When the US Army Corps of Engineers dammed Alum Creek in Ohio in the early 1970s, they didn't just build a dam; they created a five miles square reservoir known as Alum Creek Lake. The lake lies in a region of flatlands and stretches for over twelve miles between Africa in the south to Kilbourne in the north of the state. Its most southerly shore is bordered by The Alum Creek State Park, which, within its extensive acreages, contains a three-thousand-foot long beach. That's a fact that makes Alum Creek Lake a summertime hotspot in Ohio, which receives over 2.5 million visitors every year.
If RV camping at Alum Creek Lake is on your vacation agenda, you'll find the Corps campground at the lake is day-use only. But there's a large campground where you can pitch your rig for overnight stays located within the boundaries of the state park, and many others around its shoreline.
Folks flock to Alum Creek Lake not just for swimming and sunbathing on the beach, but for fishing, sailing, picnicking, hiking and horse riding. There are some great trails for mountain biking, too, as well as opportunities for hunting in forested sections along the lake's eastern shores. Alum Creek Lake is a non-stop, twelve months of the year recreational area, and in winter, you can go there to do some snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or snowmobiling. It doesn't matter what time of the year you go, if you want to be active on your RV vacation in Ohio, at Alum Creek Lake you'll have found the right place to do it.
Wherever you're motoring from to get to Alum Creek Lake, the best route you can take is along the I 71. It's a straight run north via Columbus if you're coming from the south of the state. If you're coming from the north of Ohio, head for Mansfield and then carry on south for about an hour. From both directions, you'll be motoring towards Africa. Don't get the illusion you're going on a safari and are about to see elephants, lions, zebras and rhinos, you're not – not unless there's been an escapee from the Columbus Zoo in nearby Powell.
If you're visiting Alum Creek Lake for the day, you'll find the day-use campground in the Alum Creek Below Dam Area, so leave the I 71 at exit 121, and it will lead you in the direction of Lewis Center Road which goes to the dam. Stay on Lewis Center Road, and you'll come to the Alum Creek Dam Visitor Center, then a short distance further on the entrance to Alum Creek State Park if that's where you're pitching up. It's good roads all the way, and you'll have no problems finding where you want to be as it's all well signed.
If you want to pitch your RV at Alum Creek Lake for a few days, you'll need to reserve a campsite at the campground in the Alum Creek State Park. Once you're through the entrance gates in your rig, you'll find the campground has two sections. The lower section is south of Cheshire Road. It's the biggest, with several loops, though only a few of the campsites there face onto the lake. The upper section is to the north of Cheshire Road, and although it may be smaller, it has campsites on three small peninsulas jutting out into the lake waters.
There are well over two-hundred pitches for RVs at the Alum Creek State Park campground. Some are pet-friendly and some are not, so if you're camping with your pooch for company, make sure you book the right site. Of all the pitches available, there are only twenty-four with full hook-up facilities. The others are electric only, but you won't be too hard done by as the site has great amenities.
There's a small private beach for campers plus a dog park with swimming access for your four-legged friend, a nature center, a boat ramp and a playground for the young ones. With communal showers, dump stations, and flushing toilets, Alum Creek State Park campground has to be one of the best for RV camping in Ohio. Ensure your pitch by making a reservation anytime from one day before your planned stay to six months in advance.
Alum Creek Lake is a great place to get out your mountain bike and hit the trails for a lengthy pedal. There are two trail systems for cycling on the eastern shore of the lake denominated as P1 and P2. P1 is perfect for novice riders but also has an extra five miles of loops for the more experienced. The six-mile-long P2 unpaved route is a testing challenge for advanced riders only.
Alum Creek Lake has a reputation for being one of the best lakes in Ohio for fishing. Stocked regularly by the Ohio fisheries department, there's a good chance of hooking something, whether you're boat or shore fishing. If you enjoy competing, sign up for one or more of the regular tournaments held at the lake, and you could find yourself hooking the prize fish, whether it be a saugeye, muskie, crappie or sunfish.
Get some exercise with a hike along the beautiful shore of Alum Creek Lake. You can access a six-mile-long, multi-use trail by the New Galena Launch Ramp. There are more trails running around the lake which start at the Visitor Center and the office of the Alum Creek State Park. All the trails are graded easy to moderate. If you're snowshoeing the multi-use trail in winter, watch out for snowmobiles, as they'll be out there too.
When you're RV camping at Alum Creek Lake, take some time out to visit the Olentangy Indian Caverns. The series of subterranean caves were formed by the erosive action of an underground river and then used by the Wyandotte Indians as a winter refuge. The caverns are a fifteen-minute drive from the lake, and as well as exploring the underground world, you can go on a treasure hunt, do some gem mining or play a game of mini-golf.
If you love cantering through the countryside with impeccable lake views to one side, you'll want to go riding at Alum Creek Lake. Saddle up and then hit the trails. It won't be a short ride either, as there are over fifty miles of bridle trails to explore in the Alum Creek State Park while mounted on your steed. If you want to spend a few days out there with your horse, you can as there are overnight facilities for horse riders at the Horseman's Day Use Area and Camp located on Howard Road.
If you're traveling with children and they're celebrating a birthday or just need to let off steam, spoil them with a day out at the Magic Mountain Fun Center. The park is in Polaris, which is only ten minutes' drive from Alum Creek Lake. There they can go wild on the go-karts, be crash happy on the bumper boats and cars, get in a game of laser tag or get engrossed in the games in the interactive arcade. It might not be your idea of fun, but the kids will love it.