While most visitors to New York will be all-too-familiar with the island of Manhattan, most will not have heard of this tiny island about the size of a tennis court on the north coast of the state.
Sitting just off the village of Alexandria Bay, this small stretch known as Just Enough Room Island just about manages to hold a house, a tree, shrubs and a small beach – making it the smallest inhabited island in the world.
Housing a few deck chairs and a single cottage with walls built right to the edges of its 30,000 sq-ft space, the private patch formerly known as Hub Island was purchased in the 1950s by the wealthy Sizeland family who wanted to build a holiday home.
But their hopes for quiet family escapes were quickly shattered as the island became a popular viewing attraction for its miniature size among tourists cruising along the St Lawrence River.
The historic land is half the size of Britain's Bishop Rock, in the Isles of Scilly, which was the former smallest inhabited island in the world before losing its Guinness Book of Records title in 1982 after its lighthouse was automated and no longer required a human to operate it.
Sizeland's charming speck of land is just one of 1,864 islands that form the Thousand Islands archipelago straddling the Canada-US border along a 100 mile-stretch of the St Lawrence. To qualify as an island in the region, the patch must remain above the water level throughout the year and be able to sustain at least one tree – Just Enough Room Island just about meets these criteria.
Most of the Thousand Islands are not open to visitors and the few that are can only be reached by boat. Tourists can book boat tours to view the islands from the water.
One of the only islands offering accommodation to visitors is the Island Boat House on Occident Island, which has been owned by the same family since 1900. The two-room b&b, which is also listed on Airbnb, features a spacious deck overlooking the scenic river.
Each one of the Thousand Islands has a fascinating history to unpack, such as on Heart Island which houses the beautifully restored Boldt Castle. The former mansion was built in 1904 by George Boldt, the general manager of the historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York at the time, as a gift to his wife. The property was aimed to be the largest private home in the US as a six-storey castle home.
Mr Boldt also built a yacht house on nearby Wellesley Island, one of the largest islands of the archipelago named after Britain's Arthur Wellesley, the First Duke of Wellington in 1815 by British naval officer William Fitzwilliam Owen who reviewed the US-Canada border at the time.
Listed among the country's National Register of Historic Places since 1982, the island offers two state parks, a nature centre and three golf courses.
Each of New York's five boroughs is home to several small islands amounting to around 40 islands in total, including Hart Island in the Bronx. The tiny uninhabited island is America's largest mass burial site where more than a million unclaimed and unidentified bodies have been buried since 1868.
The Telegraph, London
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