Shawnee National Forest
Pomona Natural Bridge is a popular natural bluff feature located near Pomona, Illinois, in the Shawnee National Forest, Mississippi Bluff Ranger District.
Pomona Natural Bridge is a moderately difficult loop trail that is 0.3-miles in length. It is considered moderately difficult due to steep slopes and slippery rock surfaces, especially wet. Most of the trail surface is gravel and dirt. Stairs and uneven trail conditions make this trail unsuitable for most disabled persons.
This trail is available for day use only and may be used by hikers only. Pets are OK if they are on a leash. There is plenty of parking, picnic and grilling areas, and some trail information signage. There are no restrooms on this trail, and all trash must be packed out.
Please remember to stay on the trail as private property connects to this area. Please respect the property of private landowners and do not trespass.
How to get to Pomona Natural Bridge
If traveling on Interstate-57 South near Anna, Illinois, Take Exit-30 (Anna/Vienna) and turn RIGHT onto Illinois-146.
- Drive 10-miles on IL-146 until you reach Illinois-127 and turn RIGHT, heading north.
- Drive 12-miles on IL-127 North until you reach Pomona Road and turn LEFT heading west.
- Drive an eighth of a mile to the stop sign on Pomona Road and turn RIGHT onto Natural Bridge Road.
- Drive about 380-feet until you see the gravel road on your right, just past the Pomona Town Hall at the curve’s start. Turn right onto that gravel road.
- Drive slowly on the gravel road due to potholes and respect the residents who live along this road. During heavier rains, portions of this road may wash out.
- Drive about 2-miles to the end of the road, and you’ll reach the trailhead.
The trail starts and finishes at the exact location.
Do note that this area may not be treated during wintry conditions.
What you will see at Pomona Natural Bridge
The main feature of this trail is the actual Natural Bridge which is a stone arch that spans 90-feet across. This arch was created naturally due to millions of years of erosion of the sandstone rock that makes it up. Hikers can walk across the top of the arch/bridge but are advised to be cautious, especially when wet, as the rocky surface can be slick.
During wetter conditions, the arch features a few small waterfalls.
You can also get different views of the bridge on either side and from the bottom under the arch.
The surrounding National Forest is made up of a combination of oak, hickory, beech forest, and non-native pine trees.
You can also use the trailhead as a picnicking and BBQ spot. This is a perfect trail for families and those with small children. Please monitor your children and pets, especially around the Natural Bridge, as a fall from it could be devastating.
Aside from fall hazards, this area has poison ivy and venomous snakes that naturally occur there. Avoid all of this by staying on the designated trail and watching every step you take.
Other Trails, lodging, Dining, and Shopping around Pomona Natural Bridge
For other hiking opportunities near Pomona Natural Bridge, check out Cove Hollow at Cedar Lake and Little Grand Canyon, both not far away. Check out Dutch Ridge Cabin and Cornerstone Cabins or camp at Pine Hills Campground for nearby lodging. Check out Bunmakers for great breakfast options and Pomona Winery for area dining. Head into the Village of Alto Pass for other unique shopping, dining, and lodging amenities.
Watch the videos for this trail!
Below is a recent video that we filmed while enjoying this area.
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Founder, Hiking with Shawn
Howdy folks! My name is Shawn Gossman and I founded Hiking with Shawn. I’m an avid hiker, cyclist and outdoorsman here in the Shawnee National Forest. I was born and raised in Southern Illinois and never want to leave. I hope you enjoy my website and I encourage you to interact with me!