Green's Bluff
Green's Bluff in Owen County Green's Bluff in Owen County © Ron Leonetti

Places We Protect

Indiana

Green's Bluff

Scenic sandstone cliffs, wooded slopes and a meandering creek make up this great preserve.

Why You Should Visit

Dedicated as a State Nature Preserve in 1986, Green’s Bluff in Owen County is a large wooded riparian habitat with uplands, ravines, tributary valleys, steep cliffs, karst features, hemlock forest, and floodplain forest. The preserve also features a great blue heron rookery as well as an old grist mill whose remnants can be found in a bend of Raccoon Creek.

What The Nature Conservancy is Doing/has Done

The Conservancy has added important acreage and protected the site from imminent development. We are also actively pursuing more additions at the preserve to consolidate protection of oak forests. Ongoing stewardship tasks include trash removal, boundary posting, interior fence removal, and tree planting.

This work is done in partnership with the Indiana Department of Nature Preserves & Indiana Heritage Trust.

What to See: Plants and Animals

Several dense stands of hemlock trees cover the steep slopes and cliffs along the south side of the valley. Thick beech-maple woods grow in the rugged ravines while sycamore trees tower over the scouring rush (horsetails) which flourish along the creek. Green’s Bluff is one of two Indiana sites where mountain spleenwort can be found. Other rare plants include hay-scented fern, goldenseal and spotted wintergreen. Spring is a great time to view the vast array of stunning wildflowers, and the view from atop the sandstone bluff reveals a wooded landscape that feels like true wilderness.

The bluffs also boast a Great Blue Heron rookery; getting too close will be met with loud, raucous calls from the clan. The Wood Thrush, Red-eyed Vireo, Acadian Flycatcher, Scarlet Tanager and Louisiana Woodthrush can also be found either nesting high in the trees or nesting in the brush. Leopard frogs, green frogs and banded water snakes are among the amphibians and reptiles found at the preserve. Various mollusks, crustaceans and fish also make their home in the meandering Raccoon Creek.

A trail has been established at the preserve, but can be quite rugged. Interpretive signs are found throughout the trail. For more information please consult the Conservancy’s Preserve Visitation Guidelines.