Johnson's Shut-ins State Park, Middle Brook

#14 of 101 in Nature in Missouri
State Park · Nature / Park
Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park is a public recreation area covering 8,781 acres (3,554 ha) on the East Fork Black River in Reynolds County, Missouri. The state park is jointly administered with adjoining Taum Sauk Mountain State Park, and together the two parks cover more than sixteen thousand acres in the St. Francois Mountains region of the Missouri Ozarks.
The term "shut-in" refers to a place where the river's breadth is limited by hard rock that is resistant to erosion. In these shut-ins, the river cascades over and around smooth-worn igneous rock, creating a natural water park that is used by park visitors when water levels are not dangerously high.
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Johnson's Shut-ins State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
285 reviews
  • This is a really cool place to visit. You are welcome to swim but be careful of the slippery rocks. Parking is fairly close to the stream. They have a nice visitors center with helpful staff. This is....  more »
  • This was one of our best experiences. We had so much fun traversing the rocks through the water chutes and flows that we decided to change plans to come back another day. It is worth the visit and...  more »
  • What a cool place! Huge, naturally formed boulders form an otherworldly riverbed for water to flow. Tip: When walking down the river, stick to either the dry rock surfaces or if you step in the water make sure you place your feet on gravel - NOT on the big slick rocks! Easy to turn an ankle or slip and get a nasty injury. This isn't a place for those with poor balance or mobility issues. If you are adventurous, you'll be rewarded with a terrific exploration experience! After all the hiking, it's nice to take a dip in the cool, deep pools that dot the riverbed. Keep younger kids in lifejackets and enjoy the unique experience!
  • So much fun here! This place has some amazing trails to hike, nearby camping, and most of all... the water feature (park?)! This was a blast to spend the day and picnic, cooking off in the amazing stone waterfalls. Please be careful and plan ahead: Bring water shoes so you don't get a scar as a souvenir. If you forget them, they offer them for sale at the gift shop.

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