I’ll admit up front that I have not camped at Alum Creek State Park. However, there is more to do here than just camp. The biggest draw is that if you live in Columbus its the closest you can get to nature without vacationing. If you’re driving through Ohio, it’s also very close to I-71, so a perfect place to stop and stretch your legs on the journey.
If you’re passing through the city or need a great place to camp, walk, hike, or lay on a beach you can be rest assured that everything you need will only be about a 15 minute drive from the park! It’s also pretty clean and kept up here.
The Alum Creek State Park beach is rocky. This isn’t great sand folks so don’t plan on castle building. What you can plan on is a minimal crowd, nice breezes, access to restrooms and sometimes food trucks in the summer or a CrossFit session on the session.
Hike trails are for walkers and/or horses so make sure you’re on the right paths- mostly shaded. If you’re looking for a more interesting hike- since most of this flat land- try the Char Mar Ridge Preserve instead on the East side of town off Rt 3 or the Highbanks Metroparks on the West Side at the intersection of 750 and 23. (Warning the Highbanks Metropark was a Charmander Nest for Pokemon Go that is now closed due to capacity, but goers are still showing up so you may get shade there, but it may still be packed)
If you start at the Alum Creek State Park Below Dam Recreation Area, you’ll get the joy of hiking up the Dam steps and walking in the open sun with views of Columbus’ hidden sailing culture. Sailboats, jet skis and water skiers frequent Alum Lake all times of day, any day– not just weekends.
Remote Controlled Airplanes:
These remote controlled airplanes are a big hit here and there’s special pavilion off Africa road you can go to set up shop on Dinneen Field. These are fun to watch and from a distance they look full size. Excellent for the kiddies too.
Dogs are allowed and welcome at the Dam Rec Area, so you can bring yours to walk, play ball or even bring them down to the waterfront to play in the water.
Whether you’re looking for shopping or a restaurant, a drive down to Polaris Parkway will give you access to a Target, a mall, and some of the best restaurants in town about 10 minutes south on Africa Road.
Next time you travel through Columbus make a point to stop at this park. It’s not fancy, but for getting out and stretching your legs- it’s perfect.