Fall Creek Gorge
Fall Creek Gorge Garlic mustard pull workday at Fall Creek Gorge © Derek Luchik/TNC

Places We Protect

Fall Creek Gorge


Fall Creek Gorge Nature Preserve has been described as modern art on an ancient canvas.

Why You Should Visit

Fall Creek Gorge is one of the most scenic areas in west central Indiana with its steep walled canyons, tumbling waters, and potholes — large, circular openings in the sandrock that form the bed of the canyon — providing a picturesque home for unusual flora and thriving fauna.

What The Nature Conservancy is Doing/has Done

The Conservancy is constantly working to protect and maintain viable populations of forest-associated plants and animals. Invasive species control and trail maintenance is always a concern. Another concern is how the gorge is "loved to death" by heavy visitation in the past years. Local volunteers do monitor the preserve, particularly on summer weekends when visitors are tempted to defy the parking lot rule (once full, no further visitors are allowed). While we want fellow Hoosiers to enjoy this fantastic preserve, we also want to make sure that it is well-protected for future generations. Please keep in this in mind when visiting.


What to See: Plants and Animals

White pines have found favorable habitat on the edges of the sandstone cliffs while the oak-hickory woods dominate the ridges. Liverworts, lichens, mosses, ferns and many other plants are found in abundance. Beautiful wildflowers are displayed in the spring beginning with the snow trilliums very early in the season, forked aster and native bush honeysuckle. The gorge is best known for its potholes, which are large, almost circular openings in the sandrock that form the bed of the canyon.

This preserve is beautiful every season of the year. As it is heavily visited in the summer, the best time to visit is during the week and in the late fall, winter and early spring when fewer people are likely to be there.

The preserve is open to the public from dawn to dusk. While trails are developed, they are quite rugged. Please note that due to overuse of this area, the number of visitors to the site is now being limited. All visitors must park in the small parking lot on Conservancy land. Once this parking lot is full (and it can fill quickly on weekends), no further visitors are allowed. No parking is allowed on the adjacent Potholes Road, and the county rigorously enforces this ban. You will be ticketed if you park on his road!

Swimming, wading, rock climbing, rappelling, camping, campfires, alcohol and picnicking are not allowed at Fall Creek Gorge. Please carry any trash back out with you. For more information please consult the Conservancy’s Preserves Visitation Guidelines.