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Shawnee Creek – Wild Horses Of Missouri

Shawnee Creek has a long history dating back to the 19th century.

According to research from the University of Missouri, Shawnee Creek was named after an Indian tribe invited into Missouri in the early days to protect the settlers from war-like Osages.

Shawnee is an Indian word for the tribe and means “Southerners.”

The Shawnee tribe were wanderers and were first known in the Cumberland basin in Tennessee.

Little Shawnee Creek flows northwest to the Jack’s Fork River, and it runs right through the fields where the horses are frequently seen next to Shawnee Creek Campground, which is part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.

The best way to stay up to date with the Shawnee Creek herd is to be part of the Wild Horses of Missouri Facebook Group, where I post my latest photos, videos, and tips on the horses.


The Shawnee Creek Herd is the easiest to find, and your chances of seeing them are pretty good. This is a great location to see the wild horses, especially if you are a first-time visitor.

Difficulty Rating: Easy

Frequency: High, but there can be spells when they can’t be found.

Tips: Great location for first-time visitors, kids, and the elderly.

Directions: Located off of Highway 106 and County Road 106-211. From Eminence on Highway 19, go east on Highway 106 for 2.9 miles until you see a sign for Shawnee Creek Campground. You will turn left at the gravel road (106-211) and follow for 1.7 miles until you see the campground and the river. No special vehicle is required to access this location.

The best way to stay up to date with the Shawnee Creek herd is to be part of the Wild Horses of Missouri Facebook Group, where I post my latest photos, videos, and tips on the horses.

Wild Horses of Missouri Map by Tim Layton -

Additional Tips & Helpful Information: Many fields near the campground area border the Jack’s Fork river where the horses frequently graze, so your chances of seeing them are pretty good, especially in the early morning and late evenings.

This location is a good choice for older people and kids too. It is pretty flat and easily accessible. The grasses can be very high in the summertime, so I suggest wearing pants and a long-sleeve shirt to minimize the chigger bites.

Depending on the day and time, you should expect to do a fair amount of walking. There are a few first-come-first-served camping spots along with public restroom facilities (no running water) that you may want to take advantage of. Keep in mind if the river is high, this location can and does flood, especially during the spring and fall.

There are a few parking spots right at the opening to the fields where you can park and start your walk.

You are not allowed to drive in any of the fields with any type of motorized vehicle, only on foot. If you are caught on your ATV or any motorized vehicle, the National Park Service could arrest you and they will most certainly write you a very expensive ticket. I have personally seen people be arrested and receive tickets because they don’t pay attention to the signs that are clearly posted.

If you don’t see the horses in the field, walk down to the left towards the river and follow that along to the woods. You will have to explore this area along the river bank as well as the interior of the woods at times in order to find the horses. I’ve seen the horses cross the river in the mornings and evenings, which is a lot of fun to watch. You can also hike the perimeter of the fields along the woods if you don’t see them and I frequently find them in the woods. Depending on the conditions that day, this can be easy and enjoyable, or it can be pretty difficult because of heat and humidity, mud, standing water, flies/insects, etc.
If you don’t see the Shawnee Creek Herd at this location, go back 106-211 to Highway 106 and turn left (east). Turn left on Highway V towards Two Rivers campground, and approximately 2.2 miles on the left, there are some vegetation fields where the Shawnee Creek herd is frequently seen.

They travel in the woods between these fields on Highway V to Shawnee Creek Campground. I’ve hiked through the woods between the locations and found the horses, but I wouldn’t recommend that unless you know the area and understand the terrain and conditions. You have to wade across water and unless you are an experienced hiker, I would not recommend this to the average person.

At the V highway (Two Rivers) fields, there are no clearly defined parking places at these fields, but you will see where people pull off to the side of the road and park. Once again, be prepared to do a lot of walking. I’ve walked as much as 5 miles or more in a single visit in order to find and follow the horses at these locations. Sometimes they are in the middle of the fields, and very little walking is required, and other times, you have to be patient and wait for them or do a lot of walking along the river or in the woods to find them. I always wear boots and you should expect to get a decent workout.

I want to make sure you are prepared to have a good experience and understand the range of possibilities. Just because you don’t see them in the middle of a field doesn’t mean they are not in the area. These are the times when you need to do more walking, and also you can increase your chances by going first thing in the morning or the late evenings before sunset.

The best way to stay up to date with the Shawnee Creek herd is to be part of the Wild Horses of Missouri Facebook Group, where I post my latest photos, videos, and tips on the horses.