Rural Missouri Magazine

Rocky Falls Shut-in
A cure for Shut-in fever

Rocky Creek cascades 40 feet through igneous rock forming a shut-in

Missouri's rocks can be some pretty tough customers and nowhere is this more apparent than at one of the numerous shut-ins that dot the Ozarks.

Nine miles southeast of Eminence on Highway NN is one of the finest examples of this geology in the state, Rocky Falls Shut-in.

A shut-in is formed when a stream encounters tough igneous rock. While water can easily wear down limestone or other sedimentary rocks, it meets its match in the highly resistant brown, pink and purple porphyry that are remnants of ancient volcanic activity. The result is a dramatic and musical water show, which in this case is as much a waterfall as a shut-in.

Rocky Creek cascades 40 feet down the rock, finally finding freedom in a wide pool of cold, clear water that is an excellent if little-known swimming hole. The site is on National Forest Service land and a picnic area and primitive toilet are located nearby.

Rocky Falls Shut-in is just one of many sites to see in Shannon County. At the county seat, Eminence, a sign welcomes visitors to spend a "Day or a lifetime in Shannon County." With trail rides, the Current and Jacks Fork National Scenic Riverways, Alley Spring Grist Mill, caves, world-class springs and countless geologic wonders, it might just take a lifetime to see it all.


Rural Missouri | June 2020 Issue

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