Lead Mine Conservation Area

Driving Directions

Southwest entrance: From Plad, take Highway 64 west, then Route T north, then Route YY east 0.50 mile.
Northeast entrance: 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.


This forested area contains savanna, glades, and old fields. Facilities and features include boat ramps, an unmanned firearms range, fishable ponds, several intermittent streams, and two permanent streams (Niangua River, Jakes Creek).

About This Area

Lead Mine Conservation Area is in northeastern Dallas County, 40 miles south of Lake of the Ozarks, 12 miles north of Bennett Springs, five miles east of Tunas, and 21 miles northeast of Buffalo.

The area provides about two miles of Niangua River frontage and has a 3.5-mile stretch of Jakes Creek running through it. The area also has several wildlife watering ponds and seven springs and is composed mainly of forest land.

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 five primitive camping areas. One is for groups by special use permit only and one is only open October 1 through January 15. The main campground has 51 sites with 26 of them able to accommodate trailers. Camping is all on a first come first served basis.

General Information




Owned by MDC

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List. Designated an Important Bird Area by Audubon Missouri.  
Camping - Individual Campsites  Additional group camping area is available by special use permit only.  Contact the Area Manager.  
Camping - Individual Campsites  No amenities provided. 
Canoeing  Niangua River   
Demonstrations  Glade Restoration Trail (hiking only) 
Fishing - Bass Good population.  
Fishing - Catfish Fair population.  
Fishing - Other Good population. Suckers 
Fishing - Sunfish Good population.  
Horseback Riding   
Hunting-Deer Good population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Quail Good population.  
Hunting-Rabbit Fair population.  
Hunting-Squirrel Good population.  
Hunting-Turkey Good population. Turkey regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Spring Turkey or Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Other  Target shooting at unstaffed firearms range.  Range may be shut down for a short period on Monday's for weekly maintenance.     
Trapping with Special Use Permit   

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Boat Ramp - Stream - Concrete   Niangua River   
Boat Ramp - Stream - Other   Bank access only. 
Camping Area - Individual Campsites   Main Campground has long pads for travel trailers.  
OtheraccessibleShooting Range  Unstaffed firearms range with portable privy.  Range may be shut down for a short period on Mondays for weekly maintenance.  
Parking Lotaccessible 29  2-Gravel Parking Lot with concrete pads.  

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Designated Natural Area Niangua River Hills Natural Area 614.00 acres Three tracts on the area. Please see area map and natural areas for additional information.  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond 1 0.25 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond 2 0.25 acres  
Fishless Pond  36 16.00 acres  
Non-Stocked Pond  1.00 acres  
Other Berry Bluff 0.00 count  
Spring King's Spring 2500.00 # gallons per day  
Spring Webster Spring 2500.00 # gallons per day  
Stream - Intermittent Mill Hollow 2.00 miles  
Stream - Intermittent Persimmon Hollow 1.50 miles  
Stream - Intermittent Bob Hollow 2.20 miles  
Stream - Intermittent Jantz Hollow 0.80 miles  
Stream - Intermittent Brush Hollow 2.20 miles  
Stream - Intermittent Jakes Creek 3.50 miles Some permanent stretches of this stream exist  
Stream - Permanent Niangua River 2.50 miles  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Lakes/Ponds 1.50  
Forest and Woodland 6519.50  
Glade 162.00  
Savanna 496.00  
Old Field 543.00  
Other 38.00  
Total Area Acres:7760.72 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
Hiking trail (Easy) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 0.50 
Blue trail (Moderate) Multi-Use (Hike/Bike/Horse) 8.60 
Red trail (Moderate) Multi-Use (Hike/Bike/Horse) 2.50 
Green trail (Difficult) Multi-Use (Hike/Bike/Horse) 2.20 
Orange trail (Difficult) Multi-Use (Hike/Bike/Horse) 5.70 
Yellow trail (Difficult) Multi-Use (Hike/Bike/Horse) 3.20 

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Shooting Range General Information






1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset unless otherwise posted

Click Shooting Ranges for more information.

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