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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.

Covering an area of 139,396 sq. km, the State of North Carolina is located in the south-eastern region of the United States.

North Carolina consists of three main physiographic regions and is divided into four distinct areas. These are The Outer Banks, the Atlantic Coastal Plain, the Piedmont Plateau, and the ranges of the Appalachian Mountains in the far-western reaches of the state.

The Outer Banks is a 320km long string of narrow and sandy (some tree-covered) barrier islands, that line most of the state’s coastline, and extends from Virginia to South Carolina, curving out into the Atlantic Ocean. The eastern-most point of the state is the Cape Hatteras – which is a frequent target of hurricanes that strike the eastern United States. This area is also colloquially known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” as a reference to the treacherous waters that have led to more than a thousand shipwrecks. The broad and flat Atlantic Coastal Plain extends some 65 miles inland from the barrier islands. Swampy along the coast, and especially in the far-northeast, it is crisscrossed by dozens of rivers and covers about 35% of the state’s area.

The land then rises gently into some forested sandhills, and then into the higher rolling hills of the Piedmont Plateau, where average elevations are near 1,150 ft above sea level. The Appalachian Mountains, about 2,000 miles (3,200km) in length, extends from Georgia through the Carolinas, up through New England, and into the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Quebec.

As observed on the map, the thickly forested Blue Ridge Mountains, which are famed for their bluish color when seen from a distance, stretches across the western reaches of North Carolina and also into Virginia. The Smoky Mountains extend along the state's southwestern border with Tennessee.

Marked on the map by an upright yellow triangle is North Carolina's highest point - Mt. Mitchell, which rises to an elevation of 6,684 ft (2,037m). It is situated in the state’s western part, in the Yancey county to the northeast of Asheville, as a part of the Black Mountains. Mt. Mitchell is also the highest peak in the Appalachian Mountains as well as in eastern North America.

North Carolina is drained by several rivers. The major rivers include Cape Fear, Neuse, Roanoke, and Yadkin. Besides, the state also contains many small manmade lakes and reservoirs. Lake Norman at 32,510 acres, is the largest of these man-made lakes.

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 (2,054,065)
  2. Raleigh (1,443,805)
  3. Winston-Salem (508,957)
  4. Durham (417,924)
  5. Greensboro (361,153)
  6. Asheville (354,028)
  7. Fayetteville (346,517)

This page was last updated on February 25, 2021

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