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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
Country United States
State Delaware
Counties Kent
Physical characteristics
Main source confluence of Beaverdam and Tantrough Branches at Blairs Pond
near Milford
29 ft (8.8 m)
38°52′53″N 75°30′00″W / 38.88139°N 75.50000°W / 38.88139; -75.50000
River mouth Delaware Bay
near Mispillion Light
0 ft (0 m)
38°57′05″N 75°18′48″W / 38.95139°N 75.31333°W / 38.95139; -75.31333
Length 15 mi (24 km)approximately
Basin features
Progression east and northeast
River system Delaware Bay
Basin size 76 sq mi (200 km2)
Waterbodies Blairs Pond
Griffith Lake
Haven Lake
Silver Lake

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. The lower 12 miles (19 km) of the river are considered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to be navigable.

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.

Variant names and spellings

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

  • 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

"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)

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