Tristate Markers & State Corners
In April 2018, I had the idea of trying to photograph many of the tripoints, Capital Buildings and the gravesites of all the Presidents. Here are the collections of Tristate markers I’ve been at thus far.
Tristate, Tri-points or Triple points, aka trifiniums all mean the same thing. These are places where three States come together at a common point. Almost everyone is familiar with Four Comers in the southwestern U.S., where Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico meet at a spot in the Navajo Indian Reservation. However, not many people realize that there are sixty-one other spots where three States join. Of this total of sixty-two, thirty-eight either have markers or should have markers on land. The rest are in the middle of rivers, streams or lakes where no identifying marker can be placed.
This endeavor could be extended to include tri-points along the U.S.-Canadian and U.S.-Mexican borders. There are eleven locations where two U.S. States meet a Canadian province, and seven more where one State hooks up with two provinces. Similarly, at three spots, two U.S. States join at a Mexican State, and at five other locations it is two Mexicans adjoining one U.S. State. This gives a grand total of twenty-six locations of which only ten are on dry land.
An excellent guide to Tripoints, geographical Highpoints and Lowpoints can be found at the Highpointers Club website.
Four Corners Monument marks the quadripoint in the Southwestern United States where the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet.
Four Corners (AZ-CO-NM-UT) is really four tri-State points in one location, but is counted as the only spot in America where 4 states meet, the tri-state points are not as famous and most people are not curious enough to travel long distances out of the way for them.
36°59’56.3″N 109°02’42.8″W 36.998961, -109.045209
The area is very remote. The tiny community of Teec Nos Pos, AZ, is six miles away and it has a gas station.
Colorado-Kansas-Nebraska Tripoint Marker
GPS – 40.003198, -102.051785
To reach Three Corners from St. Francis, first drive to Devil’s Gap by driving north of St. Francis on K-27 to Road W, approximately 13 miles north of the K-27 and US-36 Junction, then follow the hand made signs. From Devils Gap, continue north on County Road 3, turning west into private land at the red marker. Continue on the private road for 2 3/4 miles in a northwest direction following the signs. This will actually take you into Colorado for the last part of the route.
THE CORNER COMMON TO NEBRASKA AND KANSAS ON THE COLORADO LINE
The survey of the base line of the 6th principal meridian, which also marks the boundary between Nebraska and Kansas, was extended from the Alma, Nebraska area to the summit of the Rocky Mountains by Jarret Todd and James Withrow in 1859.
In 1869 Oliver N. Caffee [sic] surveyed the western boundary of Nebraska, and failing to locate the baseline, set the limestone monument 621.7 feet South of this position.
In 1872 John J. Majors surveyed the boundary between Kansas and Colorado, commencing at Chaffee’s monument.
On June 15, 1873 Edwin Burwell intersected the baseline with Chaffee’s state line and established the corner of Nebraska and Kansas on the Colorado line.
On October 17, 1990 the Bureau of Land Management re-monumented this tri-state corner.
In recognition of those early Surveyors, the skills they demonstrated and the hardships they endured, we dedicate this Plaque on June 1, 1991.
According to the Congressional definition of the boundary of Colorado, this point is theoretically where the 40th parallel north latitude intersects 25 degrees west longitude as measured from the Washington Meridian*. However, this monument was first set by Oliver Chaffee during his 1869 survey — and due to the technological limitations of his day, it is not exactly right (although his survey does define the official boundary, regardless of its accuracy).
* Many American surveys between 1850-1884 were based on the Washington Meridian, which was officially abolished by Congress in favor of the Greenwich Prime Meridian in 1912. “25 degrees west of Washington” is a few miles away from the 102nd degree of longitude west of Greenwich.
Colorado – Nebraska – Wyoming Tristate Marker
GPS: 41.001651, -104.053169
Leave Interstate 80 at exit #401 at Pine Bluffs, WY. Go N to 8th Street, then E on 8th Street for 0.6 mile to Beech Street. Go S on Beech 12 miles to the CO line. Turn E through a gate and drive 3/4 mile on a pasture road along the WY – CO border past a wind mill to the tri-State marker. In wet weather you may want to park prior to the windmill and walk the remaining 1/4 mile.
The Nebraska high point, Panorama Point, at elevation 5424 feet, is 1.3 miles ENE of the tri-point. Do not hike between the tri-point and the high point, as it is open bison range. Drive around (from the tri-point W, S, E. N, and finally W again) on farm roads.
Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma Tristate Point
Also known as Eight Mile Corner Tristate point
GPS: 36.993231, -102.042043
Directions: To reach Eight Mile Corner: from the edge of Elkhart where Oklahoma Highway 95, Kansas Highway 56 and Baca Avenue intersect, turn north onto Baca, cross the railroad tracts and then turn west on County Road A (better known as State Line Road) and drive eight miles. State Line Road is unpaved, but kept in pretty good condition. A short stretch at the Tristate Point is paved.
Arkansas – Missouri – Oklahoma Tristate Point Marker
GPS: 36.499505, -94.617808
ACCESS ROUTE: From South West City, MO, go S about 1 mile on Route 43 which becomes OK Route 20. The monument is on the W side of the highway just off the shoulder. Across the road from a gas station which is at 1000 S Main St, Southwest City, MO 64863
Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri Tri-State Marker
GPS: 36.998597, -94.617937
Directions: 1183 SE 118th St, Joplin, MO 64804
The tri-point of Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas is just off of Interstate 44 at exit 1 near Joplin, Missouri. A short side road goes directly to the point from a road to an Oklahoma casino (although the road starts in Missouri and is mostly in Kansas).
A stone monument marks the location of what was formerly thought to be the tri-point, but the area was resurveyed an a new marker (photo below) was placed about 50 feet from the original one in 2004.
Indiana-Ohio-Michigan Tristate Marker
GPS: 41.696123, -84.805956
Michigan – Indiana – Ohio State Lines
3285-4549 N 1000 E, Fremont, IN 46737
Directions: Finding the Tri-State bench marker is easy. About seven miles east of Fremont on Rd. #120 you meet the Michigan line. A little road (Cope) leads south. Proceed 0.7 miles. Long Lake is in both Indiana and Michigan. The west end of the lake is in Clear Lake Twp. (Indiana’s most northeastern township) in Steuben County. The east end of the lake is in Hillsdale County, Michigan. Five miles south of Long Lake you can see an important bench mark where the three states (Indiana, Michigan and Ohio) join.
Colorado, New Mexico and Oklahoma Tristate Marker
AKA Preston Monument
GPS: 37.000105, -103.002200
Directions: From Kenton, Oklahoma, follow signs to the Black Mesa Nature Preserve. You’ll pass the trailhead for Black Mesa (the Oklahoma High Point) and continue on dirt roads to the monument.
Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama Tristate Marker
GPS: 34.984681, -85.605164
Directions: Nickajack reservoir, and followed Macedonia Road and Coal City Hollow Road to the State Line Cemetery, where we pulled to the west end of the cemetery and parked out car.
From the parking area at the corner of the State Line Cemetery, go west through a hole in the brush for the trail. Do not bear right at the top of the grade but go straight onto the vague trail. At this time, there was a blow down with pink tape which some thoughtful person put there. Step over this tree and you’ll spot the Maypole at 10 o’clock.
Texas – Oklahoma – New Mexico Tristate Marker
GPS: 36.500546, -103.002458
Directions: Between Clayton, New Mexico and Boise City, Oklahoma, turn off Highway 412 on either dirt road. Follow it to the end and walk over a cattle guard. After you visit this marker, be sure to visit the Northwest Texas Corner Marker which is two miles to the west.
Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas Tristate Point Marker
GPS: 33.019221, -94.042969
Directions: 78230 TX-77, Atlanta, TX 75551 The Tri-Point is along LA Hwy 1 / Tx Hwy 77. There is parking very nearby at a local pub.
Tennessee – Virginia – Kentucky Tristate Marker at Cumberland Gap, Tennessee
GPS: 36.600815, -83.675418 for spot, 36.600955, -83.669427 for parking lot for the trail.
Tri-State Peak Trail is a 2.2 mile out and back trail located near Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, it is a decent grade and wore me out, though someone in better shape might find it easier. It is a pretty view when you reach the top and has a nice area of signs.
Corners of States
They are not as glorious as tristate points but corners are often close to Tristate Points so why not include them as well.
Northwest Corner of Kansas
Not a tripoint but this is a short walk or drive from the Colorado-Kansas-Nebraska Tripoint Marker
The Northeast Colorado Corner Monument
GPS: 41.002355, -102.051613
Directions: From Julesburg, travel east on Interstate 76. Cross the Nebraska state line and turn south at exit 107 in Big Springs, Nebraska. Take that road about two miles south until it makes a hard left. At that point, you’ll be driving along the Colorado / Nebraska border. Take it about 0.5 miles east and at the “T” intersection, the marker sits.
Colorado – Nebraska Corner Border Marker
Northwestern Corner of Texas
GPS: 36.500348, -103.041928
Helpful directions can be found here.
Very nearby is the tripoint marker for Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma