Cedar Bluffs Nature Preserve

Natural Areas: Cedar Bluffs Nature Preserve

State Designated Nature Preserve [#42; 1976]

View of the bluffs

Bluff. Click to enlarge

The trail at Cedar Bluffs meanders through floodplain forest before approaching and then paralleling Clear Creek, where it becomes a challenging scramble over sharply slanted, unstable, and/or wet rocks. Continue until you reach the end of the bluff, then turn left, and begin working your way around to its back side. The trail ascends via a couple of rocky and occasionally slick switchbacks with low clearance. Ferns and wildflowers cling to crevices and small pockets of soil on the bluff face. Watch for purple-stemmed cliffbrake, a rather primitive-looking fern with widely spaced, sometimes grayish leaflets. Excellent views of the surrounding countryside await on top. A lollipop trail loops through a stand of the red cedar from which the property takes part of its name. This scenic perch is a popular spot with folks from nearby Bloomington and you are likely to have company. When leaving, retrace your steps.

Trail Map

trail map

Click to enlarge


Monroe County. From I-69 Exit 114, south 3.0 miles on IN 37 to Smithville Rd, then right, under Old IN 37, to the stop sign. Straight at the stop sign onto what become Ketcham Rd. Continue 3.6 miles to a parking pull-off on the right, under the power lines.

GPS: N 39 02.111 W 86 34.067



Finder Sketch

Click to enlarge

Nearby Natural Areas (miles)

Cedar Nature Preserve (2.9)
Leonard Springs Nature Park (9.5)
Canyon Forest Nature Preserve (12.9)
Porter West Nature Preserve (15.8)
Scarlet Oak Woods (18.3)
Branigin Nature Preserve (19.2)