The Roanoke River () is a river in southern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina in the United States, 410 miles (660 km) long. A major river of the southeastern United States, it drains a largely rural area of the coastal plain from the eastern edge of the Appalachian Mountains southeast across the Piedmont to Albemarle Sound. An important river throughout the history of the United States, it was the site of early settlement in the Virginia Colony and the Carolina Colony. An 81-mile (130 km) section of its lower course in Virginia between the Leesville Lake and Kerr Lake is known as the Staunton River, pronounced STAN-ten, as is the Shenandoah Valley city of that name. It is impounded along much of its middle course to form a chain of reservoirs.