Getting the winter lead out.
By Larry Archer
Given Missouri’s history as a leading lead producer, any number of conservation areas in the state’s lead belt could make a much more credible claim on the name Lead Mine Conservation Area (CA) than the 7,761 acres in Dallas County that holds the title.
Named for the nearby community of Lead Mine, neither the town nor the conservation area contributed significantly to Missouri’s lead mining past, said Resource Forester Steven Laval, Lead Mine CA manager. “They actually did try to do some surface lead mining there, probably in the late 1800s, early 1900s,” Laval said. “I guess they didn’t find much.”
What the area produces, however, are opportunities for people looking to get the winter lead out. With more than 22 miles of hilly, multiuse trails and a half-mile hiking- only trail, hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers can find plenty of challenge, Laval said.
“There are a couple of designated hiking trails, but most of the use is equestrian,” Laval said.
The area’s access to more than 2 miles of the Niangua River also offers winter floaters and anglers additional opportunity, he said.
Lead Mine Conservation Area consists of 7,761 acres in Dallas County. From Plad, take Highway 64 west, then Route T north, and Route YY east 0.50 mile. From Lebanon, take Highway 5 north to Route E, which will become Bluff Trail at the end of pavement. Follow Bluff Trail 0.25 mile to area. There is no vehicle access to the west side of area from the east side.
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Larry Archer
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