SAINT 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. In 1972, the St. Joe Minerals Corp. ceased operations and subsequently donated the land to the state in 1976.
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 historic mill buildings, where St. Joe Minerals once processed the lead ore, still stand nearby and have been designated as Missouri Mines State Historic Site. There you can enjoy an excellent mining museum featuring a large collection of geological specimens and antique mining and milling equipment.
St. Joe State Park has two campgrounds. The campground you use is dependent on what type of recreational equipment you have with you.
If you have off-road vehicles (ORVs) and wish to camp, you must use Campground
The required daily riding permit cost is not included in the campsite fee.
If you have horses and wish to camp, you must use Campground 2.
If you have neither ORVs or horses and wish to camp, you may stay in either Campground 1 or Campground 2.
If you have both ORVs and horses and wish to camp, you must check with park staff to obtain a campsite.
Please check campsite capacity regulations to make sure your sleeping units and vehicles/trailers can be accommodated on one campsite. If the amount of equipment and vehicles exceeds the regulations, you will need to purchase an additional campsite.
Due to the high demand for campsites at this park, it is recommended that reservations be made in advance. For all campsites, check-in time is 3 p.m. and check-out time is 2 p.m. For reservations, there is a required two-night minimum stay on weekends year-round and major holidays from May 15 through Sept. 15.
Please keep all wheels and tires on the asphalt vehicle pad. Park vehicles single file, end to end. All tents must be pitched on the designated tent pad. Travel 10 mph or slower through the campgrounds and comply with all safety rules and regulations.
Both campgrounds are nicely shaded. Campsites are equipped with a picnic table, fire pit and lantern post. Rules and regulations are posted throughout the campground. Please familiarize yourself with these. There are five trailside campsites available at no charge. They are accessible only from the horse trail. Interested parties must inquire at the park office.
Campground 1 has 40 electric pull-through sites. Sites 1-15 have 20 and 30 amp. breakers and site 101-125 have 50 amp. breakers. There are 35 basic pull-in or back-in asphalt sites. The facilities are for overnight guests only. People with ORVs visiting overnight guests will not be allowed to park and unload in the campground. Those visitors must unload at the ORV staging area and are permitted to ride their ORVs to the campground to visit. Overnight guests may unload their ORVs at the campsites and use them for transportation throughout the campground provided the overnight guests adhere to all safety regulations. Payment for first-come, first-served campsites can be made at the park office, at the campground host site or at the booth on weekends during the summer months. If you plan to bring ORVs, please visit the Trails page for the ORV rules and regulations.
The showerhouse at Campground 1 is closed from November through March. Frost-free hydrants are available near campsite 42 and at the dump station. Firewood can be purchased at the wood lot from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. April through October. From November through March, firewood can be purchased at the park office. A frost-free hydrant is available between campsites 12 and 13 for use during the off-season.
Campground 2 has 13 electric pull-in or back-in graveled sites with 20 and 30 amp. breakers and is open April through October. There are 12 basic pull-in or back-in graveled sites. There are two hitching posts at each campsite. Payment for first-come, first-served campsites must be made at the park office. Gates into Campground 2 close at sunset year-round.
The showerhouse (flush toilets, hot showers and coin laundry facilities), playground, dump station and wood lot are located in Campground 1, but are accessible to all registered campers. Frost-free hydrants are available between campsites 212 and 213 and near campsite 225 for use during the off-season.
Swimming is permitted at Monsanto and Pim lakes only. Both lakes are easily accessible and have excellent swimming beaches. A large shelter with picnic tables is located at Monsanto Lake. There are also benches, a volleyball net, a change house and a vault toilet. Pim Lake and beach is smaller than Monsanto, but has benches, picnic tables, barbecue grills, a change house and a vault toilet.
No cans, glass bottles, coolers, fires, alcohol or pets are allowed at the beaches.
The use of metal detectors is allowed on Monsanto and Pim beaches only with written permission from the Division of State Parks. Permits can be obtained free of charge by writing to the Division of State Parks, P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, Mo. 65102. Permitted use is allowed during daylight hours after Labor Day to Memorial Day, and 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Digging tools must not exceed 12 inches in length and 3 inches in width.
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.
There is one gravel boat ramp located at each of the four lakes in St. Joe State Park that are open year-round. Man-powered boats and boats with electric trolling motors are allowed on the lakes; the use of gas-powered motors is not permitted. There are no launch fees. A fishing pass must be obtained from the park office for access to Apollo and JoLee lakes.
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.
State fishing regulations apply. A fishing pass must be obtained for access to Apollo and JoLee lakes.