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Wild Horses of Shannon County

Wild Horses of Shannon County - Shawnee Creek Herd (October 27, 2018)

What amazing moments with the horses of Shannon County, Missouri. Indescribably experience. This is the Shawnee Creek herd. We went to this location 4 times over a few days, but only the first time did we see them. The second time we were told a dog had just run them off. We also went to other locations. So I was thankful to have this experience and to snap a few photos and take a few videos. At first they were across the field and I dared to walk half-way across the field. My lens only being a 135 length, I could not get good photos. All the time in the field I was fearful, even being that far from them, that they would begin running towards me. I would check behind me to be certain my distance from the car. Eventually I walked back to the car and that is when they began coming closer to me from across the field. I felt safe standing in front of the car. The horses were always very aware of my presence, constantly making eye contact. You can see that in these short video clips. It was almost as if they were asking me if they could come close to me and somehow understood that I liked our distance. They walked to the creeks edge and through the brush to the road. I thought they were going to leave, but they turned right around and came back. They then ran to the middle of the field where I had previously stood, and played a while. I kept thinking that it was like I was one with the wild horses! I was part of their moment and they were part of mine. To top it off, as I was standing here, my 4th granddaughter was arriving in Minnesota. Her middle name is Pearl. I thought it was rather neat that I was one with the pearl white horses at the same time. I understand that the dark young horses become white when they reach a certain age. We did see three horses and Echo Bluff. I understand that they were there before the park was created but because they have become to accustomed to people, the young one even getting stuck in someone's camping trailer, that they will be sold this winter.

There are multiple places to see these horses.

However, before I list them, I want to mention that people have been stupid and gotten too close to the horses or fed the horses. These are "wild" and although they seem tame at times, wild is wild and anything can happen. Also, making the horses feel safe around you by feeding them is also not good. The "powers that be" could remove our ability to see these animals if stupid folk ruin it for the rest of us. Also, it is federal law to stay at least 50 feet from them and violating this or feed them could result in federal arrest and a large fine.

For more details and up-to-date information, see Tim's website for locations.


Directions to Shawnee Creek Campground. From Eminence at the four way intersection, go east on Highway 106 for 2.9 miles until you see a sign on the left for Shawnee Creek Campground.  Turn left at the gravel road (106-211) and follow for 1.7 miles until you see the campground and the river. 

We have been here many times to wallow in the river and love the place! We tried finding the horses, but did not. We have always heard that it is best to camp there as the horses will run through the campground early in the morning.

The Shawnee Creek herd travels between Shawnee Creek Campground and the area on Highway V. To find the Highway V location, return to Highway 106, turn left (or continue on same direction away from Eminence) and drive until you turning left onto Highway V. Travel down Highway V about 2.2 miles and on the left there are some fields where the Shawnee Creek herd is frequently seen. THIS is where we saw the wild horses of Shannon County in 2018 in the above video.


Take Country Road 19-205 (gravel road) off of Highway 19. Always staying to the left at forks until you reach the Broadfoot Campgrounds at approximately 4.4 miles. At 3.0 miles, fork to the left. At 3.2 miles, fork left. 19-205 is the same road that you take to visit Lick Log Hollow Trail.


This heard is at the Round Springs State Park.  Look along the river by the group campground area just past the main entrance or right off of Highway 19 just past the bridge heading north.  In addition, try Sinking Creek campground area down the road.

Horses have also been seen at Echo Bluff State Park (I have seen them!) and I believe it is considered the same herd as Round Spring.


This herd is near Klepzig Mill off of Highway NN and Highway H.  From Eminence, take Highway 106 east to Highway H and turn left (south) to H-522. You will need a lifted 4-wheel drive vehicle for most of this route. You may have to pass several creeks which can be dangerous and there is no cell phone service and most likely no one around to help you. There are lots of snakes. Probably best to find a guide to take you here.


On October 28, 2018, we went to the Shawnee Creek Campground early in the morning to see the horses. We never did see them, but I got a few fun photos. See them on the website page for Shawnee Creek Campground.

There are photos from October 27, 2018, that were taken at the same time as the above video. As stated above, there is no one "wow" photo as I did not have the lens long enough to take photos. Still yet I want to share with you. As you can see the sun is setting.

I did love the Autumn leaves in the background of the photos.

In this photo you can see that two black young ones emerged from behind the trees. I was told that they are black when young and would turn white when older.

Two young ones in the back.

This is when they started walking towards us and I was intimidated and got back in the vehicle.

Parents and children I assume.

They crossed on the edge of the field near us and went out into the road which was behind us. Then they turned around and went back in on the other side of the light pole that you see here.

These are not a good photo, but I wanted to share with you how the horses played with each other. Goodness, imagine if they wanted to play with me! That would not be a safe thing.

In their play, however, they often ended up in this kiss-like pose in a still shot.

These photos indicate that they were taken on Highway 211, which is the highway we took to see the horses, on October 29, 2018. What a beautiful Autumn country road photo.

Copyright Cheryl Rutledge-Brennecke
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