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Portland Arch Nature Preserve

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Portland Arch Nature Preserve

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: 91 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

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 hours ago

stay on main trail, do not deviate by river. so beautiful!

Loved it! Awesome arch.

hiking
28 days ago

A lot of wildflowers are out right now. Cliff areas are wonderful and the arch is unique. The trail is very short. If you want a little distance, park at the south trail, do that one first, walk down the road to this trailhead, complete the loop and return to the south lot. Not a lot of vehicle park at the south lot and no one was on the south trail yesterday.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing! Only has 2 trails so it's not a long hike but it's definitely worth going. The sandstone formations are beautiful!

hiking
4 months ago

We enjoyed the hike with both our dogs on a lightly snowy day. One is a tripod, and this was the perfect distance and terraine for her. we saw beautiful rock formations reminiscent of Turkey Run trail 3.

hiking
4 months ago

Well used today, New Years Day. Great for a short, leisurely family hike with scenic rock formations.

hiking
4 months ago

Very simple trail with amazing rock formations. Very pet friendly and numerous dogs out on the trail.

Highly recommended. Shortish look but plenty to keep it interesting.

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

Amazing trail! It's relatively short but provides a lot more than I expected!

Great short loop trail. Well marked and not heavily trafficked. Minimal bugs.

hiking
8 months ago

Nice little gem with plenty of solitude. Think Shades without the crowd. Very easy trail.

Mon Jan 07 2019

Short hike but worth the trip!

hiking
Sun Nov 04 2018

Fascinating geological site. You can get up close to observe parallel rock layers that break and fold and are quite colorful. The trail is quite steep in a couple places and though safe if you are cautious, I would not bring a young child here unless well disciplined. The arch itself is small and can be muddy. Well worth driving a distance...an unusual site, which I found by accident, spotting on a map.

hiking
Mon Oct 22 2018

I hiked this on my 61st birthday. I have to say I'm not a real hiker; I'm more of a person who strolls through the woods. I also have to say that I am obese and clumsy. Once, I tripped over a pine cone and broke my wrist in 4 places. Therefore, I found going down to the water pretty scary stuff. It was well worth it; truly beautiful, and my dog and I had it to ourselves. Going up wasn't scary, but my heart was sure pounding!

Sun Aug 12 2018

This trail is a true hidden gem. one of the prettiest in Indiana.

hiking
Sun Jul 29 2018

Beautiful trail.

hiking
Fri Jul 06 2018

Second time doing this trail. There were three trees down when i went to be prepared to walk/climb over them if you go within the next week or so. I love the scenery of this hike. Very easy but can be made more difficult by going off trail.

Tue May 15 2018

great little trail with interesting views. South trail not so much

hiking
Wed May 02 2018

short trail but very pretty!

Tue Apr 24 2018

I love this trail! It’s a beautiful bit of Indiana.

hiking
Fri Apr 06 2018

nice short trail

hiking
Mon Sep 04 2017

Small but beautiful. Loved the view.

hiking
Mon Aug 07 2017

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.

Mon Jul 31 2017

great trail great scenery

hiking
Mon Jul 10 2017

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

hiking
Fri Jul 07 2017

BEAUTIFUL short easy walk in the woods

hiking
Sat Feb 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.

hiking
Mon Jan 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.

hiking
Tue Oct 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.

hiking
Sun Jul 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!

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