Looking at the underside of a massive natural rock bridge

A Great Winter Hike & Taste of Wine in Southern Illinois

The Pomona Natural Bridge is a nice short hike that is not too difficult and showcases a small portion of what the area has to offer.

The classic brown and white Shawnee National Forest sign for the Natural Bridge

Winter Hike

For a nice casual outing combine your hike with a stop or two on the wine trail. Natural Bridge lies in the western Shawnee Forest and is a favorite spot with our guest’s. The temperature was around 60 degrees on this Thanksgiving weekend outing with family.

one person on top of the natural bridge and one below gives perspective of its size

Check our area attractions map for the actual location of this trail and follow the signs to get there. About 30 minutes from the Inn the final leg will be on a gravel road before arriving at the parking lot.

Natural bridge a massive grey rock formation in the Shawnee National Forest

It is a short half mile loop and if you go clockwise you will approach the bridge as we did in the photos. The bridge has rock bluffs to the left and right, you will want to take some time to explore. This impressive natural wonder is a small sampling of what the Shawnee Hills has to offer.

Winter Wine

After our outing, we wandered up the road a bit to Pomona Winery. Pomona Winery is known for its non-grape wine. From semi-sweet dry wines to sweet and one that can even be served hot. The wine here is surprisingly good and not what you would expect. They also have built their tasting building out of recycled wood making this another eco-friendly business in the area.

Another winery close by is Hickory Ridge. Hickory Ridge is a nice little winery that is very intimate and has great traditional wines. During the winter months, there is a good chance the owner will be doing the tastings.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to really enjoy the slow pace of winter in Southern Illinois. With milder temperatures and fewer people, a weekend here will give you that reset you are looking for.