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The Nanticoke River is a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay on the Delmarva Peninsula. It rises in southern Kent County, Delaware, flows through Sussex County, Delaware, and forms the boundary between Dorchester County, Maryland and Wicomico County, Maryland. The tidal river course proceeds southwest into the Tangier Sound, Chesapeake Bay. The river is 64.3 miles (103.5 km) long.[2] A 26-mile ecotourism water trail running along the River was set aside in July 2011 by Delaware state and federal officials, contiguous with a 37-mile water-trail extending through Maryland to the Chesapeake Bay.[3]

Nanticoke River
Map of the rivers of the Eastern Shore of Maryland with the Nanticoke and its watershed highlighted.
CountryUnited States
RegionSouth Atlantic States
Physical characteristics
 ⁃ locationMiddleford, Delaware
 ⁃ coordinates38°52′55″N 075°33′36″W / 38.88194°N 75.56000°W / 38.88194; -75.56000[1]
 ⁃ elevationabout 60 feet
MouthChesapeake Bay
 ⁃ location
Waterview, Maryland
 ⁃ coordinates
38°14′00″N 075°55′29″W / 38.23333°N 75.92472°W / 38.23333; -75.92472[1]
 ⁃ elevation
sea level (0 ft.)
Lengthabout 63 miles[1]
Basin features
Progressiongenerally southwest
River systemChesapeake Bay
 ⁃ leftGum Branch
Gravelly Branch
Deep Creek
Morgan Branch
Broad Creek
Barren Creek
Rewastico Creek
Quantico Creek
Wetipquin Creek
 ⁃ rightClear Brook
Chapel Branch
Wright Creek
Marshyhope Creek
Chicone Creek
Jacks Creek
Cow Creek

Some of the main tributaries that feed the Nanticoke on the west-side include: Cow Creek; Jack Creek; Wapremander Creek; Marshyhope Creek; and the east side: Gravelly Fork, Gum Branch, and Broad Creek. Notable towns and communities situated along the river include Nanticoke, Bivalve, Vienna, and Sharptown in Maryland; and further north the city of Seaford, Delaware.

According to a study paid for by the town of Vienna, the English explorer John Smith travelled up the Nanticoke River and mapped it, and visited with Native Americans in their settlement, now believed to be Vienna.[4]

The river was dredged in 1990 and 2013[5] to facilitate shipping travel along the course.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "GNIS Detail - Nanticoke River". US Geological Survey. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed April 1, 2011
  3. ^ Montgomery, Jeff (10 July 2011), "Officials dedicate trail along Nanticoke", The News Journal, archived from the original on 2011, retrieved 10 July 2011
  4. ^ Stump, Brice (2005-02-06). "He's Put Us on the Map". Daily Times. Salisbury, MD.
  5. ^ "Nanticoke River Dredging Begins (USA)". 28 January 2013. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  6. ^ Shortridge, Dan (16 Jan 2012), "Funding holds up Nanticoke River dredging", The News Journal, retrieved 16 Jan 2012


Coordinates: 38°14′0″N 75°55′29″W / 38.23333°N 75.92472°W / 38.23333; -75.92472