Places We Protect

Bluffs of Beaver Bend


Located in Martin County, Indiana.
Bluffs of Beaver Bend Located in Martin County, Indiana. © Ron Leonetti

A botanical and geological wonderland rich in history and local lore.



Why You Should Visit

One of the crown jewels of our state's nature preserves, the Bluffs of Beaver Bend in Martin County offers colorful sandstone cliffs that tower over the White River. Ferns and a variety of lower plants carpet the cliffs and hillsides with a kaleidoscope of colors and textures. Look for the sections of cliffs that have broken away from the bedrock and exposed unique geologic formations.

Bluffs of Beaver Bend has been known by several names including White River Bluffs, Sprout Springs, and Gormerly's Bluff. The area, now named for the large bend of the White River and Beaver Creek, has a rich history. Native Americans used the bluffs as shelter and the river as a source of food. Large beds of freshwater mussels existed in the river, and traces of these shells can still be found today. Moonshiners, bootleggers, and gangsters have also played a part in tales told about the Bluffs, as has buried treasure. Regardless of whether these stories are true, the Bluffs of Beaver Bend is truly a gem.

What The Nature Conservancy is Doing/has Done

The Nature Conservancy further consolidated the site, giving Bluffs of Beaver Bend permanent and sustainable protection. With the DNP, the Conservancy is reforesting the floodplain to buffer the high-quality preserve lands. The existing woods will be protected and the lowlands will be restored to bottom-land hardwoods and managed as a natural area.

The preserve is owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy and the Indiana Division of Nature Preserves. Work done here is in partnership with the Indiana Heritage Trust, Department of Natural Resources, and Natural Resources Conservation Services.




Open year-round from dawn to dusk.


748 acres

Explore our work in this region

What to See: Plant and Animals

The preserve is noted for the variety of ferns that grace its cliffs and hillsides, including ebony and pinnatifid spleenwort, marginal and crested shield ferns, walking ferns, Christmas ferns and the lovey maidenhair fern. Almost 40 species of trees and nearly 20 kinds of shrubs have been identified at the preserve, as well as dozens of mosses, liverworts, lichens and other understory plants. Keep an eye out and your ears open for migrating Warblers and the common Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers.

With a road running between the East Fork of the White River and the preserve, the Bluffs of Beaver Bend is one the most accessible preserves the Conservancy has to offer. Trails do not yet exist on the preserve, so please be cautious and aware of your surroundings when hiking.

For More Information

Division of Nature Preserves