Basic island data


Location: Potomac River, District of Columbia, US


Coordinates: 38.904° N, 77.080° W


Area: less than an acre total


Population: uninhabited




– Coordinates: Geographic Names Information System, US Geological Survey.

– Area: measurements Bing Maps, viewed August 2009.

– Legend: “Feature Detail Report for: Three Sisters Islands,” Geographic Names Information System, US Geological Survey, viewed August 2009.

– History: protest – Bob Levey and Jane Freundel Levey, Washington Post Magazine, November 26, 2000, B5.


Three Sisters Islands


The Three Sisters are a group of three tiny, rocky islets in the Potomac River, in the west of the District of Columbia.


They are very small – the smallest named islands in the District – at about 1,000 to 2,000 square feet each.  Each has a few shrubs or small trees.  Their areas change significantly with the rise and fall of the tides in the river.


They are frequently visited by recreational boaters.


A protest was held on one of the islands around 1964 against a highway bridge that would have crossed the Potomac just above the islands.  The bridge was never built.


In legend, the islets appeared magically after three sisters of an Analoston Indian chief drowned in a whirlpool at this spot.


The islands make a brief appearance in the 1998 disaster movie “Deep Impact.”




Three Sisters.jpg


Two of the Three Sisters


Image copyright – usable with link and attribution




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Copyright 1995-2009 Joshua Calder

Contact Joshua Calder at calder.josh[at] with questions or suggestions. 

island geography / biggest island