The Ridge and Valley and Cumberland Plateau physiographic provinces comprise this corner of Georgia. It is characterized by sedimentary geologic formations, including the Cumberland Plateau, Chickamauga Valley, Armuchee Ridges, and the Great Valley, also known as the Coosa River Valley. These formations contain many reminders of our ancient past in the form of fossils, which are apparent along almost any roadside rock ledge.They were sealed in the sedimentary deposits as the ancient seas receded. Dramatic vistas from the rim above Cloudland Canyon, and in the cathedral-sized rooms in the limestone caves of Pigeon Mountain, establish the extremes of the natural character of the region. The wildlife, too, is remarkable in its variety.Restored to the area by modern wildlife management programs, the majestic golden eagle soars over the mountain named for the passenger pigeon, driven to extinction by relentless "market" hunting. In the Great Valley to the west, the venomous cottonmouth, which is normally found in the blackwater streams to the south, has survived as a coastal plain remnant for millions of years.
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