Valles Mines, Missouri, U S A
Founded in 1749 by Francois Valle years before he became Commandante of the Fort of Sainte Genevieve and The King of Spain made him Don Francois Valle for saving their Fort San Carlos (now St. Louis).
270 years later as The Valle Mining Company, his 4000+ acre property every year absorbs 21,000 tons of carbon dioxide and puts out 14,000 tons of oxygen, enough to meet the needs of 63,000 people. [USDA Forest Facts]
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Trails of Valles Mines

Bridle, Saddle & Wagon Permit map

North

The present Valles Mines Railway Station and the Post Office at V Road share the railroad right-of-way which falls almost within sight of Flint Rock Mound where Indian braves long before the railway made their spearpoints [about a hundred yards west of the R.R. ROW].

A quarter mile farther south on the RR ROW a central trail comes off to the east that connects the railway to the ridge behind the General Store and continues for a mile to the Rock Road.

But if you don;t want to go that far, just a few hundred yards south of the Post Office a trail begins. Go east on the R.R. ROW and there you will find a road through Hick's Field, aka, The [former] Corn Field, where food for the oxen was grown. At the north corner of the [former] corn field you will find a ford across Finney Creek in the form of a flat, 25 ft. wide rock shelf in the Finney Creek Bed. That road, at the base of a large hill, allows crossing Valles Mines Creek where it is marked with brown horsehead signs running across Valles Mines Creek. Should you cross there, it will give you access to Valles Mines School Road. Formerly this route gave access to the Chat Pile & Concentrator by way of a bridge now long since demolished.

The Hillsboro-Farmington Road

The present Valles Mines Road originally served to connect Hillsboro and Farmington. You went through Buster Crossing, over the mountain looking down on Tunnel Station, through Halifax Post Office, out the Post Office Road (now called Crow Lane) to French Village, then on to Ste. Genevieve.

Once known as the "Hillsboro-Farmington Road", it is now "Y Highway". MoDOT cut "French Village Road" during the construction of Hwy 67 near the AT & T Long Distance Radio Tower in 1954.

If you start at Buster crossing going south and...

  • take the left fork, you will be taking the high road over the top of the MR & BT Tunnel.

    What we have come to call The "Mud Road" starts at the foundations of the Upper Lake Ore Washer. At its other end this haul road comes down from the Big Lode Mine, hopefully to be opened Summer 2020 as a tourist attraction to compete with the Bonne Terre Mine Tours. However, turning west to follow this road halfway up the mountain is hazardous as the road is washed out in many places. Explore at your own peril (permit required). It would be far easier to park your horse trailer behind the Green House at 14161 and starting at the Rock Road, go up to the top and come down from the foot of the High Wall at the Frazier Quarry. You will have to cross a tiny creek which may be dry. Be careful, this is rough ground and a challenge if your used to flat paddocks. Road renovation coming Summer 2020.

  • take the right fork, you will be taking the low road onto the railway's right-of-way and THROUGH the Haunted Tunnel to Tunnel Station and its cemetery.

The Tiff Ponds

If you find one huge dam, you have reached The Tiff Ponds and are looking at the Upper Lake.

Vinegar Hill Road


1) Near where Vinegar Hill Road today joins Valles Mines Road, an old road from the once-mighty Garottee Mine used to go rom there parallel to VM Road, over the dam on the Upper Lake, to the ore washer there on the north (see concrete foundations).

2) Farther east on Vinegar Hill Road a branch road comes off going north which runs parallel to VM Road but along the ridgeline to the east side above the Upper Lake, eventaully ending at Tunnel Station.

3) A north branch of Vinegar Hill Road, the historic Selma Road, known in the late-1700's as THE haul road out of the Lead Belt, comes in from the south. The road to the Upper Lake, although now in bad repair and overgrown except during leaf-off, originally served the Selma Road as well and crossing the dam was easy before excavation of the south spillway interrupted the historic roadway. .

The MR & BT Railway between Valles Mines Station and Tunnel Station

Mississippi River & Bonne Terre ("MRBT") Railway sights you would have seen had you been riding the train back then.

Tunnel Station Features:

  • The Cemetery at Tunnel Station was served by a now abandoned County Road that connected to the Silver Springs Baptist Church on Hardin Road.
  • Tunnel Station was also served by a now abandoned County road to the Halifax Post Office Road (now Y-Highway after it crosses 67) to French Village and Ste. Genevieve.
  • Alternatively, to get to Ste. Genevieve from Valles Mines, take The Rock Road past the vista at the Crowbar Shaft near Hill 1133, the USGS "VALLEY" marker.
  • Silver Springs Road and Berry Road Connection was at the railroad station where the MR&BT crossed Silver Springs Road, just up the tracks from Tunnel Sta. past the Calzine Zinc furnace and digs for our signature Drusy Quartz mineral.
  • A dirt airfield for tail draggers where the MRBT crossed Hardin road at Cole Lake called Cole Field.
  • All the connections to French culture in SE Missouri began in Ste. Francois County. When the State carved up Ste. Genevieve County to make Franklin County there had to be an artery to get between the County seats, formerly called "The Hillsboro-Farmington Road". We did offer MoDOT a chance to re-open this road through to V Road, they declined "for now", perhaps waiting until after the widening of State Road V to DeSoto in 2020?