Definitions

42nd parallel

42nd parallel north

The 42nd parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 42 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane.

Starting at the Prime Meridian and heading eastwards, the parallel 42° north passes through:

Country, territory or sea Notes
Mediterranean Sea
Island of Corsica
Mediterranean Sea Tyrrhenian Sea
Adriatic Sea
Claimed by
Black Sea
Black Sea
Dagestan
Caspian Sea
Sea of Japan
Island of Hokkaidō
Pacific Ocean
Oregon / California border
Oregon / Nevada border
Idaho / Nevada border
Idaho / Utah border
Wyoming
Nebraska
Iowa
Illinois
Lake Michigan
Michigan
Lake Erie
Ontario
Lake Erie
Pennsylvania border
New York / Pennsylvania border
New York
Connecticut
Rhode Island
Massachusetts
Atlantic Ocean

United States

The parallel 42° north forms most of the New York-Pennsylvania border, although due to imperfect surveying in 1785-1786, this boundary wanders around on both sides of the true parallel. The area around the parallel in this region is known as the Twin Tiers.

The Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819 established the parallel 42° north as the border between the Viceroyality of New Spain of the Kingdom of Spain and the western territory of the United States of America from the meridian of the headwaters of the Arkansas River west to the Pacific Ocean. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848 then ceded much of what was then northern Mexico to the United States; as a result, the northernmost U.S. states which were created from Mexican territory (California, Nevada, and Utah) have the parallel 42° north as their northern border, and the adjoining U.S. states of Oregon and Idaho have the parallel 42° north as their southern border.

The parallel 42° north passes through the southern end of Lake Michigan and Lake Erie. Part of the water boundary between the United States and Canada passes south of the 42nd parallel, and the southern tip of the Canadian province of Ontario just barely goes south of it - this is located at Point Pelee and Pelee Island.

The parallel passes through the states of Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and passes through (or near - within one-half degree of latitude) the following cities in the United States: Medford, Oregon, Yreka, California, Des Moines, Iowa, Chicago, Illinois, Detroit, Michigan, Cleveland, Ohio, Erie, Pennsylvania, Binghamton, New York, Hartford, Connecticut, Providence, Rhode Island, and Boston, Massachusetts.

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