Trip Report - Oct 16, 1992 - Jack Parsell
From Gilbert, WV, go NW on US 52 about 2 miles to a turn L across a bridge on the Gilbert Creek Road. Then, after 1.8 miles, tum R, avoiding the road to Baisden. Continue up over the height of land, past a mine operation, to Wharncliffe, which stretches out for some distance along the narrow valley of Bens Creek. Pass a turnoff road to the right, which is another route back to US 52, and continue on a poor dirt road down to Wharncliffe Station. When you approach the RR tracks, take a left turn-off that goes down under the tracks to a parking area by the river. Ford the river to an island, and then ford the main branch from the upstream tip of the island. You will then be in KY on the W shore of the river. Hike S along the bank on a poor trail which used to be a jeep road, for 0.6 mile to the tri-state point, which is a USGS survey marker on the top of a 2 foot high iron pipe at the high water mark above the river.
Update - Summer, 2006 - Bob Whitney
This tripoint was an adventure for Frank and me. We tried it in late July but the water was too deep and strong for us to wade across at the point Jack suggests. We also drove on a roadway in a southerly direction close to the RR tracks to a road going down to the water, a roughly about a mile south of the tripoint. It was not prudent to wade at this point.
We returned in mid August thinking we would be rowed across; however, this arrangement fell through, but the \water had now abated enough for wading. Note that the island to which Jack refers is rarely an island these days. A flood deposited enough silt and other material to block the eastern channel most of the time. After wading the main channel and climbing the ban]q the right fork seemed more promising. For a short distance we felt we must have been on an old jeep road, but it became like an old streambed calling for heavy bush whacking. This eased up as our GPS told us we were getting close. When your GPS tells you that you are getting within a few hundred feet of the marker, walk on the west side of two large rock formations. Pass the 2nd formation and the marker will be 15 to 20 feet south of it and, based on the water level when we were there, 40 to 50 feet from the water's edge. GPS: N 37/32.278 & W 81/58.087, varying slightly from Jack's N 37/32.270 & W 81/58.097.
After backtracking over . 1 mile we found a place where we were comfortable wading across, then climbed a steep, slippery bank to the RR tracks and the car. The tripoint should be accessible by reversing our exit route and using a GPS when descending to the river where caution is required. Use the tree branches for handholds.