Coordinates: 40°48′N 73°18′W / 40.8°N 73.3°W / 40.8;
The "Outer Lands" coloured in green.
Outer Lands is a term denoting the prominent terminal moraine
archipelagic region off the southern coast of
New England in the
United States. This eight-county region of Massachusetts, Rhode
Island, Connecticut, and New York, comprises the peninsula of Cape Cod
and the islands of Martha's Vineyard, the Elizabeth Islands,
Nantucket, Block Island, and Long Island, as well as surrounding
islands and islets.
Though the existence of this archipelago is widely acknowledged by
geographers, it is rarely given a specific name. The Isles of Stirling
was the name granted in 1635 when the islands came into the possession
of William Alexander, 1st Earl of Stirling. "Outer Lands" is a term
popularized by author
Dorothy Sterling in her natural history guide of
the same name.
4 See also
Massachusetts section is often called the "Cape and Islands", with
the "Islands" subregion very specifically referring to Martha's
Vineyard and Nantucket, and other smaller islands in Dukes and
Long Island is often informally considered a part of the "New York
islands", together with
Staten Island and Manhattan. These islands are
geographically contiguous with the broader region. (The insular
Massachusetts sections were actually part of the Province of New York
for most of the late 17th century.)
Other islands in
Long Island Sound and
Rhode Island Sound are also
Rarely, Sandy Hook in New Jersey is included.
Outer Lands forms the insular northeasternmost extension of North
America's Atlantic coastal plain. The islands of the
Outer Lands were
formed by terminal moraines deposited by the recession of the
Laurentide ice sheet
Laurentide ice sheet during the Wisconsin glaciation.
Some of the islands are included in the archipelago due to proximity,
despite key geological differences, such as Manhattan, actually part
The islands are separated from the mainland by a series of bays and
sounds that used to make up Lake Connecticut, Lake Narragansett, and
other glacial lakes.
The region has historically had a strong maritime culture, with an
emphasis on fishing. From eastern
Long Island east, much of the region
has in recent decades taken on a summer colony character.
Outer Barrier Islands
Cape and Islands
New York Islands
Sandy Hook, NJ