pleistocene Ice Age
- it was the ice that rendered the landscape of rolling hills and broad, flat valleys
- the unglaciated portion of the Appalachian Plateaus is known as the Allegheny Plateaus
- the Allegheny escarpment marks the boundary between the plateaus and the lowlands
Rivers
- Ohio's major rivers are Cuyahoga River, Great Miami River, Maumee River, Muskingum River, and Scioto River
- the rivers in the southern part of the state drain into the Gulf of Mexico via the Ohio River
Population
- Ohio has a population of 11.6 million people (est. in 2019)
- about 80% of the population of Ohio is white
- the largest city and capital is Columbus
- greater Cleveland is the largest Metropolitan Area that is entirely within Ohio, and Greater Cincinnati is the largest metropolitan area that is at least partially within Ohio, each with about 2.1 million inhabitants
- other major cities are Toledo, Akron, and Dayton
Ohio

The skyline of Columbus, Ohio mirrored in the Scioto River

Ohio
Oklahoma (tap the map to enlarge)

About Oklahoma
- Oklahoma is one of the 50 federal states of the United States of America
- the landlocked state is located between the Great Plains and the Ozark Mountains near the geographical center of the 48 contiguous states
- Oklahoma borders Colorado in the northwest, Kansas in the north, Missouri in the northeast, Arkansas in the east, and Texas in the south
- it also shares a border with New Mexico at the western end of its panhandle
Short History
- most of the state was acquired from the French as part of the Louisiana Purchase In 1803
- in 1834 the area was declared Indian territory
- the land was assigned to Indian tribes that had been driven out of the eastern states
- the region became home to the "Five Civilized Tribes" - only in 1889, the area was opened for white settlers
- the result was the "Oklahoma Land Run," during which numerous European immigrants flooded the "Unassigned Lands" in no time at all, and Oklahoma City was built almost overnight
- on 16 November 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt issued Presidential Proclamation No. 780, which established Oklahoma as the 46th state of the Union
Area
- Oklahoma covers an area of 181,195 km² (69,898 sq mi)
- compared it is somewhat smaller than twice the size of Portugal
- compared with other US states, Oklahoma is eight times larger than New Jersey, but it would fit into Texas almost four times
- Oklahoma is divided into 77 counties
Climate
- Oklahoma lies in a transition zone with both humid subtropical and steppe climate regions
- the state is located in an area in the center of the United States known as 'Tornado Alley,' where mobile, destructive violently rotating winds are quite common
Area
- Oklahoma's landscape gradually rises from the low wetlands of the southeast to the high plains of its western boundary
- the western part of its area lies in the southern Great Plains
- the Ozark Mountains with the Springfield Plateau extend into the northeastern portion of the state
- South of the Ozarks extends the Arkansas River Valley, which separates the Ozark Plateau from the sandstone ridges of the Ouachita Mountains in the Ouachita Fold and Thrust Belt, a part of the U.S. Interior Highlands
Oklahoma's Geographical Regions
- the Sooner State has a piece of almost every major geographical region of the South Central United States
1. Oklahoma's panhandle to the west lies on an almost treeless, semi-arid plateau known as the High Plains, a subregion of the much larger Great Plains of the Central United States
- the High Plains are home to the state's highest point, known as the Black Mesa at 1516 m
2. the Gypsum Hills to the east of the High Plains, a semi-arid region in central Kansas and western Oklahoma, the landscape offers areas of mixed-grass prairie and gypsum outcrops, rolling hills, mesas, canyons, buttes, caves, and – dunes in Little Saharathe Gypsum Hills
3. the Red Bed Plains to the East of the Gypsum Hills, a region extending north/south through the middle of the state
- the area offers flat plains and gently rolling hills made of stratified rocks, layered deposits of shale, sandstone and red mudstone; it is Oklahoma's largest region
4. the Wichita Mountains within the southwestern portion of the Red Bed Plains, rocky promontories and rounded hills made of red and black igneous rocks (cooled lava, granite, and rhyolite)
- the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge official website is one of the oldest managed wildlife facilities in the United States
5. the Sandstone Hills to the east of the Red Bed Plains , a region of gently rolling hills, cut by steep-walled canyons, and bordered in the south by the Arbuckle Mountains
6. the ancient Arbuckle Mountains to the south of the Sandstone Hills, a worn-out, folded, and faulted mountain range, which rises about 180 m to 210 m (600 to 700 ft) above the plains
- erosion has sculpted some bizarre rock formations in this area, and open-pit mining and quarries create patches of a moonscape
- the Arbuckle mountains are composed of ancient bedrock and many layers of sedimentary rocks (dolomitic limestone)
- Turner Falls, a 23 m (77 ft) cascade on Honey Creek within the Arbuckle Mountains, is a popular tourist destination
7. The Prairie Plains between the Sandstone Hills and the Ozark Plateau is predominantly an agricultural region
- still, it is in this region, especially in the Arkoma Basin, where oil and natural gas are produced
- the Prairie Plains and the Arkansas River Valley are also the areas with the most coal mining in the state
8. The fertile Red River Plains along the Texas border is a landscape of rolling prairies interspersed with some forested hills
- in this agricultural region, cotton, peanuts, soybeans, and vegetables are cultivated in the sandy soil
9. Ouachita Mountains densely wooded situated between the Arkansas River Valley and the Red River Plains, a fold-and-thrust belt of southeastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas
- the rugged range of big hills was formed about 300 million years ago
- the Ouachitas are part of the US Interior Highlands, the only major mountainous region between the Rockies and the Appalachians
- Mt Magazine in Arkansas is with an elevation of 839 m (2,753 ft), the highest point in the Ouachitas
10. Ozark Plateau to the north of the Ouachita Mountains across the Arkansas River Valley , the Springfield Plateau, and the Boston Mountains
- landscape with wooded, rolling hills, and rounded ridges separated by narrow, steep-sided valleys
- elevations range from about 200 m to 500 m (650 to 1640 ft) a.s.l.
- the plateau consists of about 70 percent forest, 20 percent pasture, and 10 percent cropland
Highest Point
- Oklahoma's highest point is the Black Mesa in the High Plains Region at 1516 m (4,973 ft ), no peak, just flat shortgrass prairie, the mesa (tableland) is located in the northern corner of the Oklahoma panhandle
- the Black Mesa is part of a larger range of flat-topped hills, which extends into New Mexico
Rivers
- Oklahoma's main rivers are the Arkansas River with its tributaries, the Canadian, and the Cimarron Rivers
- the Red River, a major tributary of the Mississippi, forms a section of Oklahoma's southern border with Texas
Population
- Oklahoma is quite sparsely populated, the "Sooner State" (one of its nicknames) has a population of 3.95 million people (2019 est.)
- the capital and largest city is Oklahoma City, the largest urban area is Oklahoma City metropolitan area
- Oklahoma City and Tulsa are the state's main economic centers
Race and Ethnic Groups
White 65.3%, Hispanic or Latino 10.9%, Native Americans 9.3%, African American 7.8%, and Asian 2.3%
Oklahoma

Wichita Mountains, the rugged ranges of granite mountains; view from Mount Scott road near Medicine Park in Comanche County, Oklahoma

Oklahoma
Oregon (tap the map to enlarge)

About Oregon
- the Colombia River largely defines Oregon's border with Washington state in the north
- the Snake River forms a section of its state line with Idaho in the east, and the 42nd parallel north defines the borders with California and Nevada in the south
- in 1842–43, the Oregon Trail brought many new American settlers to the Oregon Country
- British claims to Oregon were formally ceded to the US in 1846 and Oregon became the 33rd state on 14th February 1859
Area
- the Beaver State (Oregon's nickname) occupies an area of 254,800 km² (98,379 sq mi)
- compared Oregon is slightly larger than the United Kingdom
- compared with other US states, New Jersey would fit into Oregon 11 times
Landscape
- Oregon has some amazing geographical feature
- there are the Wallowa Mountains and the Blue Mountains of the Pacific Northwest situated in the northeastern corner of Oregon
- within the area are the Umatilla and the Wallowa-Whitman National Forests
- the Cascade Range dominates the eastern third of Oregon
- the chain of mountains runs from British Columbia in the north, through Washington State and Oregon, to Northern California in the south
- it is in large parts a densely wooded mountain range interspersed with half a dozen of Quaternary volcanoes in the High Cascades
- the mountains are a section of the American Cordillera and impressive hot spots within the Pacific Ocean's Ring of Fire
- the Cascades are home to three National Forests. Around Mount Hood, a dormant stratovolcano is the Mount Hood National Forest
- the Willamette National Forest, the vast national forest along the western slopes of the Cascade Range comes with eight wilderness areas, including the Three Sisters Wilderness and Mt. Jefferson Wilderness - the Umpqua National Forest in the southern Cascade Range is home to the deepest lake in the United States, the Crater Lake, formed by the collapse of the Mount Mazama volcano 7,000 years ago
- parallel to the Cascades to the west is the Oregon Coast Range running along the Pacific Ocean
- the mountain range separates the Willamette Valley from Oregon's coast
- the valley is the site of most of Oregon's population; it extends from Portland in the north to Eugene in the south
- the mountain chain is part of a larger series of mountain ranges known as the Pacific Mountain System that extends over much of the western edge of North America
- the Harney Basin, an endorheic basin (without a water outlet) in the southeast of Oregon, is part of the much larger Great Basin (Great Basin Desert), which covers most of Nevada, parts of Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, California, and the Mexican state of Baja California
- the Harney Basin is bordered in west and south by the Great Sandy Desert, the Steens Mountain in the southeast
- the ridge of the mountain separates the basin from the Alvord Desert to the southeast
- the highest peak in the state is Mount Hood (3,428.8 m or 11,249 ft), a potentially active stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc. - in the southeastern corner of Oregon is Steens Mountain, an 80 km (50 mi) long fault-block mountain rising from the Alvord Desert to a hight of 2,968 m at its peak
- the Alvord Desert is a desert landscape east of the Pueblo Mountains and the Steens Mountain at an elevation of approximately 1,200 m (4,000 ft)
- the desert is among the largest dry lakes (playa) in Oregon
- Playa lakes are formed when rainwater fills shallow depressions in the landscape
- when the water evaporates, it leaves minerals behind. During the dry season, the ground is flat enough to drive over with a car or land small planes on it
Population
- Oregon has a population of 4.2 million people (2019 est.)
- the capital is Salem and the largest city is Portland, a major river port
- the largest metropolitan area is Portland metro with a population of 2.4 million people
- almost 70% of Oregon's population lives in the Willamette Valley, one of the most fertile agricultural landscapes in the world
Race and Ethnic groups
- 87% white, 13.4% Hispanic or Latino, 5% Asian, 2.2% African American, and 1.8% Native American
Oregon

Mount Hood reflected in Mirror Lake. The stratovolcano is the highest mountain in Oregon

Oregon
Pennsylvania (tap the map to enlarge)

About Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region in the northeast of the United States
- it features a 43 mi (70 km) short shoreline at Lake Erie
- Pennsylvania borders New York in the north and northeast
- the Delaware River forms sections of its eastern border with the US states of New York and New Jersey
- in the south, the state is bounded by West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, and in the west by Ohio
- in 1682, an English real estate entrepreneur named William Penn obtained sovereign control of the area with all rights and privileges (except the power to declare war)
- Pennsylvania was one of the 13 original colonies that abandoned the rule of the English Crown and later formed the United States
- Pennsylvania ratified the U.S. Constitution on 12th December 1787 as the second state, after Delaware
- Pennsylvania attempted to be first to sign the constitution in the hope of securing the seat of the National Government in Pennsylvania
- the Pennsylvania State House (now known as "Independence Hall") in Philadelphia was the seat of the American government during the revolutionary and early national years
Area
- with an area of 119,279 km², Pennsylvania is ranked 33 in the US list of the largest states, about one third the size of Germany
- compared with other US states, New Jersey would fit into Pennsylvania more than five times
- however, Texas is almost six times larger than the Quaker State (Pennsylvania's nickname)
- the Appalachian Mountains, an eroded mountain chain in eastern North America, dominate Pennsylvania's landscape
Major Geographic Regions of Pennsylvania
- located in the southeastern corner of the state, in the flat Atlantic Coastal Plain, sprawls the Philadelphia metropolitan area (Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington MSA), with a population of more than 6 million people
- the urban agglomeration is also sometimes referred to as the Delaware Valley
- to the northwest of Philadelphia metro extends the plateau region of the Pennsylvania Piedmont, an agricultural region of rolling hills in the state's portion of the Piedmont Plateau occupy the southeastern part of Pennsylvania
Northeastern Pennsylvania
- Bethlehem Steel blast furnace seen from the Fahy Bridge
- they were making iron
- view of Bethlehem Steel from the Fahy Bridge
- Bethlehem Steel Corporation was an American steel and shipbuilding company and, for much of the 20th century, one of the world's largest steel producer
- Pennsylvania was home to two of the largest steel producers in the world; Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel and Bethlehem-based Bethlehem Steel
- the former blast furnace sites have either been destroyed, preserved, or in the case of Bethlehem, became a new multi-million dollar Sands Casino Resort in 2009 with a revenue of US$ 14.5 billion (FY 2014)
- the landscape in the interior of the Commonwealth is dominated by the different land forms of the Appalachian Mountains
- the northwestern part of Pennsylvania is characterized by the large dissected Allegheny Plateau and the Allegheny Mountains in the center of the state
- Lake Erie Plain in the northwest is a narrow region along Lake Erie
Highest point
- Mount Davis in the Forbes State Forest, at 979 m (3,213 ft), is the highest point in the Commonwealth
Rivers
- the Allegheny River joins with the Monongahela River to form the Ohio River in Downtown Pittsburgh
- the Delaware River defines the eastern border of the Commonwealth with New York State and New Jersey
- the Susquehanna River, one of the oldest existing river systems in the world, is formed from two main branches: the "North Branch," which rises in upstate New York, and the "West Branch," which originates in the Allegheny Mountains in western Pennsylvania
- the Schuylkill River and its tributaries drain major parts of the center-southern and easternmost Coal Regions in the state before joining the Delaware River
Lakes
- major lakes in Pennsylvania are the Allegheny Reservoir (also known as Kinzua Lake), a human-made lake along the Allegheny River
- the Raystown Lake, a reservoir at the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River, is the largest lake that is entirely within the state
- Pennsylvania has a shoreline at Lake Erie, the fourth-largest lake (by surface area) of the five Great Lakes in North America
World Heritage Site
- Pennsylvania has one UNESCO World Heritage Site
- the Independence Hall official website in Philadelphia is the building where both, the United States Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution of the United States (1787), were argued and adopted
- the universal principles of freedom and democracy described in these documents are of fundamental importance to American history
- they have also had a profound impact on law-makers around the world
- he Independence Hall was completed in 1753 as the colonial legislature for the Province of Pennsylvania
- it was used in that field of activity until the state capital moved to Lancaster in 1799
Population
- the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (aka The Keystone State (Pennsylvania's other nickname)) has a population of more than 12.8 million people (2019 est.), making it the 6th most populous US state
- the capital city is Harrisburg; the largest city is Philadelphia, the largest urban area is Greater Philadelphia (Delaware Valley Metropolitan Area)
- other major cities are Pittsburgh, Allentown, and Erie
- Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, and Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton are the major urban manufacturing centers in the Commonwealth
Race and Ethnic groups
- White alone 76.1%, African American 12.0%, Hispanic or Latino 7.6%, Asian 3.7%, and Native American 0.4%
Pennsylvania

Downtown Pittsburgh as seen from the observation deck at the top station of the Duquesne Incline (inclined plane railroad)

Pennsylvania
Rhode Island (tap the map to enlarge)

About Rhode Island
- Rhode Island, officially the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, is not an island
- it is the smallest of the 50 US states by area and situated on the East Coast of the United States in the New England Region
- compared, it is just about twice the size of the city of Phoenix in Arizona
- Rhode Island has land borders with only two other states, on the north and east with Massachusetts and in the west with Connecticut
- in the south, RI is bounded by the straits of Block Island Sound and Rhode Island Sound
- it shares a short maritime border with New York State between Block Island, RI and Long Island, NY. Narragansett Bay, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, extends deep into the southeastern portion of Rhode Island
Short History
- the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was created in the 17th century
- English colonists first settled on present-day Aquidneck Island (Rhode Island) in the 1630s
- nearly one and a half century later, in 1776, the colony declared independence from the British Crown as the first of the thirteen original American colonies
- however, it was the last to sign the Constitution, so it became the 13th constituent US state
Area
- Rhode Island covers a total area of 3,999 km² (1,544 sq mi), a third of which is water (1,324 km² or 511 square miles)
- this feature might be the reason for its official nickname "The Ocean State," the other one is 'Little Rhody'
- it is the smallest US state by area. Compared with other US states, Rhode Island would fit into New Jersey seven times and into Texas 222 times
- the five counties are (ordered by their population (in 2019)) Providence County (637,000), Kent County (164,300), Washington County (125,500), Newport County (82,000), and Bristol County (48,500)
- the geography of Rhode Island consists of two principal regions: the southern and eastern Coastal Lowlands and the Eastern New England Upland (ENEU), also known as the Eastern Highlands, in the northwest
- more than half of the state is covered with forests
Islands
- Mohegan Bluffs, Block Island, Rhode Island Mohegan Bluffs, clay cliffs on the southern shore of Block Island
- Conanicut is the second-largest island in Narragansett Bay; the Newport Bridge connects Conanicut with Aquidneck Island and Newport
- the third-largest island in Narragansett Bay is Prudence, which features some summer colonies
- Block Island lies about 16 km south of the coast of the mainland
Rivers
- major rivers are the Pawcatuck River, which flows into the Little Narragansett Bay, its source is Worden Pond
- the Wood River is a major tributary of the Pawcatuck River
- the North Branch Pawtuxet River feeds the Scituate Reservoir
- the Blackstone River was once the most polluted in the country
- the Sakonnet River is an estuary or tidal strait which runs north to south, east of Aquidneck Island
Lakes
- Rhode Island is home to more than 200 inland ponds and lakes of varying sizes, most of them human-made
- the largest inland body of water is the Scituate Reservoir fed by precipitation and several streams; it is the primary drinking water supply for the city of Providence and surrounding towns
- Worden Pond is a medium-sized natura freshwater lake in Washington County
- it is the source for the Pawcatuck River. Ninigret Pond is the largest of the nine lagoons, or "salt ponds," in southern Rhode Island
- other major salt ponds are Potter Pond, Point Judith Pond, Trustom Pond, Green Hill Pond, Quonochontaug Pond, and the Winnpaug Pond
Highest point
- Rhode Island's landscape is quite flat; it has no real mountains
- the state's highest natural point is Jerimoth Hill at 247 m (812 feet) above sea level within the New England Upland in Western Rhode Island
Population
- Rhode Island is heavily urbanized in its eastern half, with the exception of a portion of Newport County between the Sakonnet River and the Massachusetts state border
- it is the second-most densely populated state in the US (after New Jersey), with a population of 1,059,300 people (43rd in the US; 2019 est.)
- the largest city and state capital is Providence (pop. 180,000, in 2019), the largest urban area is Providence-Warwick, RI-MA Metro with a population of 1.6 million people, approximately 600,000 inhabitants more than Rhode Island itself, because of the metro's expansion into southern Massachusetts
- other major cities are Warwick (pop. 81,700), Cranston (pop. 81,000), Pawtucket (pop. 71,600), East Providence, Woonsocket, and the port city of Newport
Race and Ethnic groups
- Caucasian 72.0%, Hispanic or Latino 15.9%, African American 8.4%, Asian 3.6%, and Native American 1.1%
Rhode Island

Mohegan Bluffs, clay cliffs on the southern shore of Block Island

Rhode Island
Tennessee (tap the map to enlarge)

About Tennessee
- the landlocked US state is situated in the central-southeastern United States
- Tennessee borders eight other US states, Kentucky and Virginia to the north, North Carolina to the east, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia in the south, Arkansas and Missouri along the Mississippi River in the west
- the states' nickname is "The Volunteer State"
- the region of what is now Tennessee was originally part of North Carolina
- in 1790 North Carolina ceded the area to the United States
- admission to the Union on 1st June 1796, it was admitted as the 16th state
- Tennessee was the site of many Civil War battles, including those at Shiloh and Chattanooga
Area
- Tennessee occupies an area of 109,152 km² (42,144 sq mi)
- compared it is about the size of Bulgaria or Cuba
- compared with other US states, Tennessee would fit into Texas more than six times
- Tennessee consists of 95 counties
The Grand Divisions of Tennessee
- the state has its own unique geographical and cultural feature, its called the "Grand Divisions of Tennessee"
- the three grand divisions are East, Middle, and West Tennessee
I. the Cumberland Plateau the southern part of the Appalachian Plateau,dominates East Tennessee, within this mountainous area there are East Tennessee's principal cities Knoxville, Chattanooga, and the Tri-Cities (Kingsport, Johnson City, and Bristol)
- East Tennessee is almost entirely in the Eastern Time Zone (see: US Time Zone Map) while the rest of the state uses Central Time
II. Middle Tennessee lies west of the Cumberland Plateau; the region features rolling hills and fertile river valleys and the state capital Nashville as well as Tennessee's largest metro, the Nashville Metropolitan Area with a population of 1.6 million people
III: West Tennessee between Tennessee River and the Mississippi, a mostly agricultural region except for the state's second-largest city Memphis
Summit
- the highest elevation in the state lies on the border with North Carolina in the east, the Clingmans Dome at 2,025 m (6,643 ft), a mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains (which are part of the Blue Ridge Mountains)
World Heritage Site
- Tennessee shares one UNESCO World Heritage Site with North Carolina
- the Great Smoky Mountains National ParkUNESCO official website is a major North American refuge of temperate zone flora and fauna that survived the Pleistocene glaciations
- the park covers an area of over 200,000 ha, centered on the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains
- the park is home to the largest remnant of an Arcto-Tertiary Geoflora that once covered the Northern Hemisphere, and it provides a sense of what the late Pleistocene (Ice Age) flora may have looked like before recent human impacts
- the main park entrance in Tennessee is at Gatlinburg, and in North Carolina at Cherokee
Population
- Tennessee has a population of 6.8 million people (2019 est.)
- capital and largest city is Nashville; the largest metro area is the Nashville metropolitan area
- the city is located on the Cumberland River in northern Middle Tennessee
- other major cities are Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Clarksville, and Murfreesboro
Race and Ethnic groups
White 73.7%, African American 17.1, Hispanic or Latino 5.6%, Asian 1.9%, and Native Americans 0.8%
Tennessee

The Delta Queen is a famous sternwheel steamboat and a National Historic Landmark. The riverboat was moored in Chattanooga, Tennessee serving as a floating hotel

Tennessee
Texas (tap the map to enlarge)

About Texas
- Texas is one of the 50 US states, located in the south-central part of the country
- it features a 560 km (350 mi) long coastline on the Gulf of Mexico in the southeast, and a 3,169 km (1,969 mi) long border with Mexico along the Rio Grande
- Texas' longest river forms a natural border to the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas in the southwest
- the Lone Star State (its nickname) borders the US state of New Mexico in the west
- the Red River of the South defines its border with the US state of Oklahoma
- Texas has a short border with Arkansas in the east
- the Sabine River creates a natural boundary to Louisiana in the east
- other major rivers are Brazos River, Canadian River, Colorado River, and Pecos River
Some History
- Texas was originally part of Mexico
- it achieved independence as the Republic of Texas (Lone Star Republic) in 1836
- the United States acquired the area through annexation, and Texas was admitted to the Union on 29th December 1845, as the 28th state
- Texas formally relinquished its sovereignty to the United States on 14th February 1846
Area
- with an area of 696,241 km² (268,581 sq mi) [1], Texas is the largest state in the contiguous United States
- it is about twice the size of Germany or somewhat larger than Afghanistan
- compared with another US state, Texas would fit two and a half times into Alaska
- Texas is divided into 254 counties
Geography of Texas
The geography of Texas tends to be flat, except for the mountains west of the Pecos River
Geographical Regions of Texas
Texas has four major geographical regions
1. Texas' Gulf Coastal Plains along the Gulf of Mexico is a vast region in the Southern United States
- the coastal area features barrier islands, brackish water inlets, and bays
- these coastal plains are further subdivided into the Coastal Prairies, the small remainder of native grassland
- today, less than 1% remains as a refuge for rare and endangered species
- the Piney Woods in southeast Texas is a critically endangered ecoregion with only remnants of coniferous forests
- also part of the coastal plains is the Rio Grande Plain and the Lower Rio Grande Valley in the west and south
- another temperate grassland ecoregions of the coastal plain are the Texas Blackland Prairies and the Blackland Belt, a temperate tallgrass prairie
- the Post Oak Belt is a transition zone between the Piney Woods and the Blackland Prairie
2. Interior Lowlands (aka the North Central Plains), the southwestern extension of the interior lowlands into Texas's northeast
- the region is subdivided into the Rolling Plains, rangeland devoted to wheat growing and cattle ranching
- the mostly treeless Grand Prairie with an agricultural economy and a primarily rural population, with no large cities, except Fort Worth
- the Eastern and Western Cross Timbers (aka Ecoregion 29), strips of land, partly forested, partly used for fruit and vegetable crops
3. The Great Plains of Texas east of the Rocky Mountains features the High Plains in the north of the state, a vast, flat, high plain, also known as the Llano Estacado
- the Caprock Escarpment is the dividing fault line between the High Plains and the lower West Texas Rolling Plains
- the Edwards Plateau, the lower extension of the Great Plains supports three industries: cattle, goat, and sheep raising, its southeastern border is the Balcones Escarpment
4. The Basin and Range Province in West Texas Within the province are the Guadalupe Mountains, with the state's highest peak, the Guadalupe Peak, at 2,667 m (8,749 ft) - the Davis Mountains (or Limpia Mts) are a mountain range of volcanic origin in West Texas - the Chihuahuan Desert, a desert ecoregion of eastern Mexico and Texas, covers much of West Texas and parts of the middle and lower Rio Grande Valley
Climate
- he climate of Texas is quite varied, ranging from subtropical along the southern gulf coast to continental in the northern part, to semiarid in the mountains and arid in the deserts in the far west
- the northern portion of Texas lies in the Tornado Alley, which extends from central Texas northward to Illinois and Indiana
World Heritage Site
Since 2015, Texas has a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- the San Antonio Missionsofficial website is a group of former frontier missions and a ranch situated along a stretch of the San Antonio River basin in southern Texas
- the facilities were built in the 18th century in the former Spanish Province of Texas by Franciscan missionaries
- the site illustrates Spain’s efforts to colonize, evangelize, and eventually expand the northern frontier of New Spain
- the property showcases architectural and archaeological structures, farmlands, residencies, churches, and granaries, as well as water distribution systems
Population
- a population of 29 million (2020 est.) [3], makes Texas the second most populous state in the US (after California)
- capital city is Austin
- the largest city, and a primary port is Houston, the second-largest city in Texas is San Antonio
- the state's largest metropolitan area is Dallas–Fort Worth
- other major cities are Fort Worth, El Paso, Arlington, and Corpus Christi
Race and Ethnic Groups
White 41.5%, Hispanic or Latino 39.6%, African American 12.8%, Asian 5.2%, and Native Americans 1.0%
Texas

Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park. The Rio Grande marks the US Mexican border

Texas
Utah (tap the map to enlarge)

About Utah
- Utah is one of the 50 US states located in the western United States
- the landlocked state borders Idaho and Wyoming in the north, Colorado in the east, Arizona in the south, Nevada in the west, and New Mexico at a single point at the Four Corners Monument
- Utah consists of 29 counties
- the region that is today Utah became part of Mexico in 1821 and was ceded to the US in 1848
- Utah became the 45th state of the US in 1896
Area
- Utah covers an area of 219,882 km² of (84,897 sq mi) [1], compared it is somewhat smaller than the island of Great Britain (229,848 km²) or about half the size of Iraq
- compared with other US states, Utah would fit into Texas more than three times
Lakes
- major geographical features of the Beehive State (its nickname) are the Great Salt Lake Desert, a desert formed by a large dry lake (paleolake) between the Great Salt Lake and the Nevada border, east of Salt Lake City
- the evaporated lake was once part of Lake Bonneville, a prehistoric pluvial lake that covered much of the eastern part of North America's Great Basin region
- the Great Salt Lake, the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere, is also a remnant of Lake Bonneville
- Utah Lake south of Salt Lake City and west of the Wasatch Mountain Range is a shallow freshwater lake with only one river outlet, the Jordan River
- Sevier Lake in the Sevier Desert is fed by the Beaver and Sevier rivers
- Lake Powell is a reservoir on the Colorado River in southern Utah and northern Arizona
- ts water is used to retain and supply water to several western United States
Rivers
- the Colorado is one of the principal rivers of the Southwestern United States
- the Green River in the western part of the country is a chief tributary of the Colorado River
- the Bear River is the largest tributary of the Great Salt Lake; it drains the mountainous area and valleys northeast of the lake
- the San Juan River in the southeastern corner of Utah is another major tributary of the Colorado River
- it defines the northern border of the Navajo Reservation
- the Sevier River is the longest river 449 km (279 mi) entirely in Utah
- it feeds the Sevier Lake, the rivers water is used extensively for irrigation and consequently Sevier Lake is now mostly dry
- the 388 km (241 mi) long Dolores River drains an arid region of the Colorado Plateau in Colorado before it flows into the Colorado River. Blacks Fork is a 282 km long (175 mi) tributary of the Green River
- the White River is also a tributary of the Green River
- the Virgin River, a 261 km (162 mi) long tributary of the Colorado, was designated Utah's first wild and scenic river
- the Price River has its source in the Wasatch Range, it flows then southeastward through Price Canyon and empties into the Green River
Mountains
- the Wasatch Range is a 430 km (270 mi) long mountain chain running from the Utah-Idaho border south through central Utah
- the highest peak in the Wasatch is Mount Nebo at an elevation of 3,636 m
- in Utah's southeast near the city of Moab, along the Utah/Colorado border, there is the La Sal Range with its highest elevation at Mount Peale
- the Henry Mountains is in the southeastern portion of Utah, the highest peak is Mount Ellen at 3,512 m
- the Navajo Mountain on the Utah/Arizona border is the highest point in the Navajo Nation
Highest point
- the state's highest point is Kings Peak within the Uinta Mountains in northeastern Utah, reaching 4,123 m (13,528 ft)
National Parks of Utah
- Arches National Park has some 2,000 natural sandstone arches
- Bryce Canyon features hundreds of multicolored sandstone hoodoos (fairy chimney) created by erosion (or a stoned god)
- Canyonlands is a maze of canyons, mesas, and buttes shaped the waters of the Colorado River, the Green River, and their tributaries
- Capitol Reef, desert landscape with picturesque geologic landforms and rock formations in south-central Utah, facilitates scenic hiking
- the Zion National Park, with its famous Zion Canyon, is a deep and narrow gorge carved by the North Fork of the Virgin River
- Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is the Navajo Nation equivalent to a national park
- Monument Valley is world-famous for its isolated colossal shafts and buttes of rock
- the Valley lies mostly in northern Arizona, but the highway turn-off that leads into it is across the border in Utah
Population
- Utah is in large parts only sparsely populated
- around 80% of its population of 3.2 million people (2019 est.) live in the north central part of the state, at the Wasatch Front, a chain of cities and towns running roughly north to south along the Wasatch Mountain Range
- situated at its center lies Utah's capital, the largest city and metropolitan area in the state, Salt Lake City
- other major cities are West Valley City, a suburb of Salt Lake City. Provo, the county seat of Utah County; West Jordan, another suburb of Salt Lake City; Orem, a city in Utah County; and Sandy, a city in Salt Lake County
Race and Ethnic groups
White 78.0%, Hispanic or Latino 14.2%, Asian 2.7%, Native American 1.5%, and African American 1.4%
Utah

View of Monument Valley in Utah, looking south on highway 163 from some miles north of the Arizona/Utah State line

Utah
Vermont (tap the map to enlarge)

About Vermont
- Vermont is one of the six states in the region known as New England
- the State of Vermont is situated in the eastern US mainland
- it borders Canada (Québec province) to the north
- the Connecticut River defines its border with New Hampshire in the east
- Lake Champlain separates Vermont from New York state in the northwest
- a straight line separates Vermont from Massachusetts in the south
- New England was the site of early European settlement
- the area of Vermont became part of the original territory of the United States and was included in the Charter of New England in 1620
- the region was later included in grants creating New York in 1664 and 1674. On 18 January 1777, Vermont declared itself an independent republic
- it was the first state in North America to abolish slavery
- on 18 February 1791, Vermont joined the Union as its 14th state
Area
- Vermont occupies an area of 24,905 km² (9,616 sq mi) [2], making it the 45th-largest state, compared it is about one quarter the size of South Korea or Iceland
- compared with other US states, Vermont is about the size of New Jersey, but it would fit into Texas 28 times
- Vermont is divided into 14 counties
- as mentioned above, the region was the site of early European settlement
- French colonists were the earliest European immigrants to the area
- Colonization is based on natural features, like fertile soil, and watercourses, which provide access to transportation during the settlement period
- English settlers, migrating from Boston and central Massachusetts, were using numerous river corridors, especially the Connecticut River, to access the fertile southeastern lands in Vermont
Mountains
- Vermont's hilly to mountainous landscape is quite forested, giving the state its nickname the Green Mountain State
- the highlight of Vermont's landscape is the Green Mountains, the 310 km (190 mi) long mountain range runs along the western edge of the state in a north/south direction; they are part of the Appalachians
- the Taconic Mountains are also part of the Appalachian Mountains
- the New England range includes some well-known summits such as Mount Equinox in Vermont and Mount Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts
- the Northeast Highlands, a rough, wild region known as the "Northeast Kingdom," is a sparsely populated area, located almost entirely within the borders of Essex County
Highest point
The highest mountain in Vermont is Mount Mansfield at 1,339.7 m (4,395.3 ft)
Rivers
- Vermont is a state with many small rivers and streams
- the Connecticut River marks the border with New Hampshire and drains the south
- the Winooski River (formerly the Onion River) is a tributary of Lake Champlain
Lakes
- Lake Champlain is a large freshwater lake in North America with a surface area of 1,270 km² (490 sq mi), shared between the US states of New York and Vermont and Canada's Quebec province
- the lake and its islands are a popular tourist destination
- Lake Memphremagog is a freshwater glacial lake shared between Vermont and Canada's Quebec province
Population
- Vermont has a population of 624,000 people (2019 est.) [4]; it is the second least populated state in the US (after Wyoming)
- the state capital is Montpelier, the largest city is Burlington (pop. 42,556)
- the largest metropolitan area is Burlington-South Burlington
Race and Ethnic groups
- 92.6% Caucasians, 2.0% Hispanics or Latinos, 1.9% Asians and 1.4% African Americans, 0.4% Native Americans
Vermont

Misty Autumn Morning on the Connecticut River at Bellows Falls village, Rockingham, Windham County, Vermont

Vermont
Virginia (tap the map to enlarge)

About Virginia
- the US state of Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is situated in the eastern United States, bordering the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean in the east
- it borders Maryland and the District of Columbia to the northeast, North Carolina and Tennessee to the south, Kentucky to the southwest and West Virginia to the north and west
- the state's nickname is The Old Dominion
Short History
- the colonization of the New World began as an enterprise of investors
- in April 1606 ,King James I of England granted the Virginia Company a charter to establish colonies in Virginia
- the king demanded 20% of the colony's profits
- the original 1606 charter included much of the Eastern Seaboard
- in the 13th of May, in 1607, three English ships, the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery with about 145 settlers and sailors, arrived at the west bank of the James River estuary
- the motley crew of about 100 settlers had the intention to establish the first settlement in the New World
- and so they founded Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America
- the tobacco economy of the colony led to constant expansion and seizure of native Powhatan lands
- after the Powhatan attack of 1622, where 347 English settlers were killed, King James I of England revoked the colony's charter and placed it under royal rule
- the area of Virginia was part of the original territory of the United States
- the Commonwealth entered the Union on 25th June 1788, as the 10th of the original thirteen states
Area
- the Commonwealth of Virginia occupies an area of 110,787 km² (42,775 sq mi)
- making Virginia about the size of Bulgaria or Cuba
- the state consists of 95 counties
The Regions of Virginia
Virginia has several distinct geographical regions (from east to west)
The Atlantic Coastal Plain is a coastal lowland known as the Tidewater region, within that region are major estuaries of the Chesapeake Bay and the Eastern Shore of Virginia
- it includes the southern part of the Delmarva Peninsula, which separates the Chesapeake Bay from the Atlantic Ocean
The Piedmont is a moderately fertile, gently inclined region with rolling hills, rising from the coastal plain to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains
- in the northern corner of the Piedmont is the densely populated urban area of Virginia's portion of the Washington metropolitan area, known as Northern Virginia (NOVA), it is the most populous region of Virginia
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a densely wooded mountain range within the Appalachians, stretching from southern Pennsylvania to northern Georgia
The Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians are the remains of an ancient fold-and-thrust belt within the Appalachian Mountains; alternating ridges and valleys form an arc between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Plateau
The Appalachian Plateau (aka Cumberland Mountains), in the western corner of the state, is the rugged high plains on the west side of the Appalachian Highlands
- The highest elevation in Virginia is Mount Rogers, at 1,746 m (5,729 ft) located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which geologically belong to the Appalachians
World Heritage Site
- Virginia has one UNESCO World Heritage Site, known as Monticello and the University of Virginia in CharlottesvilleUNESCO official website
- Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), one of the authors of the American Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States, was also a talented architect of neoclassical buildings
- he designed Monticello (1769–1809), his plantation home, and his ideal 'academical village' (1817–26), which is still the heart of the University of VirginiaUniversity of Virginia official website
- Jefferson's use of an architectural vocabulary based upon classical antiquity symbolizes both the aspirations of the new American republic as the inheritor of European tradition and the cultural experimentation that could be expected as the country matured
Population
- Virginia has a population of about 8.5 million people (2019 est.)
- the state's capital is Richmond
- the largest city is Virginia Beach (pop. 450,000), the largest metropolitan area is Northern Virginia metropolitan area (NOVA), which is part of the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area
- other major cities are Norfolk, Chesapeake, Newport News, Alexandria, and Hampton
Race and Ethnic groups
- White alone 61.2%, African American 19.9%, Hispanic or Latino 9.8%, Asian 6.9%, Native American 0.5%
Virginia

Painted by Nature. View from Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park within the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia

Virginia
Washington (tap the map to enlarge)

About Washington
- Washington is the northwestern-most state in the contiguous United States
- it borders the Canadian province of British Columbia along the 49th parallel north, Idaho in the east, and the Pacific Ocean in the west
- the Columbia River defines a long section of the state's border with Oregon in the south
- the United States acquired the area through a treaty with Great Britain in 1846
- the Washington Territory was organized from part of Oregon Territory on 2nd March 1853
- it included all of present-day Washington, northern Idaho, and northwestern Montana
- Washington was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889
- the state consists of 39 counties
Area
- the State of Washington covers an area of 184,661 km² (71,298 sq mi) [1], making it slightly larger than half the size of Germany, or slightly smaller than half the size of Japan
Bays and Straits
- Washington has several distinct geographical regions
- along the northwestern coast of the state, there is the serrated coastline of the Salish Sea and the Puget Sound Basin
- a number of bays and straits form a network of coastal waterways and shape the landscape
- major maritime features are the Strait of Georgia, the Bellingham Bay, the Admiralty Inlet, the Samish Bay, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean
- within the sound are fifty plus islands, the largest are Whidbey, Orcas, San Juan, Fidalgo, and Camano
Mountains
- the Cascade Mountain Range divides Washington state into two parts – in the more hilly to mountainous Western Washington and Eastern Washington with the semiarid basalt plain of the Columbia Plateau
- the Wenatchee Mountains in the center of the state are a major subrange of the Cascade Range
- within the Cascade Volcanic Arc are five major volcanoes, and according to the U.S. Geological Survey, they are among the nation's most dangerous
- from north to south: Mount Baker is an active glaciated stratovolcano with a height of 3,286 m
- Glacier Peak (Dakobed) is one of the most active volcanoes in the state with an elevation of 3,207 m
- Mount Rainier, the massive active stratovolcano is the highest mountain in Washington state at 4,392 m
- Mount St. Helens, the 2,549 m (8,363 ft) high volcano is particularly known for one of the most disastrous volcanic eruptions in the history of the United States (in 1980)
- Mount Adams is a potentially active stratovolcano but it has not erupted in the last 1,000 years
Rivers
Major rivers in Washington State
- the Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region
- its watershed covers a large portion of North West America, including parts of seven states and British Columbia
- the largest tributary of the Columbia River is the Snake River
- other tributaries are the Kettle River, the Spokane River, the Okanagan River, the Crab Creek, and the Yakima River
- the Columbia River system is 'tamed' by more than 60 dams
- the primary purpose of these dams is to produce hydroelectricity providing power to homes and industry, admittedly with high environmental costs
- the Skagit River is a river in northwestern Washington which empties into the Puget Sound
Lakes
- the largest lakes in Washington state
- the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project is the largest water reclamation project in the United States
- its main facility is the Grand Coulee Dam at the Columbia River which creates the Roosevelt Lake (Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake), the largest lake in Washington state by area
- the Potholes Reservoir, also part of the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project, is fed by water from Moses Lake, a lake and reservoir along the course of the Crab Creek
- Banks Lake is a 45 km (28 mi) long reservoir and also part of the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project
- other reservoirs on the Columbia River are Lake Umatilla, Lake Wallula, and Wanapum Lake
- Ross Lake is a large reservoir in the North Cascade mountains formed by the by Ross Dam on the Skagit River
Natural lakes
- Lake Chelan is a popular tourist destination; the narrow fjord-like lake is 80 km (50 mi) long, it was the largest natural lake in the state until the completion of Lake Chelan Dam
- Lake Washington is a large freshwater lake near Seattle
- Ozette Lake is the largest unaltered natural lake in Washington state
- Lake Crescent is a deep lake located within Olympic National Park; the lake is famous for its brilliant blue waters
World Heritage Site
- UNESCO designated the Olympic National Park official website as an International Biosphere Reserve in 1976, and in 1981 as a World Heritage Site
- the Olympic National Park on the Olympic Peninsula offers the longest undeveloped wilderness coastline in the contiguous United States
- to the east of the coast rise the Olympic Mountains, part of the Pacific Coast Ranges, glacier-clad, steep-sided peaks within a vast intact old growth forest, interspersed with alpine meadows
- eleven major rivers radiate outwards to all sides from the mountain range and drain the Olympics
- the highest peak is Mount Olympus at 2,432 m (7,980 ft)
Population
- Washington state has a population of 7.6 million people (2019 est.)
- Capital is Olympia, the largest city is Seattle
- the largest urban area is Metro Seattle (Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, with a population of nearly 4 million people)
- other major cities are Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver (WA), Bellevue, Kent, and Everett
Race and Ethnic groups
- White alone 67.5%, Hispanic or Latino 13%, Asian 9.6%, African American 4.4%, and Native American 1.9%
Washington

Bainbridge Island Ferry on Puget Sound with Olympic Mountain Range in background. Washington has the largest ferry system in the United States with 20 terminals located around Puget Sound and in the San Juan Islands

Washington
West Virginia (tap the map to enlarge)

About West Virginia
- West Virginia is a landlocked US state and the only one that is entirely within the Appalachian Mountain region of the central-eastern US mainland
- West Virginia borders Pennsylvania in the north, Virginia in the east, and Kentucky in the southwest
- the Ohio River forms the border with Ohio in the east, and the Potomac river creates a section of the state's border with Maryland
- West Virginia consists of 55 counties. Its nickname is "The Mountain State"
- the territory of West Virginia was originally part of the British Virginia Colony, which later became the state of Virginia
- West Virginia was separated from Virginia during the American Civil War (1861) and admitted to the Union as a separate state on 20th June 1863, as the 35th state
Area
- West Virginia occupies an area of 62,755 km² (24,230 sq mi), compared it is slightly larger than half the size of Bulgaria
- compared with other US states, West Virginia is almost three times the size of New Jersey or about half the size of Mississippi, but it would fit into Texas eleven times
- two principal physical regions dominate the Mountain State, the Appalachian Ridge and Valley Region in the east, and the Allegheny Plateau in the center and west
- alongside both banks of the Ohio River stretches the Ohio Valley
West Virginia's cultural regions
West Virginia's major culturally and geographically distinct regions are, from north to south:
1. The Northern Panhandle is the state's northernmost extension, an industrial region (steel and glass), the largest city and economic center is Wheeling
2. Mountaineer Country (North Central West Virginia), largest city, home to West Virginia University (www.wvu.edu), and economic hub is the college-town of Morgantown
3. The Mid-Ohio Valley lies in the northwestern part of the state, the largest city and the county seat of Wood County is Parkersburg, home to the Mid-Ohio Valley Multi-Cultural Festival (movmcf.org). The Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport serves the area
4. The Eastern Panhandle and Potomac Highlands is a small stretch of territory in the northeast of the state, which includes the Potomac Highlands, a region famous for its scenic areas like the North Fork Mountain area or the Germany Valley
- the largest city is Martinsburg, the county seat of Berkeley County
5. Mountain Lakes, Virginia’s heartland is a somewhat isolated region in the center of the state, promoted as "lakes, fresh air, and mountains" (wvmuseums.org/places/mountain-lakes)
- the main urban centers are Cowen, Summersville, Weston, Buckhannon, and Glenville
6. The Metro Valley is West Virginia's urban center which includes the state capital Charleston
7. Hatfield-McCoy Region (aka South Western Mountains) in southwestern West Virginia expands from the valleys of the Ohio, the Big Sandy, and the Tug Fork rivers to the south along the border of Kentucky and into the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains
- major urban centers are Wayne, Logan, and Chapmanville
8. New River/Greenbrier Valley (aka Southern West Virginia) is a region with a coal mining heritage
- places of interest in the New River/Greenbrier Valley region are the New River Gorge and the New River Gorge Bridge. Tamarack, a large arts and crafts facility that offers "handmade crafts, arts, and cuisine"
- the Greenbrier, a palatial luxury resort and the site of a massive underground bunker that was meant to serve as an emergency shelter for the United States Congress
- main urban center and regional hub is Beckley
Mountains
West Virginia's highest and lowest elevation:
- the Eastern Panhandle includes both the highest and lowest elevations of West Virginia
- Spruce Knob at 1,482 m (4,863 ft), in Pendleton County, is the state's highest point and the highest peak in the Allegheny Mountains
- the state's lowest point is along the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry at 73 m (240 feet) above sea level
Rivers
- major rivers are the Gauley River, which merges with the New River to form the Kanawha River, the Greenbrier River, the Guyandotte River, the Monongahela River, and the Elk River
- all rivers in the western parts of the state are, via the Ohio River, eventually part of the watershed of the Mississippi River
- however, the rivers in the Potomac Section (or Eastern Panhandle) in the northeast, are part of the Potomac River drainage basin and flow via the Potomac River into the Chesapeake Bay
Lakes
- notable lakes are Summersville Lake, a reservoir fed by the Gauley River
- it is West Virginia's largest lake located in Nicholas County
- the Tygart Lake is a reservoir fed by the Tygart Valley River, a major tributary of the Monongahela River
- Bluestone Lake is a reservoir which is fed by the New River
Highest point
- ironically the Mountain State's highest point is the summit of Spruce Mountain, known as Spruce Knob, at just 1,482 m (4863 ft) above sea level, with a prominence of 848 m , however, it is the highest peak in the Allegheny Mountains
Natural resources
- West Virginia's primary natural resources are coal, natural gas, stone, salt, oil, and mineral springs
Population
- West Virginia has a population of 1.79 million people (2019 est.) [2]; the capital and largest city is Charleston (pop. 47,200)
- the largest metro entirely within the state is the Charleston metropolitan area, with a population of 211,000
- the largest urban area is Huntington, which spans seven counties in three states and has 363,000 inhabitants
- other major cities and towns are Morgantown, Parkersburg, Wheeling, and Weirton. Race and Ethnic groups
- Caucasians 92.1%, African Americans 3.6%, Hispanics or Latinos 1.7%, Asians 0.8%, and Native Americans 0.3%
West Virginia

View of Seneca Rocks, the cliff-like rocks are situated at the north end of the River Knobs within the Monongahela National Forest of eastern West Virginia

West Virginia
Wisconsin (tap the map to enlarge)

About Wisconsin
- Wisconsin is one of the East North Central states situated in the north-central part of the US mainland
- the state borders Lake Superior and Michigan to the north, Lake Michigan to the east, and Illinois to the south
- the Mississippi River forms sections of its state borders with and Iowa and Minnesota to the west
Short History
- the area of Wisconsin was part of the original territory of the United States, being part of lands ceded by four states to the United States and designated in 1787 as the ‘Territory Northwest of the River Ohio’ Wisconsin Territory was organized on 3rd July 1836, from part of Michigan Territory
- it included all of present-day Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, eastern North Dakota and South Dakota, and a small portion of northeastern Nebraska
- Wisconsin was admitted to the Union on 29th May 1848, as the 30th state, with generally the same boundary as the present state
Area - in area Wisconsin ranks 23rd in the US, with a total area of 169,634 km² (65,496 sq mi)
- the state is somewhat smaller than half the size of Germany
- compared with other US states, Wisconsin would fit into Texas slightly more than four times
- 17% of the state territory is water areas, and 46% is covered by forest. Wisconsin is subdivided into 72 counties
Nicknames
- the nickname of Wisconsin is Badger State or America's Dairyland
Geographical Regions
Wisconsin's landscape has five major geographic regions
1. the Lake Superior Lowland "up north," the forested coastal plain along the shore of Lake Superior
2. the Northern Highland, an ancient mountain range, flattened out by erosion and glaciation
- Timms Hill in Price County is the highest point in Wisconsin, at an elevation of 595 m (1,951 ft)
3. the flat Central Plain covered by hardwood forest, and some areas are used for agriculture
- to the east of the plain is the Green Bay and Fox River lowland, worn by glaciers in the last ice age
- situated between the lowland and the Eastern Ridges and Lowland is Lake Winnebago, the largest lake entirely in Wisconsin
4. the Western Upland, a rugged, hilly region, dissected by rivers and streams
5. The Eastern Ridges and Lowlands is a geographical region in the southeast of Wisconsin along Lake Michigan
- the area includes the Lake Michigan lowland and two cuestas, the Niagara cuesta and the Black River Magnesian cuesta. Cuestas are ridges with a gentle slope on one side, and a steep slope or scarp on the other
- the arched Niagara cuesta stretches along the shores of Lake Michigan, and further west is the Black River Magnesian cuesta or escarpment
- in between those ridges expands the Green Bay-Lake Winnebago-Rock River lowland
Islands
- some islands in the Great Lakes belong to Wisconsin
- there is the Apostle Islands group in Lake Superior and Washington Island in Lake Michigan
Population
- Wisconsin has a population of about 5.8 million people (2019 est.)
- the capital city is Madison
- the largest city is Milwaukee, the largest urban area is Greater Milwaukee (Metro Milwaukee; pop. 1.6 million)
- other major cities are Green Bay, Kenosha, Racine, and Appleton
Race and Ethnic groups
- White alone 81.1%, Hispanic or Latino 6.9%, African American 6.7%, Asian 3.0%, and Native American 1.2%
Wisconsin

Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin

Wisconsin
Wyoming (tap the map to enlarge)

About Wyoming
- Wyoming is one of the 50 states of the United States
- the rectangle-shaped landlocked state is located in the Mountain Division in the western US mainland
- Wyoming borders Montana to the north, South Dakota and Nebraska to the east, Colorado and Utah in the south and Idaho in the west
Short History
- inhabited by nomadic indigenous tribes for thousands of years, but the sight of free-roaming Native Americans ended soon after the first European 'explorers' reached the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains, "the Cheyenne and Sioux were the last of the Indians to be controlled and placed on reservations
- because of Wyoming's location at the intersection of the Louisiana Purchase, the Oregon Country, and the Mexican Cession, the land which became Wyoming has a complicated history of territorial relationships
- the United States acquired portions of the area of Wyoming from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, from Great Britain as part of a treaty in 1846, and from territory ceded by Mexico in 1848
Area
Wyoming Topographic Regions Map - it is the tenth largest state in the US, with a total area of 253,348 km² (97,818 sq mi)
- somewhat larger than the United Kingdom
- compared with other US states, Wyoming would fit into Texas almost three times but is 11 times larger than New Jersey
Main geographical Regions
- Wyoming's main geographical regions are the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, and the Intermontane Basins. Around 85% of the state is considered rangelands
- in the northeast, there is a small extension of the Black Hills
- the Powder River Basin supersedes the hills with the Bighorn Mountains in the north and the semi-arid region of the Thunder Basin National Grassland to the west
- in the western and central portions of the state spreads the Wyoming Basin shrub-steppe, an ecoregion surrounded by various subranges of the Rocky Mountains
- highlights of Wyoming's landscape are the dramatic peaks and steep valleys of the Rocky Mountains, and its subranges like the crescent-shaped Bighorn Mountain Range or the Teton Range, the youngest mountain range in the Rockies
Highest Mountain Peak
- the state's highest mountain summit at 4,209 m (13,809 ft) is Gannett Peak in the Wind River Range within Bridger Wilderness
World Heritage Site
- and there is Yellowstone National Park (www.nps.gov/yell) in the northwest corner of Wyoming, so awe-inspiring to humans that it became the first National Park in the US in 1872, in 1978 Yellowstone became a UNESCO World Heritage Site official website
- the Yellowstone Caldera is the largest volcanic system in North America and home to a supervolcano
- Yellowstone is also known for its wildlife and geothermal activity
- within the Upper Geyser Basin sits Old Faithful, the cone geyser erupts in intervals from 60-110 minutes, the colorful Grand Prismatic Spring nearby is the largest hot spring in the United States
Population
- Wyoming's population rank is 50th, with about 578,000 inhabitants (2018 est.)
- making it the least populated state in the US
- Wyoming is made up of 23 counties
- capital and largest city is Cheyenne
- the largest urban area is Cheyenne Metro Area (pop. 2017 98,136)
- other major cities are Casper, Laramie, and Gillette
Race and Ethnic groups
- White alone 83.8%, Hispanic or Latino 10.1%, Native American 2.7%, African American 1.3%, and Asian 1.1%
Wyoming

Downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming's capital

Wyoming