Located in the foothills northeast of Byblos (Jbeil) is the pine forest that comprises the Bentael Nature Reserve. One of the smallest nature reserves in Lebanon, at 1.5km2, this reserve is noteworthy because of its history. Founded in 1981, this protected area was bequeathed to the Ministry of the Environment by the people of the village of Bentael. It was one of the first parks to be created in Lebanon and set an example for the need to conserve Lebanon’s natural areas.
The reserve is situated in the flight path of migratory hawks, eagles, and other raptors and is enjoyed by bird enthusiasts. Visitors can access the reserve via one of two entrances: one near the village of Mechehlène and the other in the upper region of Bentael.