Portland Arch

Why You Should Visit 

Portland Arch is obviously beautiful with its dramatic sandstone gorge and the meandering creek that follows the well-worn path of the preserve. Also found is 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.


Fountain County


North Central Tillplain


436 Acres


State Nature Preserve, 1972

Owned & Managed By

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 climgs 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 rugged terrain of the preserve.

For More Information

Division of Nature Preserves


From Attica, travel south on U.S. 41 approximately 5 miles to C.R. 650 N. Turn right (west) on C.R. 650 N and travel roughly 5 miles to Fountain. Turn left on the gravel road and then left again on the next road to the north parking lot. The south parking lot and trailhead are further down the road, past the 90-degree turn.


Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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