This is an abandoned mining town on the St. Francois River with shut-ins, 200 foot bluffs and scenic hiking trails. There is a 2-mile Silver Mines Trail which follows both sides of the river, leading to various picnic areas. Also a 1.2-mile trail spurs to Millstream Gardens Conservation area, where visitors can view spectacular rock formations along the river.
(12 miles east on Hwy 72)
Silver Mines offers a variety of recreational opportunities and is abundant with historic and geological wonders. This beautiful area is located along the St. Francis River, the only river in Missouri classified as “white water,” and is used for kayaking during the spring high waters. Silver Mines is located at a historic mining operation and is known for its Precambrian granite and felsite rocks. Silver Mines Recreation Area is named for the abandoned “Einstein Mine”, which was mined for Silver, Tungsten and Lead. The Einstein Silver Mining Company began mining in 1877, and mining ceased completely in 1946.
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.