The Nansemond River is one of three important rivers that converge to form the natural harbor known as Hampton Roads.

The river’s origin is the outlet of Lake Meade near downtown Suffolk. Nearby, Lakes Cahoon, and Kilby also empty into the river. Lakes Burnt Mills and Prince feed the western branch Nansemond River.

The Nansemond River runs 20 miles from downtown Suffolk to its confluence with the James River.

The Nansemond National Wildlife Refuge is located along the river.

The Nansemond River was named for the Native American tribe that fished its waters before European settlers arrived.

Captain John Smith explored the Nansemond River in 1609.

Related Information


Port of Hampton Roads