Escape to Missouri’s only pink granite shut-ins

Yes, the rocks are really pink!

Are you looking to beat the heat this Heartland Weekend?

Good news: we have a solution!

Escape to the Castor River Shut-Ins, a relatively unknown spot in southeast Missouri.

castor river shut-ins
Cool off at Castor River Shut-Ins

Here you can see the state’s only known pink granite shut-ins. Yes, they are really pink!

The rock formation makes up part of the St. Francois Mountains and is 1.5 billion years old.

The beautifully clear Castor River flows over the rocks creating what you might call a natural water park.

Things To Do

Climb over the boulders, or swim in pools of water.

Keep watch for small fish like the Ozark minnow, bleeding shiner, rainbow darter and striped fantail darter.

Downstream from the¬†shut-ins, you’ll find a perfect place to cast your line. There’s a chance you might catch a¬†smallmouth bass, shadow bass (goggle-eye), or longear sunfish.


From Fredericktown take Highway 72 east about three miles to Highway J. Turn left (east) onto Highway J and continue for 4.6 miles to the junction with Highway W. Turn right (south) onto Highway W and go 2.4 miles to the end of the pavement. Turn left (east) on CR 208 and drive 1.1 miles to the junction with CR 253. Turn left (north) on CR 253 and proceed 0.9 mile to the parking area and trailhead on the right (east) side of the gravel road. The 1 mile Cedar Glade Trail follows a loop and brings visitors to the shut-ins and glades. Hunting and fishing are permitted.

Tips For Visiting

  • Plan ahead and prepare
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • Leave what you find
  • Minimize campfire impacts
  • Respect wildlife
  • Be considerate of other visitors