Information on:

Alum Creek State Park

3615 South Old State Road

Alum Creek's 3,387-acre reservoir and 4,630-acres of 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.


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.


Steve Bertman

Thursday, July 5, 2018
A beach in Columbus??? Well close enough. I love the fact that Ohio's state parks are free, we went on a midweek day and parking was easy and plentiful. The facilities here are well kept and the place was generally clean, not pristine though. This is a nice place to cool off on a hot day with the family.

Ricardo Soto

Wednesday, July 4, 2018
This is the closest thing to a beach that is within the city and it's pretty refreshing. There is a small playground area and bouldering wall for the younger kids. I went on a holiday and the place was really packed but surprisingly there was still plenty of parking space and ground to set up. There were about five food trucks but expect those to rotate depending on the day. Only drawback was the jet skis leaving a wake that was a nuisance for the smaller kids (or rather parents) but fun as hell for everyone else!

Derek Simon

Sunday, June 17, 2018
I visited the public beach and it was a great area on a hot summer day. Although slightly crowded, it was expected as it was well over 90 outside. There were various food vendors that were selling ice cream and other snacks. They weren't overly priced either. The water and beaches were clean and plenty of water front area to soak up the sun. I cannot wait to visit again!

Stacey Miller

Saturday, June 16, 2018
Great place to hang out with you're fsmily for free fun! Swim at you're own risk. There is no on duty life guard. You're able to have grills and coolers. Small park for kids. Bathrooms and concessions. Patrolled state rangers and sheriff. No dogs on beach allowed.

Josh Prather

Saturday, June 30, 2018
Awesome place for some cheap family fun. Take a picnic or eat there. Vendors were set up with everything from hot dogs and hamburgers to ice cream sandwiches and sundae cups! Everyone we met was friendly. I will say that it would be better if some ladies wore a 1 piece suit and no man should wear a Speedo. None!!

Alum Creek State Park is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media