Stephen Phillips Memorial Preserve
Wilderness Camping

The Stephen Phillips Memorial Preserve Trust is the result of the foresight and generosity of the late Stephen Phillips of Salem, Massachusetts, who bought Students Island and the adjoining mainland shorefront in 1963 with an eye to conserving an area of natural beauty. As a man who loved Maine’s wilderness and as an avid camper himself, his vision was to permanently preserve the island as a favorite camping location for canoeist traversing the Rangeley chain of lakes.  After his death, his widow, Bessie Wright Phillips, worked to complete his dreams by creating this charitable trust, adding more land and placing conservation easements on over four miles of lakeshore.  They have left the public a remarkable legacy of a wilderness camping area.  


This area has more then 6,000 acres and over four miles of lake shore has been put under a board of trustees to assure its maintenance in a natural state.  It is available to the public for primitive camping, picnicking, fishing, nature study and like activities.  


There are twenty-five sites on the mainland near the log cabin with parking facilities for each of the mainland sites.  Eighteen sites on Student’s Island, six on Toothaker Island, and seventeen more on the western shore and islands attainable only by water (Some of these sites are protected by the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust Conservation Easement).  All campsites are provided with fireplaces, picnic tables, and toilet facilities and are maintained by Preserve trust employees.  Additionally, there are groomed nature trails on Student’s Island.  Water, firewood, canoe rentals, and a trash facility available at the Log Cabin Office on the mainland.   


The Preserve trustees ask that you treat this unique property with the same care that has been given by the donors and the Trust employees.  We hope you consider that this area has been in trust for you, the public.  As the purpose of the Trust is charitable, the fees are set at a level that is meant to be adequate to cover the cost of maintenance, taxes, and insurance.  However, camping fees, timber income (restricted under the RLHT easements), and miscellaneous, receipts do not always cover the mandatory expenses of insurance, payroll, equipment and taxes.  Donations of any size are always welcome to help preserve in perpetuity this area of remarkable beauty for your enjoyment.  Have a great stay, and consider helping us preserve the beauty of this natural area for all to enjoy in years to come.  

About Us

Check us out:


Sun Journal: Heaven is a place called Phillips Preserve, and you can get there from here


Yankee Magazine: Best Primitive Camping


Downeast Magazine: Island Getaway


Downeast Magazine: Time-lapse video

Learn about the scholarship program:


The Stephen Phillips Memorial Scholarship Fund