Wabash River

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The Wabash River is a 475 mi (765 km) long river in the eastern United States that flows southwest from northwest Ohio near St. Henry, Ohio across northern Indiana to Illinois where it forms the southern Illinois-Indiana border before draining into the Ohio River, of which it is the largest northern tributary.

In the above illustration, the Wabash River is highlighted in blue. The green area is its watershed.

The major tributaries of the Wabash are the Tippecanoe and White Rivers, both in Indiana. The major Illinois tributary is the Little Wabash River.


The name "Wabash" is an English spelling of the French name for the river, "Ouabache." French traders named the river after the Miami Indian word for the river, "Wabashike," (Prounounced "Wah-bah-she-keh"), the word for "pure white." The Miami name reflected the clarity of the river in Huntington County, Indiana where the river bottom is limestone.

For 200 years, from the mid-1600s into the 1800s, the Wabash was a major trading route, linking Canada, Quebec and the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River.

In the 1800s, the Wabash and Erie Canal, one of the longest canals in the world, was built.


  • The Wabash is the state river of Indiana and state song,On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away
  • From the dam in Huntington to its terminus at the Ohio River, the Wabash flows freely for 661 kilometers (411 miles) which makes it the longest stretch of free-flowing river in the United States east of the Mississippi River

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