Ben Lilly Conservation Area
LDWF purchased Ben Lilly Conservation Area from the Nature Conservancy in the spring of 2013. The area was named in honor of Benjamin Vernon “Ben” Lilly, a noted outdoorsman who spent some of his early years in Morehouse Parish and guided President Theodore Roosevelt on a hunting expedition in northeast Louisiana in the early 1900s.
The northern boundary of Ben Lilly Conservation Area is contiguous with a portion of the southern boundary of Chemin-A-Haut State Park. The area consists of mainly fallow pastureland with a corridor of mature hardwood tree species bordering Bayou Bartholomew. Prior to LDWF’s acquisition of the property, the Nature Conservancy reforested approximately 140 acres of the fallow land with hardwood tree species indigenous to the area. Trees include nuttall, water, willow, and overcup oak; American elm; sweetgum; bitter pecan; honey locust; sugarberry; black willow; American sycamore; persimmon; red maple; river birch; cottonwood; and cypress. Understory species include rattan, Rubus sp., Vitis sp., deciduous holly, elderberry, Smilax sp., baccharis, poison ivy, and many herbaceous species.
Activities and Amenities
No public hunting.
Boating: LDWF constructed an improved boat launch, with parking lot and access road, on the property in 2015.
Birding and wildlife viewing: Common species include white-tailed deer, waterfowl, squirrels, rabbits, and doves. Black bears also frequent this area; reported sightings have been increasing.
Other: hiking, horseback riding
Ben Lilly Conservation Area is located approximately 10 miles north of Bastrop. The major access route to the area is US Hwy 425. Access to the area is walk-in only.