Thomas Preserve

A 7 acre island on the upper Deschutes River downstream from La Pine State Park.
  • Best visited via a guided tour.
  • No trails or facilities.
  • Wetlands and Deschutes River scenery.
  • Otters, osprey and a cool island Preserve.


The Thomas Preserve was donated to the Land Trust by Carla Thomas in 2001. Located downstream from LaPine State Park and before the Big River takeout, the Preserve contains both dry land and wetlands and is within a Federal Wild and Scenic Waterway and State Scenic Waterway.

  • What to See
    • Watch for wildlife: The Preserve provides habitat for migratory waterfowl, elk, deer, otter and other wildlife that frequent the island.
    • Brush up on your plants: The Preserve is seasonally flooded and contains wetlands and a high level of plant diversity.
  • Conservation Values

    The Preserve conserves significant wildlife habitat, a diversity of native plants, outstanding wetlands and river areas, and protects the integrity and scenic quality of the Deschutes River.

  • Restoration Activities

    The Thomas Preserve is relatively undisturbed and restoration activities have been limited to noxious weed control to protect the native plant communities. The Land Trust annually leads visits to the Preserve by canoe or kayak to increase awareness of this valuable wildlife habitat and to monitor conditions on the Preserve.

  • Know Before You Go

    The Thomas Preserve can only be visited on guided Land Trust tours or via hosted educational offerings. When visiting, please note that the Thomas Preserve is a rustic island nature preserve. There are no established facilities such as trails, toilets, trash removal, or parking.


    Preserve guidelines

    The Thomas Preserve can only be visited on guided tours or via other authorized use and is only accessible by boat. All use is conditional upon following these and any other posted rules:

    • Removal or disturbance of plants, wildlife, and historical artifacts is prohibited.
    • Dogs are not allowed.
    • No hunting, camping, campfires, or smoking.
    • Commercial use and private events are prohibited.

    Please note: the Thomas Preserve is private property owned by Deschutes Land Trust. Your use of the property is conditional upon these and any other posted rules. Preserve users failing to observe posted rules are trespassing and subject to applicable laws and penalties. Visitors to the Preserve may encounter risks associated with terrain, wildlife, and weather. Please exercise appropriate caution: the Deschutes Land Trust is not liable for injuries to Preserve visitors.

  • Driving Directions + Maps

    The Thomas Preserve is an island in the upper Deschutes River just downriver from where Fall River joins the Deschutes. Access to the Preserve is limited due to the sensitivity of the wetland habitats, fluctuation in river flows and the difficulty of getting to the site. The Preserve is best visited on a guided tour.

    The map below shows the location of the Thomas Preserve.