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Alum Creek Lake

Huntington District
Published Jan. 5, 2024
Alum Creek Lake

Alum Creek Lake

Reservations, Fees & Passes

Reservations are required and may be made up to six months in advance, online at reserveohio.com, or by calling (866) 644-6727.

Campground Fee:
$29 per night
$17 per night - Equestrian Camp
$49 per night - Group Camp

Day Use Fee:
$40 per shelter.


Alum Creek Lake was authorized by Section 203 of Flood Control Act of 1962. The primary project purposes are are flood risk reduction, water supply for the Columbus metropolitan area, fish and wildlife, and recreation. The lake is impounded by a rolled earthfill dam, 93 ft. tall and 10,200 ft. long with a gated concrete spillway. The dam was completed in August 1974 and serves a drainage area of 123 square miles. The 118 ft spillway is gated concrete in the channel section of the dam with three 34 x 25 ft tainter gates supported by 8 ft piers. A 60-inch diameter low flow conduit discharges into the stilling basin and a 60-inch diameter water supply pipe extends to downstream pumping facilities. Land includes 8,488 fee acres and 254 flowage easement acres. There are four recreation areas at the project. The Corps of Engineer recreation areas include a Visitor Center and day use areas. Alum Creek State Park comprises most of the recreational facilities on the project.

Recreation Opportunities

Visitor Center
The US Army Corps of Engineers Visitor Center and Office is located on Lewis Center Road between the beach and the dam.  The visitor center has hands on exhibits to learn about the dam, park, and local area. You can pick up maps, brochures, Junior Ranger activity books, and more! 

Rangers offer a variety of guided walks, talks and other programs free of charge for the public, schools, and scout organizations! To schedule a program for your group or organization please call 740-548-6151 or email alum.creek@usace.army.mil
America the Beautiful Federal Lands Passes are available for purchase at the Alum Creek Lake Visitor Center.  For more information on the passes available, please visit National Park Service.

Boating
Alum Creek Lake offers 3,387 acres of water for recreation at the normal summer pool of 888’ above msl.  A dam at the south end of the lake is operated and maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers.  There a Four public launch ramps that offer access to the lake; one additional ramp is available to campers only.  The area south of Cheshire Road is a boater’s paradise with unlimited horsepower and plenty of room for skiers while the northern portion of the lake is no-wake and offers a quieter scene with tree-lined shores, shale cliffs, and sheltered inlets for paddling. 

Swimming is limited to authorized swimming areas and boat/swim areas.  There are life jacket loaner boards at the New Galena, Cheshire, and Marina ramps.

  • There are five boat launch ramps: 
  • The Marina on Hollenback Road
  • Campground Boat Ramp
  • New Galena Boat Ramp
  • Cheshire Boat Ramp
  • Howard Boat Ramp

Kayaks and Canoes can launch at the boat ramps listed above, or they can utilize the canoe/kayak launches:

  • Lewis Center Picnic Area
  • US Route 36/37
  • ​Kilbourne​

Dock Lottery:  Season-long dock rentals are available through a dock lottery (annually in August for the following season).  Contact the Alum Creek State Park office for details, 740-548-4631.
Boat Swim Areas:  Boaters may swim in Big Run, the Sailing Association Cove, and in marked coves just south and north of the US Route 36/37 bridge. 
Boat Camp:  Boaters may camp overnight in the Sailing Association Cove and in marked coves just south and north of the US Route 36/37 bridge.
Hand-launch Beach Access:  The far end of the beach has a carry-in access for canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards.  These vessels must stay clear of the swim zone, which is marked by buoys.
Alum Creek Sailing Association:  The Alum Creek Sailing Association offers learn-to-sail programs for members and the general public along with special sailing programs for youth.  Alum Creek Sailing Association

Camping
Alum Creek State Park Campground offers a variety of Full Hookup and Electric sites (all pet-friendly) in both sunny and shady areas; some premium sites overlook the lake.  A Camper Cabin and four Sherman Cabins are available (Pets not permitted). An Equestrian Camp with several primitive sites is located in its own area on the northern portion of the park.  A Group Camp is located on the southern end of the park.  Reservations are required and may be made up to six months in advance, online at reserveohio.com, or by calling (866) 644-6727.

Reservations are required and may be made up to six months in advance, online at reserveohio.com, or by calling (866) 644-6727.  There are no walk-in sites or self-registration.  This large campground features both sunny and shaded sites for all types of camping.  Pets are welcome on all sites.

  • 286 electric campsites
  • Each site has 20, 30, and 50-amp electrical hookups
  • 24 full-service sites offer electric, sewer, and water hookups
  • Wooded and sunny sites, some overlook the lake
  • Heated shower facilities with flush toilets
  • Dump station
  • Beach and boat ramp for exclusive use of campers
  • Basketball courts, volleyball, miniature golf, horseshow pits, and playgrounds
  • Seasonal nature programs

A large camper cabin is available for rent in the campground and is available April through October. Two-room wooden structure sleeps up to 4 people 1 double bed and 1 set of single bunk beds Air Conditioning, refrigerator, electric cook stove Pets are not permitted Smoking is not permitted. No linens, dishes, or cooking utensils are provided Daily housekeeping is not available. 

Four Sherman Cabins are available for rent, year-round, in the campground.

An Equestrian camp is located on Howard Road, near the Howard Road Boat Ramp.  Sites are primitive but restrooms are nearby.  There are Bridle Trails that connect to the camp.  Reservations are required and may be made up to six months in advance, online at reserveohio.com, or by calling (866) 644-6727.  There are no walk-in sites or self-registration.

The Group Camp area is located off Lewis Center Road in the Lewis Center Picnic Area.   Reservations are required and may be made up to six months in advance, online at reserveohio.com, or by calling (866) 644-6727.  There are no walk-in sites or self-registration.

  • Each sleeps 3 with one set of bunk beds and a single bed
  • Three Sherman Cabins are one-room structures
  • One Sherman Cabin (C18) is ADA compliant – it is a two-room structure.
  • Air Conditioning
  • Heat
  • Microwave
  • Small Refrigerator
  • Pets are not permitted
  • Smoking is not permitted.
  • No linens, dishes, or cooking utensils are provided
  • Daily housekeeping is not available.

Day-use
If you are looking to get out to Alum Creek Lake for a small outing or you are planning a family reunion, company picnic, or social get-together, look no further!

We have three group picnic shelters that may be reserved in the Alum Creek Lake Below Dam Area operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers with support from SACCA- Scioto Area Corps Cooperating Association. Current rates are $80 for the entire day.

  • Buckeye Shelter
  • Maple Shelter
  • Oak Shelter

If a shelter has not been reserved for a particular day, it may be used on a first-come, first-serve basis.  To reserve a shelter visit: recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777. 
If you would like to reserve a shelter and/or overlook for your wedding or race event, contact the Visitor Center at 740-548-6151 to request a special event permit.

In addition to the group picnic shelters, there are many individual picnic sites located at the Below Dam Recreation Area, Visitor Center, and throughout the Alum Creek Lake State Park Area that have picnic tables and grills.

Shelter Rules:

  • A special events permit must be obtained if the shelter is used for commercial purposes, large groups that need more than 1 shelter, or if open areas around the shelter will be utilized. Contact the Corps Office at 740-548-6151 for more information. 
  • Any equipment that will be brought on site must be approved by the Corps Office at 740-548-6151 - this includes inflatable elements, bounce houses, obstacle courses, ziplines, climbing towers, slip'n'slides, sprinklers, kiddy pools, water features, gaming centers, and any other commercially provided rentals (or privately owned). 
  • Water balloons, confetti, and alcohol are prohibited. 
  • No parking on the grass. No stopping in the roadway to unload.

Fishing 
The saw-toothed lake shoreline provides excellent fishing.  Alum Creek Lake is one of the best fishing lakes in the state.  A wide variety of fish include white bass, rock bass, small-mouth bass, large-mouth bass, bluegill, white crappie, black crappie, green sunfish, longeared sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, channel catfish, saugeye, walleye, and muskellunge.  Numerous fishing tournaments are held at the lake each year.

Fishing is allowed from boats and shoreline. A valid Ohio fishing license is required (16 and older).  Ohio Fishing Regulations 

Hunting
Hunting is allowed in designated areas.  The northern half of the park is best for squirrel and deer hunting.  The southern half offers better opportunities for rabbit and other upland game.
Hunting Regulations
A valid Ohio hunting license is required. 

Marinas
A full-service marina on Hollenback Road (west side of the lake0 offers 240 slips ranging from 24-32 feet in length, with some offering water and electric.  Courtesy docks, fuel, boat supplies, snacks, and boat rentals remain available as a new marina is under construction in 2021.  NOTE: A temporary path has been built for dock holder access to F and G docks. Alum Creek Marina; 740-548-6056

Swimming
Alum Creek State Park’s 3,000-foot beach is the largest inland beach in Ohio’s state park system!  Facilities include changing area, outdoor showers, restrooms, beach vendors, and sand volleyball courts.  The beach is open during daylight hours only.  Swimming is at your own risk in designated areas only.  Pets are NOT permitted on the swimming beaches. 
Boaters may swim in Big Run, the Sailing Association Cove, and in marked coves just south and north of the US Route 36/37 bridge. 

Trails
There are a variety of hiking trails around the park.  Detour is the official app for Ohio State Parks trails and provides the best information about the trails.

Hollenback Trail – 1.5 miles – easy – Hike through the woods.  You will see beech trees and maples.  Deer are prevalent as well as squirrels, rabbits, and groundhogs.  This trail connects the office trail to the marina.
Lewis Center Beach Trail – 1.7 miles – easy – This trail connects the Alum Creek Beach to the Lewis Center Picnic area where you can pick up the Hollenback Trail to connect to the marina, dog park, and state park office. 
Multi-purpose Trail – 5 miles – easy – This flat hiking trail can be muddy after heavy rains, but is a great place to see wildflowers, birds, deer, and frogs.  It has some great views of Alum Creek Lake.  When the conditions are right in the winter snowmobiles and cross-country skiers are allowed on this trail.
Park Office Trail – 1.5 miles – easy – This network of trails starts at the park office.  Various flora and fauna can be seen.  It is great for easy viewing of the lake and pond. 
Rocks to Roots Trail – 4.1 miles – moderate  - This trail is primarily used by runners.  It is great for bird watching but may be muddy after heavy rains.  The Rocks to Roots Trail Association maintains the trail and organizes events on it, more info can be found at https://www.rrtra.org/
Storybook Trail – 0.5 mile – easy – This trail brings storybooks to life for children and their families.  Read the story while you observe wildlife in the park on this easy loop
White Tail Run – 0.8 mile – easy – A scenic trail leading into the woods from the Visitor Center, featuring interpretive signs.
Bluebird Trail – 0.9 mile – easy – This trail connects the Alum Creek Lake Visitor Center, Beach, and Dam.  Various wildlife can be seen. The trail has wooded sections, and open sections through a meadow.  This trail also connects to several shorter trails around the visitor center.
Dam Access Trail – 1.7 mile each way – easy – This trail utilizes the dam maintenance road and the earthen crest of Alum Creek Dam for amazing views.  You can walk the entire length of the dam while taking in the views.  There is a set of stairs to the Below Dam Recreation Area where amenities such as restrooms, picnic sites, and water fountains can be accessed.

Equestrian Trails – Open to hikers and runners too
Maple Glen Trail – 9.1 mile – Moderate – Heavily wooded and has many inlets along the lake with some ravines and shale cliffs.
Winter Hawk Trail  - 11.9 mile – Moderate –  A wooded trail that has beech, walnut, and sycamore trees.  It offers some great birding, wildlife viewing, and views of the lake.  There are four Osprey Platforms that can be seen along this trail.
Hunter’s Hollow Trail – 6.3 mile – Moderate – This trail offers some great birding and wildlife viewing in a wooded setting.

Mountain Bike Trails – Open to hikers and runners too
Phase 1 Blue Trail – 6.0 mi – Easy – This trail is an intermediate mountain bike trail and is excellent for hiking and running. 
Phase 1 Green Beginner Trail – 1.7 mi – Easy – This trail is predominantly used to build mountain biking skills for beginners, and includes Gnome Woods Skills Park. 
Phase 2 Mountain Bike Trail – 5.6 mile – Difficult – Ride, walk, or run around beautiful coves at Alum Creek Lake.
The area is built and maintained by the Central Ohio Mountain Bike Organization.

The beginning of the Storybook Trail is at the north end of the beach, which is on the west side of the lake (follow signs to the Beach).  The storybook presented along the trail changes throughout the year.  At the beginning of the trail is a Free Little Library where you can choose to take a book home or leave one for a fellow visitor.


General Policies
A full list of Federal regulations that apply to all US Army Corps of Engineers properties can be found in Title 36 of the United States Code (USC). Title 36, The Rules and Regulations that Govern Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects

Firearms
Possession of firearms in a federal facility, including locks, dams, power plants, ranger stations, buildings, switchyards, recreation facilities, warehouses, and offices is strictly prohibited. This prohibition includes the storage or transporting of a personally owned firearm in controlled access parking areas or Government vehicles, heavy equipment, boats and vessels under the operational control of the District regardless of its location. Exceptions for Federal employees are only allowed for Federal law enforcement officers or where possession of a firearm is specifically authorized by law.

Fireworks
Fireworks, along with explosives, firearms and other weapons are prohibited on Government Property. Detailed information can be found in Title 36, The Rules and Regulations that Govern Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects, Section 327.13.

Contact
Alum Creek Lake
5905 Lewis Center Rd
Lewis Center, OH 43035

alum.creek@usace.army.mil

(740) 548-6151