The redeveloped Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park provides many of the key features visitors enjoyed in the past and several new features for today's visitors. The shut-ins area of the park is once again open for swimming and splashing. 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. Pets, food and disposable containers are not allowed on the trail to the shut-ins. 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. 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.
I always stop by the shut-ins and elephant rock every two years or less. the shut-ins are beautiful! The last time we went it was in April and there was no one there. I recently moved just miles from the park and will be a frequent visitor now.
Amy L. on Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park Trail
Beautiful view of the St. Francois mountains on the horseshoe glade trail. Short hike but worth it!
Didn't go here to hike. Mainly went to swim in the shut-ins and my group had a blast. There were plenty of spots to cliff jump and even with the large Sunday crowd we had plenty of space for ourselves. Be sure to wear some type of water shoes as the rocks are very sharp and slick. Had to give it 4-stars though because I only give 5-stars to truly exceptional hikes and this just wasn't a long enough hike considering that the whole trail was about 2.5 miles. If you are like me, you might enjoy this hike a little more if you started at Taum Sauk Mountain SP and hiked all the way to the Shut-Ins. I'm hoping to do that in the future. Overall, this place is a ton of fun especially on a hot summer day. It is a must do for the family.
Nice little trail, more strenuous than you'd expect based on the first paved section but not difficult. I definitely agree that hiking counter clockwise to get to the river at the end would be perfect, but the end of the trail would be difficult to spot from the path if you've never hiked it before.