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Wheeling Creek as viewed upstream from Main Street in downtown Wheeling in 2006


Wheeling Creek is a tributary of the Ohio River, 25 miles (40 km) long, in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginiamarker in the United Statesmarker, with a watershed extending into southwestern Pennsylvaniamarker. Via the Ohio River, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of approximately 300 square miles (780 km²) on the unglaciated portion of the Allegheny Plateau. It flows into the Ohio River in downtown Wheelingmarker, just downstream of Ohiomarker's Wheeling Creek on the opposite bank. According to the Geographic Names Information System, it has also been known as Big Wheeling Creek.

Geography

Wheeling Creek is formed in northeastern Marshall County, West Virginiamarker, by the confluence of streams known as the Enlow Fork and the Dunkard Fork:

  • Enlow Fork, also known historically as "Enslow Fork," rises in Pennsylvania on the boundary of Greenemarker and Washingtonmarker Counties, and flows west-southwestwardly along that boundary into Marshall County. Enlow Fork defines the northern boundaries of Morrismarker, Graymarker, and Richhillmarker Townships in Greene County; and the southern boundaries of Morris, East Finleymarker, and West Finleymarker townships in Washington County.


  • Dunkard Fork, also known historically as "Crow Creek," is formed in Pennsylvania by the confluence of the North Fork Dunkard Fork and the South Fork Dunkard Fork in Richhill Township in Greene County, and flows northwestwardly into Marshall County. Its north and south forks each flow northwestwardly into Richhill Township; the North Fork rises in Jackson Townshipmarker and flows through Ryerson Station State Parkmarker, where it is dammed to form a lake; and the South Fork rises in Aleppo Townshipmarker.


From the confluence of the Dunkard and Enlow forks, Wheeling Creek flows northwestwardly into the city of Wheeling in Ohio Countymarker. In the Elm Grove neighborhood of Wheeling, it collects Little Wheeling Creek, which rises in Ohio County just west of the Pennsylvania state line and flows southwestwardly through the communities of Valley Grovemarker and Triadelphiamarker. In Triadelphia, Little Wheeling Creek collects Middle Wheeling Creek, which rises in West Finley Township in Greene County, Pennsylvania, and flows generally westwardly into southeastern Ohio County.

The National Road (U.S. Route 40) parallels Little Wheeling Creek through eastern Ohio County, and follows Wheeling Creek for part of its route through the city of Wheeling; the creek is also paralleled for five miles (8 km) in Wheeling by a rail trail as part of the Wheeling Heritage Trail network.

According to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, of the 141 square miles (365 km²) drained by Wheeling Creek in West Virginia, approximately 67% is forested; approximately 27% is used for agriculture; and approximately 5% is urban.

Flow rate

The United States Geological Survey operates a stream gauge on the creek in the Elm Grove neighborhood of Wheeling, downstream of the mouth of Little Wheeling Creek and 7.8 miles (12.6 km) upstream of the creek's mouth. Between 1941 and 2005, the annual mean flow of the creek at the gauge was 343 cubic feet per second (9.7 m³/s). The creek's highest flow during the period was estimated at 22,300 ft³/s (632 m³/s) on September 17, 2004. The lowest recorded flow was 0.1 ft³/s (0 m³/s) on October 7, 1963, and on two days in September 1964.

See also



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