Portland Arch Nature Preserve

MODERATE 27 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.

DISTANCE
0.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
98 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

trail running

forest

river

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.

hiking
12 days ago

hiking
14 days 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.

hiking
18 days ago

21 days ago

great trail great scenery

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

BEAUTIFUL short easy walk in the woods

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

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.

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

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.

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

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.

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

hiking
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.