johnson's shut-ins state park

Yesterday's glorious, warm weather has now turned and we are expecting snow. I expected this change so I am not in shock. What better time to revisit a Summer adventure; so today I'll share our experience at Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park in southeastern Missouri.

This state park has camping facilities as well as camper cabins. The camper cabins have one bedroom, and one common area which includes a futon, microwave, refrigerator, table and chairs and cabinets. It also has A/C and heating. There is a covered deck, grill and picnic table as well. For just $75 we went with the camper cabin, and it was perfect for us. The idea is not to spend all your time at the cabin anyway, so the minimal provisions were fine for us.

Since our adventure took place in late August, the weather was hot, perfect for swimming the Black River, "shut in" to the rocks. There are many hiking trails in this state park which I would have enjoyed exploring, but the red cheeks and sweat beaded brows of my children indicated swimming would be the preferred activity! There is a paved pathway that leads from the parking lot to the shut-ins.

Once arriving at the Black River you have to rock climb down into the water, and we wore appropriate shoes the entire time for safety. I'll just mention I'm glad my children were ages eight and six at the time, strong enough to climb and mature enough to listen to our direction. This could easily become a dangerous activity if the participants aren't careful and wise. Now, I'll just share some pictures to showcase the awesomeness!

Since neither my husband nor I had experienced this state park before, we didn't realize how physical it would be to climb down to the river. You HAVE to climb down yourself, stairs are not available for you to use. It was a wonderful time to share as a family. Staying together, listening to directions, helping each other as needed, enjoying the amazing creation around us. This trip is one of my sweetest memories to have had as a family. It is some distance from our home near Kansas City, so we won't make it there yearly, but I hope to go back one day, maybe during Autumn, to explore the park through hiking.