ODNR Ohio State Parks
 
 
Alum Creek State Park

3615 S. Old State Road
Delaware, OH 43015
740-548-4631

866-644-6727 for camping and getaway rental reservations

Reserve Campsites     Reserve Getaway Rentals
 

Park Map | Campground Map

Alum Creek's large reservoir and gently rolling span of fields and woodlands provides a hub of recreational activity just minutes from Ohio's capital city. Quiet coves nestled among shale cliffs await the solitary fisherman in the park's northern reaches while sunseekers mingle with thousands on Ohio's largest inland beach.
Activity Facilities Quantity
Resource Land, acres 4630
  Water, acres 3,387
Activities Fishing yes
  Hunting yes
  Hiking Trail, miles 9.5
  Bridle Trails, miles 38
  Mountain Bike Trail, miles 14
  Picnicking yes
  Swimming Beach, feet 3000
Boating Boat Rental yes
  Boating Limits UNL
  Fuel For Sale yes
  Seasonal Dock Rental yes
  Launch Ramps 4
Winter Recreation Sledding yes
  Ice Skating yes
  Snowmobiling yes
  Cross-Country Skiing yes
  Ice Fishing yes
  Ice Boating yes
Camping Campsites, with Elect., # 286
  Full-Service Sites 3
  Camper Cabins 5
  Cedar Cabins 3
  Campground Beach yes
  Pets area yes
  Showers yes
  Flush Toilets yes
  Dumpstation yes
  Group Camp, capacity 100
  Horsemen Campsites, # 30

Camping

  • 286 electric campsites offer both wooded and sunny areas, some of which overlook the lake
  • Each site has a 50-amp electrical hookup
  • 3 full-service campsites offer electric, sewer and water hookups
  • Heated shower facilities with flush toilets
  • Beach and boat ramp for exclusive use of the overnight guests
  • Basketball courts, horshoe pits and playgrounds
  • Nature programs
  • Free WiFi for registered campers
  • Dump station
  • Group camp for organized groups is available by reservation 
  • Horsemen's camp provides 30 primitive sites

Getaway Rentals

Dog ParkPhoot of dogs playing

  • The Friends of Alum Creek Dog Park is on a 4-acre site along the reservoir near the marina.
  • The grounds include a fenced area with water access for dogs that enjoy water sports and two additional fenced areas for small and large dogs. Read more...

Trails

  • 2 hiking trails
    • Park Office Trail • 1.5 Miles • Easy
    • Hollenback Trail
  • Multi-Purpose Trail • Hiking, Snowmobile, Dog Sledding, X-cty Skiing • 7 Miles • Moderate
  • 3 mountain bike trails • See the mountain bike trail maps
    • Mountain Bike Trail • 2 Miles • Easy
    • Mountain Bike Trail • 5 Miles • Moderate
    • Mountain Bike Trail • 7 Miles • Difficult
  • Bridle trails
    • 38 miles of bridle trails wind along the lakeshore through mature beech-maple forests and across deep ravines • Riders must provide their own mounts

Boating

  • Alum Creek Reservoir contains 3,387 acres of water.
  • There are 4 Boat Ramps (2 South, 1 East, and 1 North) to allow boater access.
  • Lake south of Cheshire Road is a boater's paradise with unlimited horsepower and plenty of room for skiers.
  • The northern portion of the lake offers a quieter scene with tree-lined shores, shale cliffs and sheltered inlets for paddeling.
  • For more information on boat rentals please call (740) 548-6056 or go to www.alumcreek.com.

Hunting and Fishing

  • Narrow coves and quiet inlets offer fine catches of bass, bluegill, crappie, walleye and saugeye.
  • Northern half of the park is best for the squirrel and deer hunter
  • Southern half offers better opportunities for rabbit and other upland game.
  • Valid Ohio hunting and fishing license are required. Note the hunting map as many areas are restricted.

Picnicking

  • 8 Scenic picnic areas are available with tables, grills, restrooms and drinking water enhance the lakeshore.
  • Two shelterhouses are maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers at the Alum Creek dam. Contact the Corps office at (740) 548-6151 for information regarding their use.

Swimming

  • 3,000 foot beach is the largest inland beach in Ohio's state park system
  • Shower house and concession stand
  • Sand volleyball courts  
  • The beach is open during daylight hours only
  • Check for water quality advisories

Area Attractions

Nature of the Area

Alum Creek rests in the midst of the fertile agricultural till plains and river valleys of Delaware County. In contrast to the surrounding farmlands, the park offers a diverse array of natural features. Cliffs of Ohio shale are notable in many areas, exposed as Alum Creek and other streams cut through underlying bedrock. The shale was formed as mud washed into the ancient sea which covered the area several hundred million years ago. The dark hue of the rock is due to the mixture of a carbonized plant material and mud that formed the shale.

The rich soils of Delaware County gave rise to a luxuriant beech-maple forest after the retreat of the glaciers about 12,000 years ago. That original forest has long since been cut but a healthy second growth forest is preserved in the park. The woodlands harbor a variety of plant species and offer the interested observer beautiful displays of wildflowers and wildlife. Large-flowered trillium, wild geranium, bloodroot, and spring beauties carpet the forest floor. The forest is home to the fox squirrel, woodchuck, rabbit, white-tail deer and many other species of wildlife.

History of the Area

Long before recorded history, man called this forest and the Alum Creek valley home. The Adena culture lived here over 2,000 years ago. Seven mounds constructed by the mound builders were identified along the creek. Six were excavated before the valley was flooded although archaeologists did not believe them to be burial mounds.

Much later, the Delaware Indian tribe occupied several villages near Alum Creek. A large town was located where the city of Delaware now stands on the banks of the Olentangy River. The Indians cultivated a 400-acre cornfield in much of what is presently downtown. These Algonquin tribespeople entered Ohio in the 1700s, being displaced from their eastern home in the Delaware River valley by the fierce Iroquois nation.

Colonel Moses Byxbe was one of the first settlers in the county. He built his home in 1805 on Alum Creek and named the township Berkshire after his native Berkshire, Massachusetts. He owned 8,000 acres on the creek and was the co-owner of 30,000 more. These were military lands which he sold for $2.50 to $10 per acre.

With the threat of the War of 1812, the frontier counties set about erecting structures to defend themselves in case of Indian attack. Four blockhouses were built in the county, one of which was on Alum Creek. The fortress had two stories, the second of which protruded over the first yielding a place from which to shoot, drop boiling water on the attackers and defy attempts to set the log structure on fire. This Fort Cheshire, which stood until the Civil War, was later used as a schoolhouse. A bronze plaque commemorates the site where the fort once stood in what is now the park's family campground.

During the fifty years prior to the Civil War, the border state of Ohio offered many routes for the Underground Railroad by which slaves escaped to freedom. Over 40,000 slaves passed northward through Ohio along these paths. The Sycamore Trail, whose guideposts were often the ghostly white bark of this floodplain tree, ran along Alum Creek. Slaves waded in the waters of the creek as they left the safe Hanby House in Westerville and attempted to elude pursuing trackers. Africa Road received its name from the fact that thirty slaves, freed in North Carolina, settled near friendly homeowners in this area.

Alum Creek Dam is part of the flood control plan for the Ohio River Basin. The lake was authorized by Congress in the Flood Control Act of 1962. Construction began in August of 1970 and was completed in 1974.