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Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park
148 Taum Sauk Trail
Middlebrook, MO 63656
Phone: (573) 546-2450
Directions: Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park is located 8 miles North of Lesterville, MO on State Route N in Reynolds County
About Johnson's Shut-Ins
Located on the East Fork of the Black River in Southeast Missouri, Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park features a naturally narrow canyon cut through hard rock, creating many small, narrow shoots, pools, and water slides. Known locally as a "shut in" because the river is shut into a narrow canyon, they have become the main feature and recreational use of the park. Many large rocks scattered along the river make it an enjoyable place to swim and play, but can be dangerous if the water is too high.
Hit by a catastrophic flood in December of 2005, the park had been closed since then, finally to be re-opened in June of 2009. On December 14, 2005, the nearby Upper Reservoir of the Taum Sauk pumped storage plant, operated negligently by AmerenUE, overtopped its banks, causing a complete failure of a section of the northwest wall of the reservoir, sending over one billion gallons of water from atop Profitt Mountain into the valley below, which included the campground and day use area of the park.
Restorations began almost immediately, and the park was partially re-opened for limited day use during the summers of 2007 and 2008. During June of 2009, the day-use area of the park, including the shut-ins, was officially re-opend to the public. A new campground, just down the road in the Goggins Mountain area of the park, opened for use in April of 2010. The new campground includes modern, semi-modern, and primitive sites, equestrian and walk-in sites, as well as camper cabins. A campground store is also located in the area, and offers many supplies plus free WiFi.
Opened in May of 2010, the Black River Center, located in the day-use area of the park, features many different exhibits, meeting rooms, and a small retail area/gift shop.
Features & Facilities
Black River Center | Park Office | Gift Shop | Park Store | Exhibits | Meeting Rooms | Observation Deck | Amphitheater | Pavilions | Picnic Area/Tables | Playground | Swimming Area | Cabins | Campground | Woodlot | Restrooms | Showers | Laundry | Dump Station
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