Michigan Indiana Ohio Tripoint - Tri-State Marker
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Have You Ever Been in Three Places at Once?

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to stand in three states at once? Travel to this out-of-the-way, middle-of-the-road spot where the borders of Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan all meet. 

Michigan is known for being surrounded by the Great Lakes, which give it a scenic natural water border. But the Mitten State also shares land borders with Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana. On the southern Michigan border is a single point where the borders of Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan all meet.

The three states meet together at what’s called a tripoint. Also known as a triple point or a triple border, this is simply a point where the boundaries of three countries (or in this case, states) meet.

Did you know there are 62 state tripoints nationwide? Of those, 27 are in water, 35 are on land, and three are in the Great Lakes. There are also 175 international tripoints.

If you’ve ever wondered where the borders of Michigan are, a trip to this unique map dot is the perfect place to see two of them!

Map Of Michigan Indiana Ohio Borders

Establishing Michigan’s Borders with Indiana and Ohio

Nothing seemed to come easy for Michigan when it came time to establish boundaries between its neighboring states. The Mitten State has a history of border disputes with Ohio and Wisconsin and, at least some border confusion with Indiana.

Where Does the Michigan-Indiana Border Begin?

A glance at a map shows an established line between Michigan and Indiana. Nonetheless, Michigan’s border with the Hoosier State can be considered confusing simply because no one can say for sure exactly where it is.

The Michigan-Indiana border was last surveyed in 1827 and was marked with wooden posts every mile to designate the border. Surveyors of the time also used topographical features, such as lakes and valleys and reference trees to establish the border.

More than 100 years later, those posts have rotted away, leaving officials uncertain of where exactly the border is. At least one semi-retired surveyor has advocated for a retracing of the border for 20 years.

The governments of both states approved legislation to create state boundary commissions within the last 15 years, but money never materialized for surveying, and the commissions dissolved. Both states have since reestablished those commissions in the last several years.

The proposed survey will use notes from the original 1827 survey and GPS technology to get a bead on where the border is. When or if the survey happens, it’s likely the border won’t change much.

The Michigan-Ohio Border and the Toledo War

Michigan and Ohio have several reasons to be at odds, including the historic college football rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State.

But the two states were once at odds over a piece of land known as the Toledo Strip. This small piece of land represented inland shipping opportunities, control of the Maumee River mouth, and access to rich farmland.

It produced a conflict known as the Toledo War that lasted from 1835 to 1836.

At the time, a poor understanding of Great Lakes geography and conflicting laws led to the governments of both Michigan and Ohio claiming ownership of a more than 400-square-mile strip along the borders of both states.

When Michigan applied for statehood, it attempted to claim the strip as a part of its boundaries. Each state passed laws attempting to claim the strip and eventually sent their respective militias to opposite sides of the Maumee River.

Ultimately, the “war” resulted in one non-fatal stabbing and shots fired with no casualties. In 1836, the U.S. Congress offered a solution: In exchange for ceding the Toledo Strip to Ohio, Michigan gained all of the Upper Peninsula.

Michigan Indiana Ohio Tripoint - Tri-State Marker

Getting to and Visiting the Michigan-Indiana-Ohio Tripoint

No matter which direction you’re coming from, there’s no direct way to get to the Michigan-Ohio-Indiana tripoint. Travelers who have made the tri-state trek describe it as being in the middle of nowhere on a gravel road; 10-15 minutes from the nearest highway.

In 1977, the Hillsdale County Historical Society erected a stone memorial that points to the tripoint.

The inscription on the stone reads, “130 feet south is the point where Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio meet. This marker was erected by the Hillsdale County Historical Society — 1977.

Travelers can stand with one foot firmly in Indiana and the front and back parts of their other foot in Michigan and Ohio respectively. The tripoint is a small square with an ‘M’ on it; much to the delight of Michiganders and fans of the University of Michigan.

The tripoint is in the middle of the road, where paved road and dirt road meet. Travelers say the road to get to the spot is lightly traveled and unpaved, so be careful.

The GPS coordinates for the tripoint are: 41° 41.791′ N, 84° 48.355′ W.

In Michigan, the tripoint is located in Hillsdale County on Cope Road near Camden, Michigan. Travelers can follow just over a half mile south of W. Territorial Road and find the marker on the left-hand side when traveling south.

Another way for Michiganders to get there is to take U.S. 12 through Jonesville to M-49. From there, drivers can head south through Reading and Camden. They’ll then turn west on Territorial Road and then south on Cope Road. Driving on Cope Road, the Indiana state line is within eyesight. After about two miles the granite marker is on the left side of the road.

In Indiana, the marker is located in Steuben County on County Road N1000E, just over a half mile north, or County Road E300N.

In Ohio, travelers can take the I-80/90 westernmost exit in Williams County. From there, they can head north on Highway 49 and turn left at the stop sign onto U.S. 20. After four miles, traveled will turn left on County Road South and drive a half mile. After a half-mile, drivers will turn right on N. 1000 E/County Road 1, which is a gravel road. After a third of a mile, visitors will see the memorial boulder and the tripoint is a touch further south.

Great Lakes Of North America, Political Map. Lake Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie And Lake Ontario. A Series Of Large Interconnected Freshwater Lakes On Or Near The Border Of Canada And United States.

Visit Other Midwest Tripoints

If you consider yourself a bit of a geography buff, you can travel around the Midwest to find other unique tripoints. Some of them are not easily accessible nor do they have an identifiable marker, but travelers who enjoy visiting different states can visit the nearby areas to get a sense of where states meet.  

  • Michigan shares a Lake Superior border with Minnesota and Wisconsin at  47°17′28″N, 89°57′26″W.
  • Michigan shares a Lake Michigan border with Illinois and Wisconsin at 42°29′37″N, 87°1′12″W.
  • Michigan shares a water border with Illinois and Indiana at a spot known as the Indiana Dunes.
  • Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin share a water border on the Mississippi River in the La Crosse, Wisconsin metro area.
  • Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin share a water border on the Mississippi in the Dubuque, Iowa metro area.
  • Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky share a water border in the Cincinnati metro area near the confluence of the Great Miami River.
  • Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky share a water border on the Wabash and Ohio rivers in the Evansville, Indiana metro area. 

Plan a Trip to the Michigan-Indiana-Ohio TriPoint Today

It’s not every day you can say that you’ve stood in three states at one time. But traveling to the tri-state marker where Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio all meet can make for an interesting experience for those willing to make the journey.

Gather your family and closest friends, jump in the car, and take a road trip to this out-of-the-way spot. It may be in the middle of nowhere, but it’s a cool spot to take some pictures, plant your feet in three states, and have a fun adventure!

One Comment

  1. KY, TN &VA share a tripointat Cumberland Gap near Harrogate, TN and Middlesboro, KY. It’s in the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park off of U.S.-25E, an easy hike from the parking lot.

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