Mispillion River

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Mispillion River
Mispillion River.jpg
The Mispillion River in Milford in 2006
Mispillion River is located in Delaware
Mispillion River
Location of the mouth of the Mispillion River
CountryUnited States
Physical characteristics
 - locationnear Milford
 - coordinates38°52′53″N 75°30′00″W / 38.88139°N 75.50000°W / 38.88139; -75.50000[1]
MouthDelaware Bay
 - coordinates
38°57′05″N 75°18′48″W / 38.95139°N 75.31333°W / 38.95139; -75.31333Coordinates: 38°57′05″N 75°18′48″W / 38.95139°N 75.31333°W / 38.95139; -75.31333[1]
 - elevation
3 ft (0.91 m)[1]
Length15 mi (24 km)approximately[2]
Basin size76 sq mi (200 km2)[3]

The Mispillion River is a river flowing to Delaware Bay in southern Delaware in the United States. It is approximately 15 miles (24 km) long and drains an area of 76 square miles (197 km²) on the Atlantic Coastal Plain.

It rises in northern Sussex County, approximately 3 miles (5 km) southwest of Milford, and flows generally east-northeastwardly, defining the boundary between Sussex and Kent counties; it passes through the center of Milford on its course to its mouth at Delaware Bay, 16 miles (26 km) northwest of Cape Henlopen.[2][4] The lower 12 miles (19 km) of the river are considered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to be navigable.[5]

A boardwalk known as the Mispillion Riverwalk follows the river in Milford. As of 2003, an effort was underway to preserve a greenway along the river upstream and downstream of Milford.[6]

Variant names and spellings[edit]

According to the Geographic Names Information System, the Mispillion River has also been known historically as:[1]

  • Masphilion Creek
  • Maspillon Creek
  • Mispalling Creek
  • Mispelion Creek
  • Mispelon Creek
  • Mispening Creek
  • Miss Pinion River
  • Mispeninge Creek
  • Misperange River
  • Mispilian Creek
  • Mispliant Creek
  • Misspann Creek
  • Muskmellon Creek
  • Musmillion River
  • Musphilion Creek
  • Muspilion Creek

Name origin[edit]

"The first occurrence of this name (of the river) is in the form Mispening on a map of 1664, tentatively analyzed as meaning "as the great tuber (stream);" (Dunlap and Weslager, 1950)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Geographic Names Information System. "GNIS entry for Mispillion River (Feature ID #214330)". Retrieved 2007-02-05.
  2. ^ a b "Columbia Gazetteer of North America entry for Mispillion River". 2000. Retrieved 2007-02-05.
  3. ^ United States Environmental Protection Agency (2005). "Decision Rationale: Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDLs) for Bacteria and Nutrient Impairments on the Mispillion River and Cedar Creek Watershed, Kent and Sussex Counties, Delaware". pp. pp.1–2. Retrieved 2007-02-05.
  4. ^ DeLorme (2004). Maryland Delaware Atlas & Gazetteer. pp.52-53. Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme. ISBN 0-89933-279-X.
  5. ^ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District. "Navigable waterways of the Philadelphia District". Archived from the original on 2007-06-28. Retrieved 2007-02-05.
  6. ^ Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation. "Greenways & Trails". Archived from the original on 2007-03-11. Retrieved 2007-02-05.