When people mention Johnson's Shut-ins State Park, other say, "I love it there!" When asked what trails they like, they normally can't name one. We have enjoyed Johnson's Shut-ins State Park many time throughout the years on and off the trails. Here's our take on this beautiful Missouri State Park.
"The Johnston family was among the early Scots-Irish settlers in this area that came west from the hilly countryside of Appalachia in search of better land. Here they found fertile valleys, vast uncut forests and plenty of room for homesteading. By 1829, they had established a farm. Three generations of Johnston (the “t” was later dropped) families once worked this land and 36 members of the family are buried in the small cemetery in the park. By 1900, many of the families that formed the self-sufficient community of Monterey moved away. Eventually, St. Louis resident Joseph Desloge bought much of the land, donating it for a state park in 1955.
In December 2005, the main use area in the East Fork of the Black River valley was changed dramatically. The nearby Taum Sauk Reservoir, a hydroelectric power station, breached, sending 1.3 billion gallons of water down Proffit Mountain. The water, carrying tons of trees, debris and boulders, scoured the mountainside and destroyed or extensively damaged facilities in the park, including the campground. It also altered the landscape of the valley and the East Fork of the Black River in the park. This event changed the park forever and has become part of the history of Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park. This area of the park has been redeveloped and many of the features and facilities in the main day-use area are the result of this redevelopment."
The above information was from the State Park Website.
Since the Shut-ins are the most popular part of the park, we knew we needed to feature them in a video. The problem we were running into was there were always TONS of people there and didn't make for the best filming. We decided to camp to be closer to the trailhead really early in the morning. This is the result of that experience. Please enjoy the solitude!
The shut-ins aren't the ONLY thing to see at the park. They have a wonderful visitor and education center as well as several trails to hike to find out more about the area and its history and geology. You can see more in our Park Tour from last year. Let us know int he comments about your experiences in this awesome Missouri State Park. Until next time, keep on trekking!
Kay and Matt enjoy hiking all over the USA. We have a YouTube Channel to video our adventures, this blog, and we are working on building an app to allow others to go on adventures too.
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