Excessive remote access
There now follows a ranking of the top exclaves of states or territories in the United States. Criteria included size, population, interestingness, and funnyness.
- Point Roberts, WA: The Treaty of Oregon set the US-Canada border at the 49th parallel, but this cut across Point Roberts. The peninsula, which belongs to the state of Washington, has a population of nearly 2,000. It is believed to be a popular place of relocation for the US Federal Witness Protection Program.
- Alburgh Tongue, VT: A narrow peninsula that extends south into Lake Champlain straddles the 45th parallel. The portion in Vermont, the Alburgh Tongue, includes the town of Alburgh. US Highway 2 connects it to the rest of Vermont by way of North Hero Island, and to the state of New York.
- Ellis Island, NY: The original portion of Ellis Island belongs to the state of New York, but it is entirely surrounded by New Jersey land. All portions created by landfill – which amounts to nearly 90% of the island’s land area – belong to New Jersey. Hilariously, several buildings on the island straddle the border.
- Liberty Island, NY: Liberty Island is located in New Jersey waters but is New York land.
- Lost Peninsula, MI: The 1836 Toledo War resulted in the transfer of a strip of land, including the city of Toledo, from Michigan to Ohio. However, a small peninsula off the Toledo Strip was not transferred, and it is still part of Michigan to this day.
- Kaskaskia, IL: The town of Kaskaskia served as the capital of the Illinois Territory, and then as the first capital of the state of Illinois. Since then, the town has been hit by frequent floods. When the Mississippi River changed its course in the middle of the 19th century, Kaskaskia was isolated on the Missouri side. Now nearly abandoned, the town remains Illinois territory.
- Northwest Angle, MN: Lake of the Woods is shared between the United States and Canada, but the border angles in such a way as to create several exclaves that belong to Minnesota. Northwest Angle, the largest of these, is mostly a state forest.
- Kentucky Bend, KY: One of the many loops in the Mississippi River forms an exclave that is north of the Kentucky-Tennessee border. Kentucky Bend gets a mention in Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi.
- Finns Point, DE: The Delaware River separates the states of Delaware and New Jersey, but the river itself belongs to Delaware, as do a couple of promontories on the New Jersey side. Finns Point is one of these.
- Artificial Island, DE: The Delaware-New Jersey border crosses the northern tip of Artificial Island, creating a small peninsula that belongs to Delaware.
- Elm Point, MN: The next largest Minnesotan exclave on Lake of the Woods is the uninhabited Elm Point.
- Province Point, VT: A tiny peninsula near the Alburgh Tongue extends across the border and is therefore Vermont territory.