Bell Mountain Wilderness is a 9,143-acre wilderness that is part of the St. Francois Mountains, one of the oldest landforms in North America. The wilderness is named for a family that once lived and farmed along the ridge top that is now known as Bell Mountain. Elevations range from 1,702 feet at Bell Mountain to 970 feet in the Joe's Creek drainage. Local relief is about 600 feet and is characterized by steep felsite and rhyolite outcroppings. Both Bell Mountain and Lindsey Mountain offer outstanding views of the surrounding area. The associated granite glades provide a variety of interesting plant and animal life.
Shut-in Creek crosses the area. It is a perennial spring-fed stream with several shut-ins or gorges along its course. Steep talus slopes intersect the stream at several locations. Joe's Creek is another small perennial stream within the wilderness.
Rockpile Mountain Wilderness is 4,238 acres and takes its name from an ancient circle of granite rock, piled by some earlier man on top of the mountain. It is located in Madison County on the Fredericktown Ranger District, southeast of Bell Mountain and southwest of Fredericktown, Missouri. The area is primarily a broken ridge, having steep rocky slopes running from Little Grass Mountain on the north to the National Forest boundary four miles to the south.
Our volunteer crew will support the Mark Twain Forest Service in important deferred maintenance projects in Bell Mountain Wilderness and Rockpile Mountain Wilderness. Priority work includes installing new signs at trail intersections, logging out downed trees, tread repair, trail drainage work, trash pickup, water bar installation, and invasive species removal. This project is a top priority on the Forest and is located in two of the most heavily used Wildernesses in the State of Missouri. This project simply will not get done without a lengthy coordinated volunteer outing. The project site is in the best part of the Ozark Mountains.
We'll spend the week dispersed tent camped near cars at Bell Mountain Wilderness or Silver Mines Recreation Area. On our day off you can hike Taum Sauk Mountain (the tallest point in Missouri), explore unique gorges at Johnson's Shut-ins State Park, or simply enjoy the beauty of the Ozarks.
Please note: Due to COVID-19, Wilderness Volunteers is operating our 2021 project schedule under our Modified Project Procedures for Volunteers. These project guidelines will be revised as needed. Please check back often for the latest version.
Due to additional COVID-19 precautions, we are prohibiting mixed household volunteer carpooling (with volunteers outside of the same household traveling in the same vehicle) to projects until further notice. Exceptions to this policy (eg close friends traveling together) will need to be discussed with/pre-approved by the office and will require additional precautionary steps for the individuals involved. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
This project is rated as a strenuos project.
Oct 10th - Oct 16th 2021
installing new signs at trail intersections, logging out downed trees, tread repair, trail drainage
Hiking, Taum Sauk Mountain, explore gorges @ Johnson's Shut-ins State Park
Tent camping near cars
Strenuous : ~3-mile hikes OW, 600', bending, digging, hauling, lifting, kneeling, planting