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Maps of North Carolina

Physical Map of North Carolina. It shows the physical features of North Carolina including its mountain ranges, major rivers and lakes.

North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. South Carolina and Georgia border it to the south, Tennessee to the west, Virginia to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. North Carolina covers an area of 53,819 sq mi, making it the 28th largest US state. It has a population of over 10 million people, and its biggest city is Charlotte.

North Carolina possesses three main physiographic regions—the Outer Banks, the Atlantic Coastal Plain, and the Piedmont Plateau. All three regions contain hills, lush forests, and many rivers and lakes. To the west, the Appalachian Mountains cut their way through the state.

The Outer Banks are a series of barrier islands that separate mainland North Carolina from the Atlantic Ocean. There are miles of sandy beaches and many lighthouses in this region, built by the government in response to the numerous shipwrecks.

The Atlantic Coastal Plain comprises mostly flat lowlands stretching from Currituck Sound in northeastern North Carolina down to central Florida. This area is known for its swamps, cypress trees, and salt marshes—all habitats that attract a wide variety of wildlife, such as alligators and bald eagles.

Situated between the Appalachian Mountains and the coastal plain is the Piedmont Plateau. This region consists primarily of rolling hills with occasional flat areas in between them. It is also home to many cities, such as the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill metro area and the Charlotte metro area; both serve as important economic centers for North Carolina.

The Appalachian Mountains form a natural boundary between North Carolina and Tennessee on one side and Virginia on the other. This mountain range travels through the western part of the state from southwest to northeast, creating the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This park holds some of the highest elevations in the Eastern United States, such as Mount Mitchell at 6,684 feet - the tallest peak eastwards from the Mississippi River. Other notable peaks include Grandfather Mountain (5859 feet) and Roan Mountain (6285 feet). This mountain range also creates an abundance of waterfalls throughout western North Carolina, such as Linville Falls, Whitewater Falls, and Dry Falls.

The rivers of North Carolina include the Cape Fear (which starts near Fayetteville and empties into the Atlantic Ocean), Catawba, French Broad, and Yadkin rivers. Artificial reservoirs are also abundant - most notably Lake Norman near Charlotte City and other big lakes like Lake Wylie and Lake Hickory.

Counties Map

The State of North Carolina is divided into 100 counties. In alphabetical order, these counties are: Alamance, Alexander, Alleghany, Anson, Ashe, Avery, Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Camden, Carteret, Caswell, Catawba, Chatham, Cherokee, Chowan, Clay, Cleveland, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Davidson, Davie, Duplin, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Gaston, Gates, Graham, Granville, Greene, Guilford, Halifax, Harnett, Haywood, Henderson, Hertford, Hoke, Hyde, Iredell, Jackson, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, Martin, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Montgomery, Moore, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Orange, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Person, Pitt, Polk, Randolph, Richmond, Robeson, Rockingham, Rowan, Rutherford, Sampson, Scotland, Stanly, Stokes, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Tyrrell, Union, Vance, Wake, Warren, Washington, Watauga, Wayne, Wilkes, Wilson, Yadkin, and Yancey.

With an area of 139,396 sq. km, the State of North Carolina is the 28th largest and the 9th most populous state in the USA. Located in Wake County in the central part of the state is Raleigh – the capital city of North Carolina. The Raleigh city also hosts the state’s Research Triangle, which is one of the largest research institutions in the United States. Situated in the Piedmont Plateau region, in the Mecklenburg County is Charlotte – the largest and the most populous city of North Carolina. It serves as the economic, transportation, and cultural center of the Charlotte Metropolitan Area.

Where is North Carolina?

Map showing location of North Carolina in the world.

The State of North Carolina is located in the south-eastern region of the United States. North Carolina is bordered by the state of South Carolina in the south; by Georgia in the southwest; by Tennessee in the west; and by Virginia in the north. It is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean in the east.

Regional Maps: Map of North America

Outline Map of North Carolina

The above blank map represents the State of North Carolina, located in the south-eastern region of the United States. The above map can be downloaded, printed and used for geography education purposes like map-pointing and coloring activities. 

The above outline map represents the State of North Carolina, located in the south-eastern region of the United States. 

Key Facts

Legal Name State of North Carolina
ISO 3166 Code US-NC
Capital City Raleigh
Major Cities
  1. Charlotte (2,266,939)
  2. Raleigh (1,591,107)
  3. Winston-Salem (536,875)
  4. Durham (434,127)
  5. Greensboro (372,455)
  6. Asheville (371,190)
  7. Fayetteville (354,847)

This page was last updated on January 25, 2023

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