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“River falls and an impressive new visitors' center”

Johnson's Shut-ins State Park
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Play in the shallows of the East Fork of the Black River. Shoot through Mother Nature’s hydraulics in the shut-ins. Hike a trail that will show you 1.4 billion years of geologic history. Take your horse on a pretty mountain trail. Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park is a jewel of the system, a place with something for everyone: pretty picnic areas, Ozark landscapes, natural places to swim, great campsites.
Hallsville, Missouri
Level Contributor
89 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“River falls and an impressive new visitors' center”
Reviewed March 3, 2012

River flows through valley and over rocks. New Visitors' center informs about long-term and recent history of this area. Lots of picnic areas

1 Thank grouch0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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191 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Level Contributor
64 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Beautiful and unique”
Reviewed January 29, 2012

Great example of the beauty in the Missouri Ozark Mountains. Take hiking shoes and a swimming suit. Not suited for small children. Beware; the shut-ins are deceptive and can be very, very dangerous to inexperienced swimmers.

Thank drjulia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“We LOVE this park”
Reviewed September 15, 2011

The shut-ins are so unique and our 13 year old loves to go to this natural "waterslide" park. It is picturesque, clean and the water temp is just right on a hot summer day. You can climb, jumb, slide and hide in and around all of the rock formations. In one of the deeper pools we spotted all kinds of fish in the crystal clear water. There is a small gift shop at the entrance along with changing rooms, restrooms and a deck with picnic tables. It is a bit of a walk from the parking lot back to the shut-ins, but they have put up a nice boardwalk which makes it a bit easier. Food or beverages of any kind are not allow in the shut-ins but that is what keeps that area so beautiful. There is also now a visitor center, camping and cabins which we have not used but look forward to visiting. This is a great day trip or could certainly be a very relaxing 3 day stay.

Visited August 2011
2 Thank AnnabelleJane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springfield, Missouri
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Don't miss it!!!”
Reviewed September 12, 2011

Wonderful time! Amazing spot! SO worth the drive! We spent the day there, brought charcoal to cook out at one of the convenient picnic sites with tables, a cover for shade, and a grill...just supplied the food! Wouldn't necessarily recommend for families with very small children, or those not able to do a lot of climbing, swimming, etc....between our two families the ages ranged from 7-10, both girls and boys, they LOVED it! all of it!

Visited August 2011
1 Thank neiseyinmo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A natural water park, stunning”
Reviewed September 11, 2011

I think Johnson's Shut-Ins has a plain name as part of a conspiracy to keep crowds from flocking there. In Missouri, a shut-in is a place where a river flows through or beside granite cliffs. In this case, the granite also forms the bed of the Black River, and is sculpted into all sorts of natural Jacuzzis, whirlpools, and chutes. At the base of the shut-ins is a wide pool, full of clear water and some fish.

The place was wrecked in 2005 when a reservoir at the top of a nearby mountain gave way and a zillion gallons of water plunged through the park. Miraculously no one was killed, but the shut-ins were filled with boulders and uprooted trees to a considerable depth. However, the electric company responsible for the accident has cleaned up the park now, and the natural water park is restored to its previous state. Except that there aren't as many fish in the lower pool, which isn't as deep as it once was.

It's about 2 1/2 hours southwest of St. Louis, in the Arcadia valley.

Visited August 2011
2 Thank phylliswheeler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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