Portland Arch is obviously beautiful with its dramatic sandstone gorge and the meandering creek that follows the well-worn path of the preserve. Also found is an assemblage of natural communities and features including cliffs, forests, open prairies, spring-seep wetlands and savannas - all offering an abundance of plants, wildflowers and trees.
North Central Tillplain
State Nature Preserve, 1972
Division of Nature Preserves
The abundance of cliff-dwelling plant communities, diversity of ferns and primitive non-flowering plants are stunning. Hay-scented fern, Forbe's saxifrage, rock selaginella, and bulblet fern climgs the cliffs. In the bottoms and ravines of the canyon are forest stands of American beech, basswood, sugar maple and black walnut. Spring ephemerals beneath their canopy include Dutchman's breeches, trout lily, blue-eyed Mary, wood poppy and wood nettle. On the canyon's upper edge, a mix of white pines and oaks make the canopy that shade Canada blueberry, frostweed, wild-sarsparilla, witch hazel, serviceberry, partridgeberry and wintergreen. Gorgeous flowering dogwoods under these oaks promise branches of late-season fruit, guaranteeing the arrival of fall migrant birds. In the open oak woodlands of Portland Arch, look for even more wildflowers such as shooting star, yellow lady's slipper, New Jersey tea, American hazelnut, purple milkweed, showy goldenrod and many more savanna species.
There is a trail located on the moderate to rugged terrain of the preserve.
From Attica, travel south on U.S. 41 approximately 5 miles to C.R. 650 N. Turn right (west) on C.R. 650 N and travel roughly 5 miles to Fountain. Turn left on the gravel road and then left again on the next road to the north parking lot. The south parking lot and trailhead are further down the road, past the 90-degree turn.