Our Region

Map of Region J Counties with two historical sitesRegional History

The Triangle J region has been populated for over 10,000 years. Prior to the arrival of Europeans in the 16th and 17th centuries, Native Americans called this area home. Remnants of their history remain in the landscape and their everyday tools occasionally turn up in our gardens and fields.


During the Colonial Era, some of our larger towns were Hillsborough and Smithfield. Hillsborough served as the colonial capital for a short time before the state capital was located in Raleigh in 1792.


Revolutionary and Civil War sites are scattered throughout the region. Generals Cornwallis and Green marched throughout this area during the Revolutionary War, and minor skirmishes occurred here. Cornwallis is well remembered in Hillsborough for his brief occupation of the town. Bentonville Battleground was the site of the largest Civil War battle in North Carolina. General Johnston surrendered the Confederate army to General Sherman at Bennett Place.


Agriculture, textiles, and tobacco were the area's primary economic engines until relatively recently.


  • Average Precipitation: 43”

  • Driest Month: April (2.8” avg.)

  • Wettest Month: July (4.3” avg.)

  • Warmest Month: July (89.1” F avg.)

  • Coolest Month: January (29.6° F avg.)

  • Highest Annual Mean Temperature: 82.5° F

  • Lowest Annual Mean Temperature: 26.6° F

  • Median Temperature: 59.4° F


Map of Region J Counties defining Coastal Plain and Piedmont AreasGeography and Geology

The highest point in our region is Occoneechee Mountain (867 ft. above sea level), in Orange County. The lowest point is the Neuse River Low Grounds (70 ft. above sea level), in southeastern Johnston County. Most of the region is part of the North Carolina Piedmont. A fall line dividing the Coastal Plain and Piedmont areas runs from Johnston County near the Wake County border and continues through Moore County.


The Sandhills in Moore County are home to one of the few remaining stands of native longleaf pine, as well as other rare and unique lifeforms.


The Triassic Basin runs through the middle of the region, encompassing most of Durham County and reaching into Chatham, Wake, Lee and Moore counties. This feature was created as a great rift or valley when the primeval supercontinent Pangea split into the new continents of Africa, the Americas, Eurasia, India, Australia and Antartica. Over millenia, these vast valleys filled with sediment from upstream, until they were completely filled.


West of the Triassic Basin are older remnants of ancient mountains, surviving today as rolling countryside, some level ground, and occasionally impressive hills.


The Triangle Region Today

Today, our region plays a major national/international economic role, with pharmaceuticals, electronics, health, education, and service industries spread across the region.