Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park


Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park is a scenic and geologically interesting state park located in the St. Francois Mountains of southeastern Missouri. Here are some key features and attractions of Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park:

  1. Shut-Ins: The park is named after the natural “shut-ins,” which are rocky channels formed by the East Fork of the Black River. The shut-ins are known for their smooth, water-worn chutes and pools, creating a unique and beautiful natural water park.
  2. Swimming: Visitors can enjoy swimming in the clear and cool waters of the shut-ins. The natural channels and pools provide a refreshing and picturesque setting for swimming and wading.
  3. Hiking Trails: The park offers a variety of hiking trails that lead visitors through the scenic landscape, offering views of the shut-ins, the Black River, and the surrounding woodlands. The Scour Trail provides an opportunity to learn about the effects of a historic reservoir failure in 2005.
  4. Scour Channel: The park’s landscape was significantly altered by a reservoir failure at the upper Taum Sauk Mountain in 2005, resulting in a massive release of water that scoured the landscape. The Scour Channel is a reminder of this event and is part of the park’s interpretive features.
  5. Picnicking: There are designated picnic areas within the park where visitors can relax and enjoy a meal surrounded by the natural beauty of the area.
  6. Camping: Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park offers camping facilities for those who wish to extend their visit. Campers can experience the beauty of the park in a more immersive way.
  7. Visitor Center: The park has a visitor center that provides information about the geology, ecology, and history of Johnson’s Shut-Ins. It’s a great starting point for visitors looking to learn more about the area.

The unique geological formations and the opportunity for water recreation make Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. As with any outdoor destination, visitors should check with the Missouri State Parks department for the latest information, including trail conditions and any updates, before planning a visit.

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