Pine Hills Nature Preserve in Montgomery County.
Pine Hills Nature Preserve in Montgomery County. © Ron Leonetti

Places We Protect

Pine Hills

Indiana

Pine Hills could very well be Indiana's best-kept secret.

Why You Should Visit 

First designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1968, Pine Hills in Montgomery County I become Indiana's first dedicated nature preserve in 1969. It is a remarkable example of the natural beauty our state has to offer. Hogback ridges with steep dropoffs, craggy hills, deep gorges, and extensive sandstone bluffs are covered with stands of evergreens and hardwood trees. It is truly an outstanding natural area, and well-deserving of the praises so many Hoosiers have bestowed upon it. 

Fun fact - Pine Hills was the first project of The Nature Conservancy's Indiana Chapter! 

The site is owned and managed by the Indiana Division of State Parks and Reservoirs.

Plants and Animals

Groves of northern relict hemlock, white pine, Canada yews, old-growth oak, hickory forests and virgin beech/maple woods make Pine Hills one of Indiana's finest woodlands. Five miles of clear streams flow past overhanging cliffs and treacherous rock slides, so please step with care, especially around the several steep backbones - like the Devil's Backbone, Turkey Backbone, and Mill Cut Backbone - which have dropoffs of 70 -125 feet. The variety of terrain provides habitat for various species of wildflowers, ferns, and other rare plants.

The easy to moderate terrain and existing trails at the preserve will make for an exciting hike around the preserves. It can be easy to get lost in these woods with its switchbacks and box canyons, so be cautious of your steps. For more hiking opportunities in the area, visit the adjacent Shades State Park.

For More Information

Division of State Parks and Reservoirs