Silver Mines Recreation Area
State Hwy D
Phone: (573) 438-5427 (Potosi/Fredericktown District Office)
Closest Towns: Arcadia, Fredericktown, Ironton
Directions: From Fredericktown: From the intersection of MO Hwy 72 and US Hwy 67, head West on Hwy 72 approx. 4.3 miles to State Hwy D, near the small community of Oak Grove. Turn Left onto Hwy D, and travel approx. 2.9 miles to the entrance on your right.
From Arcadia/Ironton: Head East on MO Hwy 72 approx. 13.6 miles to State Hwy D, near the small comminuty of Oak Grove. Turn Right on Hwy D, and travel approx. 2.9 miles to the entrance on your right.
About Silver Mines
Located at the site of an historic mining operation, the Silver Mines Recreation Area is known for its Precambrian granite and felsite rocks. This Rec Area is named for the abandoned "Einstein Mine", which was used to mine Silver, Tungsten and Lead, beginning in the 1870s and lasting until 1946. Also located along the St. Francois River, this area is abundant with history, both socially and geologically.
The campground area offers three camping loops, plus one smaller one, and offers 66 individual sites, as well as 9 double sites. Eleven sites offer electric hookups, with the rest being primitive sites with no hookups. Each site offers a table, fire ring, lantern post and parking spur. Many sites will accomodate RV/trailer combinations up to 50 feet. Fourteen sites are rated for tents only. Drinking water and vault toilets are centrally located. No water hookups, showers or dump station facilities are available. A group camping area is also available, and cn accomodate up to 100 people. It can be reserved at www.recreation.gov. The Silver Mines campground can be extremely busy during spring weekends during kayaking season.
The 2-mile long Silver Mines Trail follows both sides of the St. Francois River. The west section of the trail leads to the Riverside Picnic Area. The east section (1 mile) leads to the Turkey Creek Picnic Area. From there, the trail leads 1.2 miles to the Millstream Gardens Conservation Area, home to the Missouri Whitewater Championship Races every spring.
Eight picnic sites are available, each offering a table and pedestal grill. A group pavilion Is also available, with 6 picnic tables, a large pedestal grill, and parking for up to 20 vehicles.
Although mostly popular with kayakers in the spring, the St. Francois River is also a popular swimming hole during the summer months. There is no acutal designated nor managed swimming area, so please enter the river at your own risk. The current can be swift at times, especially during high water. Large rocks and drop-offs are abundant in this river.
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