Pomona Natural Bridge - Atlas Obscura

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Pomona Natural Bridge

Pomona, Illinois

A natural sandstone bridge nestled within a mature forest in southern Illinois.  

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In the southern reaches of the Prairie State, there’s a striking natural bridge nestled within a scenic national forest.

The Pomona Natural Bridge is located in the northwest corner of Shawnee National Forest. Spanning 90 feet across a rocky ravine in a mature beech, oak, and hickory forest, this sandstone bridge is not only reachable by a quick hike—the trail crosses over the bridge itself. It’s a short hike (about a third of a mile) over a well-maintained pathway.

The trailhead is about a 30-minute drive from nearby Carbondale off of Route 127. The trail begins by descending into the forest, and after a few hundred yards, visitors will reach a fork in the path that marks the beginning of a loop. Taking a right will get you to the bridge faster, but taking a left has plenty of caves, creeks, and moss-covered rock walls. 

When you come to the bridge, the trail will lead you over the formation, but steps down on the far side will allow you to appreciate the structure from below. Mind your step as the bridge is only eight feet at its widest. The area below the bridge is pocked with mossy bluffage, streams, and small caves. 

Know Before You Go

This trail is not wheelchair accessible due to several steep, rocky sections. Mind your step during wetter weather, as some rockier surfaces can become slick.

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