Within an hour's drive from St. Louis there is an old lead mine system called the Offsets or Mine LaMotte near Fredericktown which offers cave diving with excellent visibility (70 feet or more) at shallow depths. To my knowledge the deepest you can get in there is about 70 feet, with most diving taking place in the 30 to 40 foot range. Mine LaMotte offers you an excellent opportunity to dive into the past days in mining. Old mine carts and plenty of other relics are still present in these flooded tunnels. Some tunnels contain air pockets where you can get out of the water and explore on foot. But be sure to maintain a continuous guideline to the entrance since this mine system is like a maze with different levels. Permanent lines are installed, but there is such an immense number of tunnels with lines in them that someone diving it for the first time could easily get confused. So follow all the rules of safe cave diving. The owner is really friendly to cave divers and only charges $10 for the day. There is also an open pit for recreational diving and swimming. Mine LaMotte can be dove all year, but in the winter months it is best to call the owner and let him know you are coming.
From Chicago take I-55 south through St. Louis and exit in Missouri 67. Follow this to State Road 72. Check map for more details.
|Entrance fee is $10.00 into the site. There is no local air available.|
|Maximum Depth||70 ft.|
|Maximum Visibility||20 ft.|