Johnson’s Shut-Ins


We’ve spent the last five nights at this very lovely State Park. The campground was wiped out five years ago when a reservoir failed and sent water gushing through the Park. So, the whole place is brand new and very well designed.

The Park is named for the interesting formation along the East Fork of the Black River where rocks have resisted the river and create little pools of water in the narrow gorge. The area was flowing pretty fast because of the recent rains but in the summer people come to swim.

We hiked all the trails in the park. The one that goes out past the Shut-Ins is a really nice boardwalk until you get past the overlook then it turns into a rocky climb. It was kind of unexpected but we really enjoyed it.

We also hiked the area that was scoured by the reservoir breach. It exposed a lot of diverse geologically-significant rocks which I wish I could distinguish – where is a geologist when you need one?


You can see the reservoir sitting up high in the distance. We haven’t had any connectivity here unless we walk to the closed Camp Store and sit outside to get their wifi so I havent had the chance to research this yet but I think it is a pumped storage facility where the electric utility pumps water up at night when they have extra (or cheap) electricity and use the water to generate electricity during the day when they need it.

I’m posting this as we leave Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park heading to St. Louis. I’ll post more pictures from our hike to the highest point and biggest waterfall in Missouri in the next day or so.


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