Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park & Taum Suak Mountain State Park – southeast MO

The Visit Neighboring States Series

Arcadia Valley offers more state parks and hiking then can be accomplished in just one visit. Our family was so worn out that we didn’t get to hike on all of our planned trails.

Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park is a popular summer time swimming destination. A 100 car limit means that weekends can leave visitors waiting in line.

River flowing over rocks at Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park

We wish we could have experienced swimming and exploring these amazing shut-ins, however, the area was closed during our visit due to high flood waters.

Swimming area at Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park closed

Shut-in is a new term for us! It’s used in the Ozarks to mean a river that is limited in width because of natural rock which doesn’t erode. There are many shut-in areas all throughout the Ozarks. Swim at your own risk.  

If you do get the opportunity to visit Johnson’ Shut-Ins State Park, you will find an easy paved trail to the water, amenities like changing rooms and modern restrooms.

Paved walk way to the swimming area at Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park

The Black River Center is a great place to pick up maps, hiking trails and information. There is also a small museum and gift shop.

Black River Center at Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park

Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park & Taum Sauk Mountain State Park connect via the Taum Sauk Section of the Ozark Trail. This is a rugged 13 mile trail section that was cut by boy scouts back in the 1950’s.

Rugged Taum Sauk Section of the Ozark Trail

Hikers emerge from the trail at Missouri’s highest point and pass the state’s highest waterfall.

Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park & Taum Suak Mountain State Park

As visitors make their way out of Taum Sauk Mountain State Park, stunning vistas bid you farewell and to come again.

Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park & Taum Suak Mountain State Park

So how can your family enjoy these fantastic state parks? Through camping, hiking, swimming, fishing and more. There is truly enough to do here to keep you busy for a week!

How our family did it!

We didn’t take our kids on the 13 mile hike! The children and I dropped daddy off at the Johnson’s Shut-Ins trail head in the morning.

We enjoyed the day horseback riding, visiting the Battle of Pilot Knob State Historical Site, geocaching, playing in Knob Creek at Shepherd Mountain Inn and resting.

We picked daddy up late in the afternoon from Taum Sauk Mountain State Park. After two full days of hiking, sunshine and adventure, we were exhausted. But we still had enough energy to enjoy the cool depths of Onondaga Cave State Park.  

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