Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park

Middlebrook, Missouri

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1 Review
4 out of 5
Johnson’s Shut-Ins, historically one of Missouri’s most popular state parks, was almost completely destroyed in December 2005 by the blowout of nearby Taum Sauk Reservoir. Built to supply water for a nearby hydroelectric plant, this mountaintop lake burst its retaining wall and sent over a billion gallons roaring down the hillside to the Black River at Johnson’s Shut-Ins. The flood devastated nearly all the park’s facilities, including its riverside campground, in just a few minutes. Miraculously, no one was killed, but the park was closed for several years while it was cleaned up and rebuilt.
Best Tent Camping: Missouri and the Ozarks

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Tent Camping: Missouri and the Ozarks

by Steve Henry (Menasha Ridge Press)

Johnson’s Shut-Ins, historically one of Missouri’s most popular state parks, was almost completely destroyed in December 2005 by the blowout of nearby Taum Sauk Reservoir. Built to supply water for a nearby hydroelectric plant, this mountaintop lake burst its retaining wall and sent over a billion gallons roaring down the hillside to the Black River at Johnson’s Shut-Ins.

The flood devastated nearly all the park’s facilities, including its riverside campground, in just a few minutes. Miraculously, no one was killed, but the park was closed for several years while it was cleaned up and rebuilt.

©  Steve Henry/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Campgrounds
Nearby City: Middlebrook
Season: March 1–Wed. before Memorial Day and day after Labor Day–Oct. 31, 8 a.m.–6 p.m.; Thurs. before Memorial Day–Labor Day, 8 a.m.–7 p.m.; Nov.–Feb., 8 a.m.–4 p.m.; campground gates close at 10 p.m. Apr.–Oct.
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Driving Directions: Directions to Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park

Recent Trail Reviews

7/30/2008
0

There is an extensive trail system within this park. You can choose to do an 8 mile loop or change to a different trail within the loop to shorten your distance. I chose to shorten my distance mainly because the first 2 miles were very demanding. Very rocky, not well marked, and a physical challenge. Things get a little easier on the North/South leg of the trail, but you will still find that you have to pay very close attention to the trail markings. I finished on the northern portion of the trail which then dipped southward. This was primarily downhill and a nice finish on good path. I don't suggest that kids go on this trail if you intend to do the entire loop. If you are ready for a great workout in the deep woods, this is for you!



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