Johnson’s Shut-ins State Park

Now a crown jewel of the Missouri State Park system, Johnson’s Shut-ins State Park (N37° 32.952’  W90° 50.912’) has some of the most spectacular shut-ins that Rob and I experienced.  The East Fork Black River was flowing enough to allow numerous waterfalls through the small potholes and chutes within the igneous rock. Rob opted to approach the shut-ins from a top down dry vantage point whereas I opted for the up close a personal vantage point of getting in the water and wading upstream through the chutes and waterfalls. The biggest limitation I experienced was that I could only carry one lens since much of the time I was waist deep in water (and occasionally deeper). The water was refreshingly cool and crystal clear.

If you go to this State Park, you will learn about the hydroelectric facility rupture upstream that released 1 billion gallons of water and scoured the middle of this state park with water and huge boulders in 2006. The State Park system has done a tremendous job of cleanup and reconstruction. Included in the signs now is a warning to head uphill 200 steps if you hear the warning siren. Or grab your kayak and hold on for dear life!

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