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.