Thomas Robert Lilly Preserve

Good Hill Road, Roxbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut

128 acres

Robert and Maidza Van Deusen Preserve

Bacon Road, Roxbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut

21 acres


Saw Mill River Parkway north to its end (at mile marker 29); get onto US 684 and go about 11 miles (to mile marker 28) to exit 9E for US 684 east; drive about 10.2 miles to get off at Exit 7 for Route 7 north; drive a mile to get off at Exit 1 for Federal Road; at the light make a left turn; drive down to the next light and turn right onto Federal Road north; drive about 1.6 miles to make a right turn onto Route 133; at 3.5 miles you cross the bridge over the Housatonic River (and you are in Bridgewater); keep going until you reach a T-intersection, the intersection with Route 67; drive into the town of Roxbury.

Turn right onto Wellers Bridge Road.  Keep going straight onto Church Street and still farther heading straight to the intersection with Route 317 (Good Hill Road).   

Lilly:  There are two entrances to the trails at the Lilly Preserve. The first is on Good Hill Road (Route 317), two miles east of the green in Roxbury. The second is on Old Tophet Road. To reach the Tophet Road entrance, continue on Good Hill Road another mile from the first entrance. Turn left onto Welton Road. Follow Welton Road for .75 mi. and turn left onto Old Tophet. Follow Old Tophet .5 mi. to the parking area. The road is rocky, narrow, and poorly maintained. Please use caution!

Van Deusen:  The Preserve is located on Bacon Road. From the green in Roxbury, follow Good Hill Road (Route 317) east for 2.1 mi. Turn right onto Bacon Road. The trail entrance is 0.3 mi. on the right. Parking is along the side of the road.


1975  --  gift of Mrs. Natalie Todd Lilly.

1980  --  4 acres donated to the Preserve by Dione Todd Lilly Bowers.

1986  --  gift of Maidza van Deusen. 


Lilly Preserve:

The moderately difficult  Blue Blazed Loop is 1.5 miles long with its many swampy area. The Blue Loop passes through marshland and wooded swampland. On or near the banks of Jack's Brook the hiker encounters wetlands in many stages of development, from the predominantly sedge marsh to wooded swamp as evidenced by the irregular mounds of tussock sedge and the preponderance of red maples.

The moderately difficult Red Blazed Loop is 1 mile long with some relatively steep climbs.  The Red Loop traverses the upper wooded portion of the Preserve, and contains mixed hardwoods, and rock outcroppings. Stone walls lace the hillsides here as they do in so many areas of the New England countryside.

8/02/2005.  On a very warm, humid day, dog Sonar and I parked at a pull-off on the west side of Good Hill Road (Route 317) a short distance before reaching the entrance to the preserve on the left.  We walked along the road heading north besides a barb-wire fence.  There is a red maple swampy area and a large meadow.  There were many wet meadow habitat species in bloom. Very nice. 

Returned to the car and then walked over to the preserve entrance.  I was not interested in doing the walk this day.  I primarily spent my time copying the map of the Roxbury Land Trust lands onto my detailed road map.  It was uncomfortable standing in the sun by the kiosk finding on my map the places of the RLT lands. Got back i the car and drove to the next park/preserve.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.


Van Deusen:

The easy trail is less than 0.1 of a mile long but has a lot of wet areas.  Jack's Brook travels through the Preserve, which is primarily a swamp, with large areas of standing water present year round. The trail leads from the road to a viewing point near the edge of the water. The preserve is host to many species of bird, including several types of waterfowl. There are no trail blazes.

The preserve is right off Route 317 and is easily accessed.  The trail meanders through interesting woodlands and near a wetlands area that usually produces a lot of bird activity.

This is a tranquil hike with relatively flat terrain that loops around to meet route Route 317 again just a few hundred feet up the road from your car at the main trail entrance. You'll start your hike by stepping in some thick brush right off the main road and immediately you'll begin to feel like you've entered another world.  This is classic Connecticut woodlands with views of the wetlands through the trees.  Look up at the spectacular trees and stop along the way to listen to the birds sing their song and bounce around from branch to branch.  The main section of the trail loops to the left as you proceed (there is a section of trail going off to the right into the woods about mile into the hike and towards open farmland).  Eventually you can take a short side trail to a memorial plaque with a nice footbridge over a cascading stream.  The memorial is in memory of Thomas Robert Lilly who donated 128 acres in 1975.  It's a nice, peaceful scene here and he would be very happy to know that this bit of land is still going strong and serving the purpose that he intended. Take a short walk over to the small parking area with the posted signs while you're here.  Read about the Highland steer and then make your way back onto the main trail and head down to where the Highland graze and get a close-up look at these unique animals.

The trail ends at 317 and you should see your car a few hundred feet down the road. Walk along the grass to your car as this road is a main road and traffic really breezes along here.  All in all this is a straightforward hike.  It's easy to do the whole loop and if you want additional hiking there are side trails.  Unfortunately these side trails are not hiked often and as a result the side trails are not easily clear so be careful if you venture off.  Just pay attention to the trail or you could be standing in the middle of the woods going "where am I."

Main Attractions: Woodlands, wetlands, interesting side trail, bird watching.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

* =  plant(s) blooming on date of field trip, 8/02/2005

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus malus (apple)

Shrubs and Subshrubs:
Alnus serrulata (smooth alder) 
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cornus amomum (corn dogwood)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow honeysuckle)
Prunus virginiana (chokecherry) ?
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)  
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)  
Salix sp. (willow)  
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet)     *
Viburnum dentatum (smooth arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum lentago (nannyberry viburnum)  

Apios americana (groundnut)     *
Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed)     *
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis aestivalis (summer grape)

Achillea millefolium (yarrow)      *
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)    *
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Arctium minus (common burdock)     *
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)     *
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Bidens spp. (beggar tick)
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy)     *
Cichorium intybus (chicory)     *
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)     *
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)     *
Coronilla varia (crow vetch)     *
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)     *
Desmodium canadense (showy tick trefoil)    *
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane)       *
Eupatorium maculatum (spotted Joe-Pye-weed)      *
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)    
Galium mollugo (wild madder)     *
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)
Hypericum perforatum (common St. Johnswort)     *
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)     *
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper)      *
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs)     *
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil)     *
Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife)     *
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)      *
Medicago lupulina (black medick)   *
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover)     *
Mimulus ringens (monkey flower)     *
Myosotis scorpioides (forget-me-not)     *
Nymphaea odorata (fragrant white water lily)     *
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)     *
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)    *
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)     *
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed)     *
Polygonum sp. (smartweed) 
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)  
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)      *
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup)     *
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet)     *
Sedum telephioides (garden sedum)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade)      *
Solidago rugosa (rough-leaved goldenrod)    
Sparganium sp. (burreed)
Stellaria pubera (star chickweed)     *
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)    *
Teucrium canadense (American germander)     *
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)     *
Trifolium pratense (red clover)    *
Trifolium repens (white clover)    *
Verbena hastata (blue vervain)     *
Vernonia noveboracensis (New York ironweed)     *
Vicia cracca (cow vetch)     *

Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Cyperus strigosus (umbrella sedge)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark-green bulrush)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Bromus inermis (smooth brome grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Elytrigia repens (quack grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)
Phleum pratense (Timothy grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass)
Setaria sp. (foxtail grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern)


Back to the w. Connecticut Page
Back to the Main Page