Porter West Preserve

Porter West Preserve is notable for sinkholes and a spring along the south edge of the woods, as well as a forest carpeted with spring wildflowers. It was a gift from the estate of David Porter, who operated a composting business in the open area that is now reverting to nature. A mowed trail branches to the left to reach a historic cemetery and wildlife ponds, and to the right to a loop trail in the woods that continues uphill into a mature forest.

Sycamore’s restoration efforts at the Porter West Preserve focus on invasive plant control. Eco Logic and the Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District have assisted with removing Asian bush honeysuckle, autumn olive, Bradford pear, and other woody invasives in the old field areas of the preserve. Staff and volunteer efforts to pull garlic mustard in the woods have reduced the amount of this invasive that competes with native spring wildflowers. Maintaining the hiking trails and parking area is another ongoing stewardship effort.


  • From the intersection of State Road 48 and W Vernal Pike, go north 0.2 miles.
  • Park at the first gate on Vernal Pike.
  • County: Monroe
  • Acres: 188
  • Features: Mature forest, spring wildflowers, sinkholes
  • Year acquired: 2008
  • Donated by: David Porter
  • Trail: ~2.6 miles, moderate
  • Parking capacity: There is room for three cars at the first gate and two cars at the second gate.