Wading River is a hamlet in Suffolk County, New York, USA, on the North Shore of Long Island. As of the United States 2000 Census, the CDP population was 6,668. The community of Wading River is on the town line between the Town of Brookhaven and the Town of Riverhead. The name of the hamlet comes from the original Native American name for the area, Pauquaconsuk, meaning "the place where we wade for thick, round-shelled clams". The more simple translation of this descriptive native word, "Wading in the River" or Wading River was adopted by the first settlers.