Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park

Quick Facts

Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park

Missouri

(573) 546-2450

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

The swift waters of the East Fork Black River flow through a canyonlike gorge called a "shut-in" in the 8,549-acre Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park.

These igneous rocks were formed nearly 1.5 billion years ago when violent volcanic eruptions threw ash and hot gases into the air. As these materials settled to the ground and cooled, they formed the rhyolite rock seen at the park today.

Outstanding recreational opportunities are available in the 1,110-acre East Fork Wild Area. The 4,874-acre Goggins Mountain Wild Area exhibits the highest wilderness quality of all existing state park wild areas. The major portion of the park's geologic and biologic diversity is protected in these wild areas. Trails through these remote wild areas offer visitors opportunities for hiking, backpacking, equestrian use, bird watching, nature study and photography. A new boardwalk provides easy access to the shut-ins for viewing or swimming. Visitors can also access the East Fork of the Black River at various locations throughout the park for swimming, wading or fishing. At the north picnic area, there is easy access to the river and a gravel bar.

Johnson's Shut-Ins Campground, in the Goggins Mountain area of the park, opened for use April 30, 2010. The new campground includes basic, electric, sewer/electric/water, equestrian and walk-in campsites plus camper cabins. A campground store is conveniently located for those forgotten necessities and offers free WiFi.

The Black River Center, built in the day-use area of the park, opened May 22, 2010. The center features interpretive exhibits, meeting rooms and a small retail area.

Map of Johnson's Shut-Ins (MO)

Latitude, Longitude: 37.547163, -90.851612

READ MORE

Activities

  • Bicycling

    Ride your bicycle throughout the park on two trail systems.

  • Camping

    A variety of campsites is available, from primitive walk-in sites to fully equipped sites with water, sewer, and electric hook-ups. All campsites are open year-round. Reservations can be made for stays during the on-season (April through October). On-season services include a dump station, restroom and shower facilities, laundry, water and a woodlot. During the off-season, potable water is not available. The restroom and showerhouse in Loop 3 remains open year-round.

  • Climbing

    Rock climbing is allowed by permit only.

  • Fishing

    Cast your line into the Black River.

  • Hiking

    A series of pedestrian trails wind through the day-use area and take visitors to various features of the park. Several trails provide access to the gorge, and a new boardwalk offers easy access to the shut-ins.

  • Historic Sites

    The Black River Trail, the main trail through the day-use area, is an interpretive trail and explains some of the features, including the fen and boulder field. Both the fen and boulder field have pavilions with interpretation and information about why these areas are important.

  • Horseback Riding

    The 10-mile Goggins Mountain Equestrian Trail loops through the 5,000-acre Goggins Mountain Wild Area. The trail, free of roads, power lines and other development, is open to hikers and horseback riders wanting to experience the extensive oak-hickory woodland. The trail, marked in yellow, begins at the Goggins Mountain Trailhead just inside the entrance to the campground.

  • Picnicking

    You will find ample space to spread out a picnic lunch with family and friends. The park features 14 covered picnic shelters and 15 single table picnic pads in two picnic areas, which are located on the north and south ends of the day-use area.

    Playground equipment is located in the North Day-Use Area and next to the campground store.

  • RVing

    A variety of campsites is available, from primitive walk-in sites to fully equipped sites with water, sewer, and electric hook-ups. All campsites are open year-round. Reservations can be made for stays during the on-season (April through October). On-season services include a dump station, restroom and shower facilities, laundry, water and a woodlot. During the off-season, potable water is not available. The restroom and showerhouse in Loop 3 remains open year-round.

  • Water Sports

    Splash off in nature's waterpark - the shut-ins. Swimming is at your own risk.

Seasonality/Weather

The southern area of the park containing the shut-ins is considered a limited access area. The parking area to access the shut-ins has a 100-car capacity for its day-use customers. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the parking lot normally reaches capacity by 10 a.m. so plan to arrive early. The northern part of the day-use area remains available even when the shut-ins parking area has filled to capacity.

Directions

Driving

From St. Louis: Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park is approximately 130 miles from St. Louis (South County); the trip will take about two or two and one-half hours depending on traffic. Take I-270 south to I-55 south. When you get to the Festus area take U.S. Hwy. 67 south to Farmington. At the second Farmington exit, turn right onto Hwy. 221 toward Doe Run. Travel 17 miles on Hwy. 221 (will merge with Route NN). At the flashing red light, turn right/north onto Hwy. 21. Travel about one-half mile and turn left onto Route N. Go 13 miles on Route N to the park entrance on your left.

From Jefferson City: Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park is approximately three hours driving time for Jefferson City. Go south on U.S. Hwy. 63 to Hwy. 68. Take Hwy. 68 to St. James. You will go through the town of St. James to Hwy. 8. Stay on Hwy. 8 to Potosi. At the intersection of Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 21, turn right/south onto Hwy. 21. Travel approximately 25 miles to Graniteville. Turn right onto Route N. Travel 13 miles on Route N to the park entrance on your left.

From Kansas City: Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park is approximately five to six hours from Kansas City. Take I-70 east to St. Louis. In St. Louis, take I-270 south to I-55 south. When you get to the Festus area take U.S. Hwy. 67 south to Farmington. At the second Farmington exit, turn right onto Hwy. 221 toward Doe Run. Travel 17 miles on Hwy. 221 (will merge with Route NN). At the flashing red light, turn right/north onto Hwy. 21. Travel about one-half mile and turn left onto Route N. Go 13 miles on Route N to the park entrance on your left.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(573) 546-2450

Links