Coming home from vacation is bittersweet. On one hand you don't want the vacation to end, and on the other getting back into a routine is nice. I'm happy to be back home this time. It was super hot in both Southern Illinois and Ohio
which made parts of the trip a bit miserable at times. Luckily we toughed it out while in the Shawnee Forest area in Illinois and were able to get some good hikes in before heading on to pick up the kids from the in-laws in Ohio.
The first place we stopped on my list of places in Shawnee I had to visit was Pomona Natural Bridge. The bridge is 90 feet long and about 8 feet wide at it's widest point. It took years for this sandstone marvel to become what it is. It was most definitely worth stopping to see.
There is a loop trail that takes you from the parking lot, over the natural bridge and back around to the parking lot. I recommend exploring around the natural bridge when you get to it before heading back to the parking lot. It is worth exploring. We went below it and to the sides of it exploring all around. You can see how the water eroded the sandstone to create the bridge. It was raining fairly hard when we visited, so the bridge and surrounding rock enclosures made for good shelter. There is a place to the side of the trail and bridge that is kind of like a shallow cave. We hung out there for a bit waiting for the rain to taper off.
After the rain slowed, we resumed the trail, passing by the stream that helped carve the bridge. Keith got a closer look as the stream wasn't really flowing much.
The rest of the hike, if that is what you want to call it, was as easy as the rest, with some incline but that's about it. According to my AllTrails map we did 0.4 miles, and that is including our off the trail exploring. Not what I call a hike, but a short walk. We enjoyed ourselves and that's really what matters. We had also done six miles earlier in the day before we left for Shawnee, so I think we earned the short walk.
Check out more from our trip to Pamona Natural Bridge below:
Have you visited this natural bridge before? There are others in the Shawnee area as well, how about them? I'd love more recommendations for some to see. I'm completely fascinated with them!