Portland Arch
Portland Arch Portland Arch Nature Preserve in Fountain County © The Nature Conservancy

Places We Protect

Portland Arch

Indiana

Portland Arch is named for a natural bridge carved into the rock, a feature unique in our state.

Why You Should Visit 

Dedicated as a State Nature Preserve in 1972, Portland Arch in Foundation County is obviously beautiful with its dramatic sandstone gorge and the meandering creek that follows the well-worn path of the preserve. Also found are 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. 

Portland Arch is owned and managed by the Indiana Division of Nature Preserves.

What to See: Plants and Animals

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 climb 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 the rugged terrain of the preserve.

For More Information

Division of Nature Preserves