NJ, NY, PA - Tri-Point

NJ/NY/PA Tri-Point

This particular tri-point is famous for being located in the middle of the Delaware River. Locating it is an inexact science, so to be helpful, New York erected a pair of monuments at the southern edge of a cemetery. The first monument is conveniently located at the edge of a small parking lot, underneath I-84 East. Convenient only if you've ignored the signs that the 5 MPH road is for cemetery visitors only, or if you happen to be jogging in this cemetery on the striped path. Because people love jogging in cemeteries. Anyway, if you think that's inconvenient, try hiking down a series of rocks and non-rocks (read: dirt/grass/weed holes where there should be rocks) to see the second monument. That one's a few dozen feet closer to the tripoint, but not only is it still off, but the shape of the borders is pretty far off as well. Despite all this, I made the obligatory trek, and you can see for yourself:

You tell me why this is the New Jersey monument, when it's located squarely in New York. I think E. A. Bowser missed the mark by a little - the real tripoint is in the background of the first photo. Click on either photo for a closeup of the entire thing.

Now looking at the other side, which does say New York but has New Jersey in the background. Oh well, Pennsylvania was in the background of the first photo anyway. Click on this one for a closeup of the other side of the monument.

Returning a few years later, I noticed that the narrow side of the NJ/NY monument is labeled "Witness Monument." Witness monuments are used when an actual survey point cannot be marked for whatever reason (such as being in a river), and it has a defined offset and direction from what it's witnessing.

The smaller, slightly better located monument is as far southwest as possible on the island, on a fairly sturdy outcropping of cemented rocks.

Progressive degrees of closeness, right into the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey bronze marker. The reason Pennsylvania gets such a small slice of the pie is because the New York border extends slightly west of where the New Jersey border ends; this is so that the border stays in the middle of the Delaware River, since the Neversink River causes it to narrow (if we're progressing up the river from the south).

Turned west from the second, smaller tri-point monument looking into Pennsylvania along I-84. The real tri-point is approximately in the first melted section of river, at the left side of this photo.

Alternatively, from beneath Interstate 84 in a more scenic season, the tri-point is roughly in the river behind the monument at the right.

So, to close, if you'd like to visit, make sure it's between dawn and dusk, or you'll get locked into the cemetery. Make your way to the intersection of US 6 and Orange CR 15, which happens to be the continuation of NJ 23, outside Port Jervis, NY. This intersection is located between the I-84 East and West Exit 1s, so it is relatively easy to get to from anywhere nearby. Head west from there on US 6, past Orange CR 16/Maple Ave. (which is the continuation of CR 521 from New Jersey). You'll cross a small truss bridge, and then US 6 turns sharp right. Instead of turning sharp right, you turn left here (be careful for oncoming traffic) into the entrance to Laurel Grove Cemetery. Proceed around the one-way road (you start off to the left, not the right), and keep left. I did this after a warm spell caused some snowmelt, and the puddles were quite deep along the road, in case that's a concern (my Taurus made it through fine, but I had to skirt some of the largest ones). After a lot more speed-limit breaking than you thought possible (since 5 MPH is basically impossible in any car - I would still keep it to 15 or less though), suddenly there's a tall bridge over you and a place to park. It's random, but park there, and the first monument is to your right in the shadow of I-84. In the back of the parking lot there's somewhat of a rough-hewn path in the rocks, which you can follow down to the edge of the river and the southwestern tip of the cemetery island. That's where you'll see the small monument, and then you can brag to your friends that you didn't just visit the Tri-Point, but you busted your best sneakers making sure you got as close as possible. Or bring a kayak and circle around a bit until you're sure you hit it (the actual tri-point is about 300 feet due west of the large first monument, or about 250 feet parallel to the I-84 bridges west-northwest from the small second monument).

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