Portland Arch Nature Preserve

MODERATE 32 reviews

Portland Arch Nature Preserve is a 0.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Attica, Indiana that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

0.8 miles
91 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly


trail running



Bear Creek flows through a deep ravine with high rock walls. It is joined by a small tributary stream that has carved an opening through a massive Mansfield sandstone formation and created a natural bridge known as Portland Arch. A few native white pine are mixed with oaks and hickories on the thin mantle of soil on steep slopes. The ground is covered with mosses and lichens, and supports scattered beds of blueberry, huckleberry, and wintergreen. This is the only place in the state where the Canada blueberry is found. The rare bush honeysuckle is found here as well. Vertical cliff faces have small crevices from which grow bulblet, hayscented, and marginal shield ferns. Several colonies of Forbes saxifrage are found in larger pockets of soil. Liverworts cover moist portions of some rocks, and are occasionally joined by the creeping fronds of walking fern. Portland Arch has been recognized for its uniqueness since the first settlers came to western Indiana. A resort and then a Boy Scout camp were located in this area in the past. Now Portland Arch is a National Natural Landmark, as well as a nature preserve.

5 months ago

Small but beautiful. Loved the view.

6 months ago

This is such a beautiful place. Wasn't too far of a drive from Indy along I74. We were there early Sunday morning and no one was there. DNR has done a wonderful job with trail maintenance--thank you! The Arch trail was such a beautiful site. We did wonder over to the south trail, which was a more intense hike.

6 months ago

great trail great scenery

7 months ago

Main trail short and interesting. South trail slightly longer and harder, less interesting.

7 months ago

BEAUTIFUL short easy walk in the woods

Saturday, February 04, 2017

I walked the southern trail today with my dog. Dnr has been doing trail maintenance on the hills, so even without markers it was easy to follow. The middle part of the trail is straight and flat, kinda boring, but for being fifteen minutes away it's a nice walk.

Monday, January 02, 2017

nice little place off beaten trail. good views and a fun short hike. would rate moderate for the ups and downs but overall fairly easy. good views.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

This is what I wish all trails were like. There were beautiful rock formations where a river or stream had cut thru soft rock over a long period of time.

The only thing bad was how short it was.

There are actually two trails on the same road about 1/4 apart.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

I had a hard time finding all the signs for Portland Arch, but once you're on 650 N, turn left onto Clay St. (aka Scout Camp Rd.) and you'll find it. One there, I LOVED it! I'm a beginning hiker so it was great to have such a short and easy to follow trail while still feeling like I was actually hiking and being blown away by the beautiful arch/sandstone! There is one part at the end of the loop where you can just look down and see how far you hiked- 50 ft. I have a lot more to discover, but this is the most beautiful place to me right now!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

One of the most scenic locales in West Central Indiana

Sunday, April 24, 2016

very nice

cross country skiing
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Great time! Beautiful weather helped, but the scenery, creek, and arch are fun to explore.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Great well marked trails! I really enjoyed both trails, and am definitely going to do them again. My only wish is that they would connect the two trails to make them a bit longer. Then you wouldn't have to drive between them. I really enjoyed the very shear sandstone rock formations. Very fun hike.

Friday, May 23, 2014

I love this place. I went there today with my 4 year old son and german shepherd. Had to hold my son's hand in some places, but nothing that made it impassible.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

We had an unexpected warm day in the middle of January and decided to do some hiking. So I found this trail on this app and decided to go. We werent really expecting much but it turned out to be a pretty sweet little trail. We saw deer throughout the entire path and we all had a great time.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

We crept down dirt roads tentatively on our motorcycle to arrive here - an empty dirt parking lot awaited us. Excellent!

A change from motorcycle boots to my vibrams occured, and then we hit the trail.

This was challenging for us, the trail climbs and dives quite a bit. The trail is dirt but was very well marked and maintained (I'm almost allergic to *just looking* at poison ivy, and I spotted only 1 small plant on the trail).

An amazing hike, with beautiful views - we will definitely be coming here again and this time will remember 1. that the road here is dirt, so take it easy on our motorcycle and 2. to remember our insect repellant =)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Beautiful & peaceful trail. Make sure to sign in at the guest book! I've been on the Portland arches trail many times since I was a kid, but I always find something new everytime! Make sure to also visit the south trail, a lil further down the road. Is great for a more strenuous hike (mostly large gravel hill trail) also dogs are welcome here..

Friday, June 17, 2011

A pleasant surprise, indeed.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I had a wonderful sunny summer afternoon and decided to take this short loop trail near my home. The trail was well marked and maintained and was easy to follow, even for a newbie like me. I was a bit surprised at the many ups and downs and clearly this trail isn't for someone that can't walk up step inclines. The veiws along Bear Creek and and Portland Arch make this trail the first one that had me excitted about doing it again soon possibly in fall when the leaves are changing. There is an additional south trail nearby that was just as challenging but lacked some of the beauty of the sandstone cliffs and the arch area on this trail. They both are short trails and i'll probably do them both again this fall.

2 months ago

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