The Conservation Department purchased the original 600 acres for the Lead Mine Conservation Area in 1965 through a University of Missouri land grant. Additional land was acquired with Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson funding, and the state conservation sales tax, increasing the area to 7,761 acres.
During early settlement in the late 1800s and early 1900s, some lead mining did take place near the area. However, evidence of this is hard to find.
Many people made their living and raised their families on small farms that now make up Lead Mine Conservation Area. The town of Lead Mine, just one-quarter mile west, is a small community known for its country atmosphere, hand-made goods and horse drawn buggies.
Lead Mine Conservation Area contains many excellent examples of dolomite glade communities, oak-hickory uplands, and clear running springs. Deer, turkey, raccoon, squirrel, rabbit, coyote, and many other small animals and birds are commonly seen from the gravel roads and forest trails.
Wildlife habitat management includes the creation of watering ponds and manipulation of fields within the forest to provide added food sources. Timber harvesting is also an important element in habitat management. It produces forage and cover for forest wildlife.
There are six primitive camping areas. The main campground has 51 sites with 26 of them able to accommodate trailers. A privy is provided at the main campground, but no other facilities are provided in any other camping areas. Camping is all on a first come first served basis.
Numerous multi-use trails can be found on the area. They are open to hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Multiuse trails are closed during all portions of the firearms deer season and the Spring turkey season. Hunting is allowed in accordance with the proper season. An unstaffed shooting range is located on the Southeast side of the area. The range is closed on Monday's for maintenance.
- Sunday, 04:00 AM - 10:00 PM
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 04:00 AM - 10:00 PM
8024 - 3CSR 10-11 - 105 Title; Authority
Chapter 11 of the Wildlife Code applies to this area. The information provided reflects regulations for most activities on this conservation area but does not contain regulations for all possible uses. For more information on area regulations consult the Wildlife Code or call the phone number listed for the area in the area details section.
8024 - 3CSR 10-11 - 110 General Provisions
Department areas designated as open to the public may be accessed and used for hiking; sightseeing; nature observation; entering or remaining on designated portions of department areas; possession of pets and hunting dogs; field trials; use of vehicles, bicycles, horses, and horseback riding; collecting of nuts, berries, fruits, edible wild greens, and mushrooms; camping; tree stands; target shooting and use of shooting ranges; decoys and blinds; use of boats and motors; taking bullfrogs and green frogs; hunting; trapping; and fishing. The locations and times when department areas may be entered, remained on, or used for these activities may be further restricted by Chapter 11 of the Wildlife Code, signs, this conservation atlas, or area maps. In addition to the rules of the Wildlife Code, federal, state and local laws apply on department lands.
The following activities are prohibited on department areas and may not be authorized by a special use permit:
1. Destruction, defacing, or removal of department property
2. Digging or excavating
3. Guiding for pay
4. Military or law enforcement training by nongovernment entities
5. Placing of grain, salt products, minerals, and other consumable products on land
6. Placing or using trail or game cameras or other similar devices
7. Use of paint ball, airsoft, or similar projectile weapons not specifically authorized by this Code
8. Placement of honey bee apiaries
9. Parking or storage of watercraft and commercial vehicles during closed hours
10. Use of fireworks
11. Use of remote-controlled boats or land vehicles
12. Prospecting, exploring, mining, or extracting minerals, metals, oil, natural gas, or other nonrenewable resources, except as specifically approved by the commission
13. Commercial or political advertising, except for commercial advertising by authorized concessionaires or by vendors participating in department events
Other activities not listed above, including commercial use and vending, may be authorized by a special use permit when the activity is compatible with other authorized activities. Special use permits may be issued only by the area manager or their designee. Issuance of a special use permit is at the discretion of the department. Application for a special use permit does not guarantee that one will be issued.
Signs, posted regulations, or area maps may further restrict activities, including designating portions of department areas as open or closed to public use. Department areas or designated portions of department areas may be closed, or regulations may be changed, through posting to protect the public from hazardous conditions and threats to public safety, to protect fish and wildlife resources, and for special events or resource management activities where public use conflicts are likely to occur. All persons entering, remaining on, or using a department area shall abide by signs, posted regulations, and area maps.
Waste containers located on department areas may be used only for disposal of garbage, trash, refuse, or rubbish generated on the department area. NOTE: Waste containers are not provided on all department areas.
Collecting wild animals (including invertebrates) and their unprocessed parts is prohibited except under the provisions of a valid Wildlife Collector’s Permit, or as otherwise authorized in the Wildlife Code.
Collecting or possessing wild plants and their unprocessed parts is prohibited except by a Letter of Authorization for Plant Collecting, or as otherwise authorized in the Wildlife Code.
8024 - 3CSR 10-11 - 115 Closings
This department area is open for public use from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily; however, hunting fishing, trapping, dog training, camping, launching and landing boats is allowed 24 hours a day on areas where these activities are permitted. Parking or storing watercraft or commercial vehicles is prohibited on department areas during closed hours.
8024 - 3CSR 10-11 - 135 Wild Plants, Plant Products, and Mushrooms
Nuts, berries, fruits, edible wild greens and mushrooms may be taken only for personal consumption; EXCEPT on locations designated as Missouri Natural Areas, taking edible wild greens is prohibited. Vegitation, including trees, may not be cut or destroyed.
8024 - 3CSR 10-11 - 130 Vehicles, Bicycles, Horses, and Horseback Riding
Unless otherwise posted, bicycles, including electric bicycles as defined in the Missouri Wildlife Code, are allowed on roads open to vehicular traffic and service roads (designated in the online conservation atlas). Bicycles must stay on roads open to vehicular traffic or service roads, or on multi-use trails posted as open to bicycles. Bicycle use is not allowed on service roads passing through designated natural areas (designated in the online conservation atlas). Groups of 10 or more people using bicycles on a department area must obtain a special use permit from the area manager. The area manager can be contacted at the phone number listed in the area details section for this department area.
State laws regarding the operation, registration and required equipment apply to the operation of motor vehicles on locations open to vehicular traffic on department areas.
Except as otherwise posted, the speed limit on department areas is 45 miles per hour.
Unless otherwise posted, bicycles, including electric bicycles as defined in the Missouri Wildlife Code (Chapter 20- Definitions), are allowed on roads open to vehicular traffic and service roads (designated in the online conservation atlas) . Bicycles must stay on roads open to vehicular traffic, service roads, or on multi-use trails posted as open to bicycles. Bicycle use is not allowed on service roads passing through designated natural areas (designated in the online conservation atlas). Groups of 10 or more people using bicycles on a department area must obtain a special use permit from the area manager. The area manager can be contacted at the phone number listed in the area details section for this department area.
This department area also has multi-use trails open to bicycles. On multi-use trails and service roads designated as open to bicycles, bicycles are prohibited during all portions of the firearms deer hunting season in November, December, and January and during the spring turkey hunting seasons in April and May on this area.
Equestrian use is allowed on roads open to vehicular traffic. Horses must stay on roads open to vehicular traffic or on multi-use trails posted as open to horses. Groups of 10 or more people using horses on a department area must obtain a special use permit from the area manager. The area manager can be contacted at the phone number listed in the area details section for this department area.
8024 - 3CSR 10-11 - 140 Camping
8024 - 3CSR 10-11 - 150 Target Shooting and Shooting Ranges
8024 - 3CSR 10-11 - 120 Pets and Hunting Dogs
8024 - 3CSR 10-11 - 180 Hunting, General Provisions and Seasons
Hunting is prohibited on some conservation areas, but allowed on others. Special regulations may apply to hunting. To determine the hunting regulations for this conservation area, consult the Missouri Code of State Regulations in Chapter 11 of the Wildlife Code at the Missouri Code of State Regulations website.
8024 - 3CSR 10-11 - 145 Tree Stands
8024 - 3CSR 10-11 - 155 Decoys and Blinds
8024 - 3CSR 10-11 - 125 Field Trials
8024 - 3CSR 10-11 - 200 Fishing, General Provisions and Seasons
Fishing is allowed on most conservation areas, but prohibited on some. To determine if fishing is an acttivity that is allowed on this conservation area, and any special regulations that may apply, please consult the Missouri Code of State Regulations in Chapter 11 of the Wildlife Code.
8024 - 3CSR 10-11 - 160 Use of Boats and Motors
Boats (including canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, and sailboats) may be used on waters located on department areas. On lakes and ponds, boats may be used only on waters designated as open to boats. State laws regarding the operation, registration, and required safety equipment apply to watercraft being operated on waters under the control of the department. Boats may not be left unattended overnight.
The use of houseboats, airboats, and personal watercraft are prohibited.
8024 - 3CSR 10-11 - 187 Trapping
Seasonal Hunting and Fishing Information
Turkey - Spring
During the youth spring season, one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
During the regular spring season, one-half hour before sunrise to 1:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time.
Two male turkeys or turkeys with a visible beard, with the following restrictions:
Only one turkey during the first week of the regular spring season. Hunters who are unsuccessful during the first week, may take two turkey during the second and third week of the season, but both turkey may not be taken on the same day. A turkey harvested during the youth spring season counts toward a hunter's spring season bag limit.
During the spring youth season, only one male turkey or turkey with a visible beard. Youths who take a turkey during the youth season may not harvest their second bird until the second Monday of the regular spring season.
Spring turkey hunting is allowed only on Conservation Department Areas that are listed in the current 2023 Spring Turkey Regulation Booklet. Please reference pages 8-15 in the booklet for information on regulations, methods, and limits for specific conservation areas. If an area that is owned or managed by the department is not listed in the booklet, then spring turkey hunting is not allowed. Click here: 2023 Spring Turkey Regulation Booklet to view the regulations.
The following methods are prohibited for turkey hunting: use of dogs, bait, electronic calls or live decoys. Hunters also may not possess a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined; shotshells loaded with shot larger than No. 4; arrows, bolts, and darts containing any drug, poison, chemical, or explosive; and electronic calls or electronically activated calls.
Things to Do When You Visit
Rifle or Pistol
Designated Camping Sites
Archery and Firearms
Antlerless Permits Not Allowed
Archery and Firearms
Archery and Firearms
Special Use Permit