The “4 Corners’” lesser known, less popular cousin, I didn’t even know the “3 Corners” existed until this year (2021). Almost everyone knows about the “4 Corners” in the Southwest, but few know about the three states that meet in the Midwest. I had never heard of it until I researched things to do for (yet another) cross-country road trip with Kristi. The “3 Corners” is where the states of Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas meet. You can flip flop and bounce between the three, never knowing where one state ends and another one begins.
Truth be told, it’s not that impressive. It’s fun to stop at because it’s right off the interstate, but from what I’ve seen from pictures, it doesn’t compare to the “4 Corners” (this is firmly on my bucket list, although, full disclosure, I have heard it’s not that impressive either). It’s tucked back into the woods, down a bumpy and worn gravel road, and almost seems forgotten. It’s another roadside attraction that you would sadly miss if you didn’t know it was there. I’ve passed it twice myself without even knowing it.
It was established in 1857 by an 800-member expedition, which started at the southwest corner of Missouri and began walking north. The journey took 6-months and was comprised of soldiers, teamsters (people like handlers and trainers), cooks, astronomers, and surveyors. The stone marker was constructed in 1938 by the National Youth Administration.
Honestly, there’s not much there other than the simple plaque (stating the above information) and a stone map of Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas on the ground, encircled by a few wooden posts. There is an odd tower next to the marker, which was covered in graffiti. I have zero clue what it was or its purpose, as there was no sign or marker in sight.
It was fun and noteworthy to “stand in 3 states at the same time”. However, once you’ve stood there and taken your pictures, it’s pretty much time to move on. The whole visit took about 15 minutes. We had some trouble finding it, as we got lost and were bouncing between Kansas and Missouri. The GPS was trying to take us to it, we were just confused. Also – it’s not something I’d suggest doing at night… particularly if you are alone or just two women, like us. It’s too isolated of an area even though it’s practically right off of the interstate.
Overall, it’s worth a stop if you are passing the state line between Missouri and Oklahoma on Interstate 40 and have 15 to 20 minutes to spare. Come stand in three states at one time!