The Meherrin River is the westernmost river in the Chowan River basin. It travels more than 100 miles in Virginia, flowing past Lawrenceville and through Emporia. It meets the Chowan River 12 miles below the North Carolina state line, just east of Murfreesboro. Fifty percent of the Meherrin River watershed's 1 million acres is forested, with another 23 percent used for farming and another 10 percent comprised of wetlands.
The Meherrin River is famed for its herring runs, which supported a vibrant fishing industry through much of the 1900s. In Lawrenceville, the river flows by historic Fort Christanna, which once served as a frontier outpost during the early colonial era. Below Emporia, where it is tapped for hydroelectric power, the river is flanked by some of Virginia's most extensive floodplain forests. Like the Nottoway, the river takes its name from the Iroquois tribe that once inhabited the area.