St. Joe State Park
St. Joe State Park is located in the heart of the old “Lead Belt” of southeast Missouri where much of the nation’s lead ore was extracted for more than a century.
Today, the 8,238-acre St. Joe State Park is Missouri’s third largest state park, with approximately 2,000 acres set aside for the state’s premier off-road vehicle (ORV) riding area. Contact the park office for more information about the special rules and regulations that apply.
The park also features two campgrounds capable of accommodating campers with ORVs and horses, a hiking/bicycling trail, equestrian trails, picnic sites and lakes for swimming and fishing. Visitors can explore several thousand acres of woodlands or spend their days relaxing in the great outdoors.
The off-road vehicle (ORV) riding area is approximately 2,000 acres. It has been set aside for motorcycles, all terrain vehicles (ATVs), utility terrain vehicles (UTVs), dune buggies and four-wheel drive vehicles. There are about 800 acres of “sand-flats,” a sand-like substance of crushed limestone, which is a lead-mining remnant. The remainder of the area is wooded hillsides that are steep in some areas.
There are approximately 15 miles of wooded trails set aside for horses, mountain bicyclists and hikers. Some of the trails are quite rocky, while others are good earthen trails. Some portions of the trails follow along small streams.
There are 13.8 miles of paved bicycle trails. Bicyclists, hikers, skate boarders and roller skaters are permitted on the trails. Motorized vehicles and horses are not permitted on these trails. Blankshire and Harris Branch trail heads are located along Pimville Road.
Anglers in search of bass, catfish and crappie can cast their lines into any of the park’s four stocked lakes. Monsanto Lake is the largest, approximately 25 acres and about 30 feet at its deepest point. Apollo Lake and JoLee Lake are the next in size, and the smallest of the four is Pim Lake. Boats can be used on all four lakes, however, only electric motors are allowed.
Swimming is permitted at Monsanto and Pim lakes only. Both lakes are easily accessible and have excellent swimming beaches. Both swimming beaches are open for the season and can be accessed from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. No cans, glass bottles, coolers, fires, alcohol or pets are allowed at the beaches.
Scuba diving is permitted in Monsanto and Pim lakes. Participants must be certified and must be accompanied by another certified diver. They are required to display a marker indicating their location. Divers must check in and out at the park office.