Explore the most popular trails in Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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.

2 months ago

Fairly easy trail. Gives you great views. We went in the winter when the ranger station and whatnot were closed and the trails were covered in tons of leaves and hard to see, but the orange tree markers made it incredibly easy to follow the trail. I would definitely come back because I would love to see how pretty it is in the spring and summer.

3 months ago

Good scenic trail with view of the reservoir. Somewhat rocky and had to walk through a stream below in order to complete the whole trail.

Great trail with beautiful views. Starts off on a boardwalk by the shut ins, then becomes a nice switchback over some rocky terrain. Loops down the valley for a ways then ties in with the Ozark Trail for a short distance before heading back up and out a different way than it came in

My husband and I really enjoyed this trail. Varying terrain, views and moderate difficulty kept it interesting. I suggest bearing right at the trailhead instead of left on the paved path. You'll reach the shut-ins at the end of the trail which is kind of like the grand finale of the trail. We hiked during the first weekend in October and encountered 2 -3 couples on the trail and that was it. Most people were swimming the shut-ins.

trail running
3 months ago

Solid 4. A bit technical running in some places. A few of the orange markers that mark the trail are hard to see (1 on a tree that fell). I would run again.

By far my favorite hike in Missouri

6 months ago

Enjoyable trail that is a stop on the Great Missouri Birding Trail. This loop trail is about 2/3’s wooded and 1/3 open where it follows the scour path. The trail leads to an overlook deck of the new Ameren Upper Reservoir that replaced the old one that failed in 2005. The trail descends from the overlook deck to the scour path and is rocky and a little hard to follow. If you look closely along this part of the trail you can find pieces of concrete that I presume are from the failed reservoir. There is a pavilion along the trail that would make a nice picnic spot.

6 months ago

The trailhead for this trail starts a short way down the easier Shut-in’s Trail. Plastic water bottles aren’t allowed on the trail (if the park ranger sees you with one they’ll make sure to tell you about this rule) so other water options are necessary. The trail itself is a typical Ozark trail that is mostly wooded with two glades one of which is horseshoe shaped and the other one that provides a nice view of the nearby valley.

You know there are a few neg reviews...., but what it’s worth, it’s all opinion. I my self have been here twice once during a red flag day and once on the yellow flag. Some reviews are right if it’s during the “swim” season, then it’s probably not going to be as beautiful because there are a ton of people swimming through the natural slides of shit ins. However during the rainy or off season this park is gorgeous! Roaring waters, the smell of spruce and pine, greenish blue waters, a waterfall, traverse landscape...... I totally loved the shut ins during the red flag day. It was before the stores opened and tourist flooded it. We were one of about three couples there and it was peaceful and beautiful. I agree it should probably be rated a mild moderate. Probably not to good for kids in some places, but with a watchful eye should be ok.

This trail should definitely be marked as moderate. There are multiple steep and rocky inclines and a few drop offs. I would not recommended this trail for children. Also towards the end of the loop the trail split into 2 paths with neither of them heading back the correct way. Not my favorite trail by far.

Favorite place EVER. My family has been vacationing here since I was a baby and we love it. Camping at the state park is really nice. The shut-ins are just a few minutes drive from the campground and are amazing. There is nothing like them, even with the post-flood damage. There are also great trails at the shut ins for hiking. Elephant Rocks is only about a 20 minute drive from the shut ins and is also excellent.

Here’s the good, bad & ugly of it... For starters I’d rate this trail as borderline moderate/difficult due to it being a very challenging trail and a bit technical with a lot of large rock to climb up/down plus a lot of rock scrambles to maneuver across - wear boots & pants - the poison ivy is thick in areas and the trail always seems to narrow where there’s ivy but bring swim trunks & water shoes to cool off in the clear cool Black River on your hike. There’s an impressive waterfall if you hike after a rain and a few small stream crossings too. I’d rather have hiked this during an off season due to the mass of people enjoying the actual shut-ins, it just takes away from being out in nature when you hear a crowd on part of your hike. There are a couple areas that are just beautiful but all in all there’s not much to look at. I lost the trail 3 or 4 times due to a lack of markers but this app always helps gets me back on track. I would suggest beginning your day when the park opens at 8am to view and enjoy the shut-ins before they’re dotted with bodies and noise. I probably wouldn’t hike this trail again, not enough bang for your buck but I’m glad I hiked it anyway.

A fairly quick easy hike with some elevation and great views. Trail is nicely maintained by the Missouri State Parks so that’s a bonus. You’ll come across a few glades that peek out of the woods opening up to sweeping vistas of the surrounding mountains. I only give it 4 stars due to the fact that there are several other trails in the area that have much better views and features but it’s definitely a nice hike in Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park.

7 months ago

The Scour Trail hooks up with the Ozark Trail so that’s cool in itself and to an overlook where you can view the path of the 2005 dam breach/flood and see the force of water at work, huge boulders were swept away like twigs and now dot the landscape all along this 1.5 (+/-) mile area. The water also revealed 1.5 Billion (yes, with a “B”) year old rocks from when this area was a string of island volcanoes. The hike itself isn’t too challenging but getting down to the scour looks to be a bit technical, we decided to take the white connector instead. The trail was in good condition and wider than most less used trails - a bonus for us! Had a nice hike.

Took a detour on this while passing through. Definitely a neat little trail.

I would definitely rate this as moderate and not easy if you do the whole trail. But you can do a .3 mile on a boardwalk with stairs which is easy. It was a beautiful hike with great views of the water and we saw a deer up close.

Hike this one backward for a real fun refreshing swim at the end and you also won’t be soggy for the hike itself. My 7 year old loved the shut ins and also some cool formations along the scenic trail in the woods We had a little high water. Yellow flag day. We had as much fun scrambling around up the various rocks as we did swimming

9 months ago

Trial is easy to follow as long as it's in the woods. Kinda disappears once you get to the scour path. I just walked along the rocks until I found the trail again. Not really very scenic either, but I guess the rock formations are kinda cool.

Great views, awesome trail!

10 months ago

a lot of the tail was washed out due to flooding but we just kept wondering until we made it across. (there was no real tail due to water). cool area to see effects of water on stone

go in the off season and go explore. get off the wood broad walk and into the woods!! blue trail was one of the best out of the weekend.

10 months ago

This trail was fun, but we went after a big rain and there was so much water covering the trail there was no way to cross in order to continue the trail. Luckily there was a trail connection to another trail so we were able to hike that.

This trail was awesome! We went the day after it had rained all day and the shut-ins were full & gorgeous! There were even some really pretty waterfalls along the trail too - again I think this was because we went right after a big rain. Manageable with tennis shoes, but waterproof hiking shoes/boots would’ve made this trail more fun since it was so wet.

Would not consider it an easy trail. Moderate-difficult is much more appropriate. Great views!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Good scout trail.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Trail was fantastic and I had a great time. It was far more challenging than I would expect for an Easy rating though. It is easy through the observation platform and boardwalk. Once you hit the natural trail areas it is more difficult and is better classified as Moderate.

nature trips
Monday, September 18, 2017

My husband is in a leg and arm cast, from an accident. The trail is paved, so it was glorious to get him out. We have 2 small boys and we enjoyed a picnic and a walk to the shut it's. I love it here!!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Great place to hike. A lot of the shut ins trail requires more technique. I would classify this as moderate to difficult and not easy.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

good but busy

Did the trail yesterday, loved it.. great markings so we didn't get lost. Lots of people in the shutins but quiet on the trails, just how I like it..wouldn't classify it as easy.

Load More