Silver Mines Campground is located on the St. Francis River in the Mark Twain National Forest. It offers a variety of recreational opportunities and abundant historic and geological wonders.
Parts of the river are available for swimming, while other portions provide good fishing. Whitewater kayaking is a popular activity during the springtime when water runs high. Depending on water levels, the state holds an annual kayaking competition the third weekend of March.
The 2-mile Silver Mines Trail follows both sides of the river, leading to various picnic areas. A 1.2-mile trail spurs to a popular conservation area, where visitors can view spectacular rock formations along the river.
The campground offers dozens of single-family campsites, as well as large group sites, all available for tent and RV camping. Some sites have 30-amp electric hookups. The large group sites can accommodate up to 75 and 100 people. Additional sites are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Picnic tables and campfire rings with grills are provided, as are accessible vault toilets and drinking water. Parking spurs vary from asphalt, to grass, to gravel or dirt.
This beautiful area is located along the St. Francis River, the only river in Missouri classified as a whitewater river. It is widely used for kayaking during springtime. The campground is located at a historic mining operation and is known for its Precambrian granite and felsite rocks. A variety of wildlife makes its home in the area.
The Millstream Gardens Conservation Area is located eight miles west of Fredericktown, or four miles west of the campground, on Highway 72. It is home to the scenic Tiemann Shut-ins and other spectacular sights along the riverbed.
ADA Access: N
The campground was spacious and quiet. Just a short walk to the river and stunning views. Beautiful hiking trails as well. The campground hosts were very friendly and took good care of all the campsites.
They have 3 Loops. A lower loop (on the river) for campers with electric and 2 upper Loops for basic camping and non-electric sites. The furtherbloop is very VERY basic and desolate!No bathhouse, vault toilets scattered though. They do have double sites for larger families and they do have a group camp area. Great place for hiking, fishing and paved for bicycles.
We spent 2 nights here and it was great! All of the sites are flat and very large. They have fire rings and tables a most do. The goats are very nice and there are trails and shut ins nearby. Highly recommend it.
I I absolutely loved this Campground. It is a very clean park, very spacious camping areas. It has a amazing group area with fire pits and grills. The hiking is amazing. The swimming is absolutely wonderful. The couple that takes care of the park are super friendly great people. You are only 10 minutes from a town in case you have forgotten something, but the park seems secluded. There is no running water for showers, but the bathroom houses are quite large and kept very clean. They do not smell like an outhouse.
The chilly mid-April weekend still saw a good amount of campers at this clean, well maintained campground. The campsites provide the basics: a fire pit, picnic table, lantern hook, and flat gravel area for tents. The campground also offers vault toilets and a water spigot, don't expect electric hook ups or a shower in the summer time. The St. Francis river runs through the area, making it a popular spot to whitewater kayak. We got to see a few kayakers while we were there.
We did find ourselves wishing there was a map of available trails in the area. We couldn't find one anywhere in the park. Basically, you have to stumble across a trail head. The THs have a sign that just tells you the destination, no distances or terrain info. Because of this set up, we didn't get to see the actually Silver Mine there; we never could find the appropriate trail.
Advanced reservations for campsites are available through the us forestry website. If you do not pay online in advanced, make sure to bring cash or check with you. It is needed for the day use fee or camping fee.
As a Dyrt Ranger I get to review gear from time to time and on this trip I got the opportunity to try out Mountain House's new Turkey Dinner meal. I'm a big fan of Mountain House meals. They are my go-to for all my backpacking trips. You can always count on them to be a good freeze dried meal after a long hike. The Turkey dinner meal has a good amount of vegetables in it, which I was very happy to see. Frequently good nutrition is sacrificed in freeze dried meals and on the trail in general. The Turkey dinner was just fine, in my opinion. I'll probably try it again, but it doesn't feel like it stacks up to the awesomeness of MH's other newer meal (Spicy Southwest Breakfast Hash) which I want to eat even when I'm not on the trail. I think the name Homestyle Turkey Dinner evokes ideas of Thanksgiving dinner, then when you're not eating grandma's turkey out in the woods, you're a little disappointed. However, like I said, I'll probably try it again, with my expectations tempered a bit. Probably in the fall, after I've just hiked 10 miles while carrying 35lbs, my brain will tell me this is better than grandma's turkey could have ever dreamed to have been.