Great Alamance Creek

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Great Alamance Creek
Tributary to Haw River
Convergence of Great Alamance Creek and the Haw River in Swepsonville, North Carolina
Great Alamance Creek is located in North Carolina
Great Alamance Creek
Location of Great Alamance Creek mouth
Great Alamance Creek is located in the United States
Great Alamance Creek
Great Alamance Creek (the United States)
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
Physical characteristics
Sourcedivide between Great Alamance Creek and Deep River
 ⁃ locationabout 1 mile north of Pleasant Garden, North Carolina
 ⁃ coordinates35°58′40″N 079°44′57″W / 35.97778°N 79.74917°W / 35.97778; -79.74917[1]
 ⁃ elevation780 ft (240 m)[2]
MouthHaw River
 ⁃ location
Swepsonville, North Carolina[2]
 ⁃ coordinates
36°01′02″N 079°21′57″W / 36.01722°N 79.36583°W / 36.01722; -79.36583Coordinates: 36°01′02″N 079°21′57″W / 36.01722°N 79.36583°W / 36.01722; -79.36583[1]
 ⁃ elevation
458 ft (140 m)[2]
Length37.12 mi (59.74 km)[3]
Basin size262.23 square miles (679.2 km2)[4]
 ⁃ locationHaw River
 ⁃ average268.41 cu ft/s (7.601 m3/s) at mouth with Haw River[4]
Basin features
Progressionnortheast then east
River systemHaw River
 ⁃ leftLittle Alamance Creek (Pleasant Garden Creek)
Back Creek
Little Alamance Creek
 ⁃ rightClimax Creek
Stinking Quarter Creek

Great Alamance Creek, also called Big Alamance Creek, is a 37-mile long[5] creek that is a tributary of the Haw River. The creek's headwaters are in Guilford County, but it flows primarily through Alamance County, North Carolina. It is a major source of water for the cities of Burlington and Greensboro through the Lake Mackintosh Reservoir. It was called "Alamance" after an old local Native American word used to describe the blue-colored mud in the bottom of the creek.[6]

The creek was a part of the site of the Battle of Alamance, fought in 1771 between the colonial militia under the command of Governor William Tryon. When Alamance County was formed from Orange County in 1849, it was named for this battle and creek.

Great Alamance Creek has a tributary that is also called "Alamance Creek" - Little Alamance Creek, which is actually a little longer than Great Alamance Creek at over 12 miles,[5] much of it in Burlington. However, it has less water flow than Great Alamance Creek. Little Alamance Creek flows through City Park[7] in Burlington.

Variant names[edit]

According to the Geographic Names Information System, it has also been known historically as:[8]

  • Alamance Creek
  • Aramanchy River
  • Aramancy River
  • Big Alamance Creek


  1. ^ a b "GNIS Detail - Big Alamance Creek". US Geological Survey. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Big Alamance Creek Topo Map, Alamance County NC (Mebane Area)". TopoZone. Locality, LLC. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  3. ^ "ArcGIS Web Application". US EPA. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Big Alamance Creek Report". Waters Geoviewer. US EPA. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  5. ^ a b Measurement Tool on Alamance County GIS found on the Alamance County Website
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Burlington, NC - Official Website - City Park".
  8. ^ "GNIS Detail - Big Alamance Creek". US Geological Survey. Retrieved 10 October 2019.