3615 S Old State Rd, Delaware, Ohio 43015-9673
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.
You can find more information about each of the following activities below.
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.
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Alum Creek's 297 family campsites offer both wooded and sunny areas, some of which overlook the lake. This well-designed campground has a beach and a boat ramp for exclusive use of the overnight guests. Each site has an electrical hookup, and heated shower facilities are located throughout the facility.Campground Map
Swimming: Alum Creek hosts the states largest inland beach in the entire park system. It offers 3,000 feet of room to roam along with a changing area and concession stand. The beach is open during daylight hours only.
Boating: Alum Creek Reservoir contains 3,387 acres of water. The broad expanse of the lake south of Cheshire Road is a boater's paradise with unlimited horsepower and plenty of room for skiers. The northern portion offers a quieter scene with tree-lined shores, shale cliffs and sheltered inlets for canoeists.
The narrow coves and quiet inlets offer fine catches of bass, bluegill, crappie, walleye and saugeye. A valid Ohio fishing license is required. You can purchase a valid fishing license online at https://oh-web.s3licensing.com/Home/Info or at various locations across Ohio.
The northern half of the park is best for the squirrel and deer hunter, while the southern half offers better opportunities for rabbit and other upland game. A valid Ohio hunting license is required. You can find out more information about getting a valid Ohio hunting and trapping license on Ohio's division of wildlife website: http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/hunting-trapping-and-shooting-sports/hunting-trapping-regulations/licenses-and-permits. Pursuant to Ohio Administrative Code, no person shall at any time hunt, trap, kill, pursue, or shoot at any wildlife and/or wild animals by any means within 400 feet of any nature trail, picnic area, service area, residence, barn, parking lot, cabin, or other structure.Alum Creek State Park Hunting Map
Hikers and horsepeople enjoy the rugged northern reaches of the park. Over forty miles of trail wind along the lakeshore through mature beech-maple forests and across deep ravines. Riders must provide their own mounts. Primitive camping for horsepeople is provided on Howard Road. Pressurized water and a latrine are provided.Alum Creek State Park Hiking Trail Map
Scenic picnic areas with tables, grills, restrooms and drinking water enhance the lakeshore. Additionally, 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.
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.
Within Delaware County are Delaware State Park and Wildlife Area, Olentangy Caverns and Highbanks Metro Park. Highly renowned is the Little Brown Jug harness race at the Delaware County Fairgrounds during September. The Columbus Zoo,located to the southwest, boasts an extensive collection of worldwide fauna. The city of Columbus is located south of Alum Creek offering park users a short drive to myriad fine arts, cultural and sporting events. The Ohio Historical Society and Village, OSU sports, Columbus Clippers baseball, Ballet Met and state fairgrounds are but a few of the attractions to be found in neighboring Columbus.