Pomona Natural Land bridge

Pomona Natural Land bridge

The Pomona Natural Bridge located in Pomona Illinois is a great quick hike for all ages. This hidden hiking treasure is a 15-30 minute drive from several Southern Illinois towns such as Carbondale, Cobden, Alto Pass, Murphysboro and Anna.

The Hiking Trail

There is ample parking at the trailhead. The hiking trail is easily identified with its gravel cover and small blue sign. The trail slopes downward at a moderate rate immediately after it begins. No more than a quarter mile into the hike, the path comes to a fork. Going left will slightly increase your travel distance to the Natural Bridge, but is much more kid friendly.

There are one or two small walking platforms raised 1-2 feet above the mostly dry creek along the way. Turn right at the fork and travel around a 100 yards. When you see railings twisting towards the right, catch the first glimpse of this spectacular scenery as the natural bridge comes into view. Following this trail, hikers will come out on the high side of the bridge. The trail makes a complete loop that is around 1/3 of mile long starting and ending at the fork.

The Natural Bridge

The bridge is right at 90 feet long and a little over 8 feet wide at its widest point.   The bridge begins about 30 feet in the air and slopes slightly downward  to around 20-25 feet at the other end.  Being made entirely of sandstone it’s obvious the bridge was carved out over many years of water wearing at it.

Best part of the Hike – a Shallow Shawnee Cave!

The Natural Bridge is pretty neat to see, but my kids find climbing on the rocks and playing by the small creek below the bridge to be most enjoyable. To our surprise we also found a very shallow cave just a few yards downstream of the bridge. Definitely lots of great exploring to be done in the area for all ages.

Short Shawnee Hike Specifics

This is a quick and easy hike with a high reward after a very short hike. You may find longer walks going from a parking lot into a store. Located just off of the Southern Illinois Wine trail, this is a must see for those wine trail and farmer’s market visitors. This is a perfect hike to pepper into any hiking itinerary in the Shawnee National Forest and Southern Illinois area.

What do I need to know before hiking?

  • Allocate at least 30 – 90 minutes for this hike, to indulge in the scenery you may opt for a longer visit.
  • This is a heavily wooded area with a variety of plant life which makes for a perfect insect habitat, so bring bug spray in summer & early fall.
  • This hike is not stroller friendly; however it is perfect for older children to burn some energy and marvel at unique natural phenomena.
  • There is no camping or major backpacking areas near this trail, so you may want to book a cabin or check into hotels in the area.

Trail Map provided by Forestry Service (PDF version)

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