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The town is named after the Wallkill River, which flows through it. The river was called "Wallen Kill" by Dutch settlers in the 17th century; they had to pronounce Holland's name for water as "water kill". Later, English speakers anglicized this to Wallkill. The Town of Newburgh is on its north border and the Town of Montgomery on its western border. The City of Middletown lies across from it in Orange County at a point where all three municipalities meet each other at one common point known as Three Mile Circle (or 3MC). It has been an important junction since colonial times when most traffic between New York City and Albany went through here along what are now US 6/202/17K, NY 17M and NY 302 (the latter two were originally part of Route 2).