Powell Preserve

Powell Preserve has been temporarily closed due to damage to the parking area caused by erosion. This closure will last approximately one year to facilitate the streambank restoration process and protect public safety.

The project will be partially funded by a generous grant from the LARE program to keep the preserve open to the public in the future. Organizations in twenty-one Indiana counties will receive funds to use to improve local water bodies, thanks to $1,450,800 in grants awarded by DNR Director Dan Bortner through the Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program. LARE grants are funded through the annual LARE fee paid by boat owners when they register their watercraft with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Sycamore is seeking donations to help fund the rest of the restoration work at Powell Preserve, as well as future trailhead improvements and visitor enhancements. To contribute, visit Thank you for helping us protect land and connect more people to nature!

This preserve offers a diverse mix of habitats: forested hills, bottomland woods, and a prairie planting with native wildflowers and grasses—a great place to look for butterflies in the late summer and fall! It borders Beanblossom Creek, which flows into the West Fork of White River not far downstream. A mowed trail starts by the gate and loops around the prairie.

Restoration efforts at the preserve began in 2006 when Sycamore volunteers planted 700 native hardwood trees to reforest a portion of the former hay field on the preserve. The remainder of the field was planted with native wildflowers and grasses in 2007 thanks to a grant from Cinergy, now Duke Energy, which owns the transmission line crossing the field. A small wetland area was created in 2015 as mitigation for a Monroe County Highway Department bridge project. Ongoing efforts include pulling invasive garlic mustard along the road, and mowing the prairie annually to keep out trees.

  • From SR 46 W in Ellettsville, turn right onto Matthews Rd.
  • After 1.5 mi, turn left onto Mt. Tabor Rd and go 4 mi to Brighton Rd. Turn left on Brighton.
  • After 0.5 mi, park at the pull-off on your left.
  • County: Monroe
  • Acres: 68
  • Features: native prairie, butterflies, American woodcocks
  • Year acquired: 2003
  • Donated by: Patsy Powell
  • Trail: 1 mile, easy
  • Parking capacity: There is room for four cars at the gravel trailhead