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Ohio State Parks

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USA Parks
Southeast Ohio Region
Lake Alma State Park
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Lake Alma State Park Lake Alma State Park © Lonnie Williams
Entrance Sign
Lake Alma State Park Lake Alma State Park © Lonnie Williams
Crossing the Bridge
Lake Alma State Park Lake Alma State Park © Lonnie Williams
Lake View
Lake Alma State Park Lake Alma State Park © Lonnie Williams
Lake View
Lake Alma State Park Lake Alma State Park © Lonnie Williams
Lake View
Lake Alma State Park Lake Alma State Park © Lonnie Williams
Lake View
Lake Alma State Park Lake Alma State Park © Lonnie Williams
Lake View
Lake Alma State Park Lake Alma State Park © Lonnie Williams
Lake View
Lake Alma State Park Lake Alma State Park © Lonnie Williams
Lake View
Lake Alma State Park Lake Alma State Park © Lonnie Williams
Panoramic Lake View
Lake Alma State Park © Gene Shirk
Lake Alma State Park © Gene Shirk
Lake Alma State Park © Gene Shirk
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422 Lake Alma Road
Wellston, Ohio   45692
(lat:39.1483 lon:-82.5162) map location

Phone: (740) 384-4474
Reservations: 866-644-6727
In the midst of some of Ohio's most rugged, scenic territory lies Lake Alma State Park. A quiet lake and a gentle creek meandering through a wooded valley provide a restful setting for park visitors.
Nature of the Area
Lake Alma lies nestled in the heart of the unglaciated hill country of Ohio. These hills are part of the Appalachian Highlands. Most of the rock layers are acidic sandstones, shales and coals with an occasional limestone member. Much time has passed since the region was first uplifted from the ancient sea that once covered Ohio--allowing for the development of many different habitats. Today, this region supports more than seventy percent of Ohio's remaining woodlands on only one-third of the state's land. Lake Alma contains a fine example of the second growth forest now covering this part of the state. In this area, the forest is mainly of a mixed oak composition.

With the advent of forest succession on surrounding farmlands, upswings in the population of deer, grouse, gray squirrel and other woodland species were encouraged. In the late 1950s, wild turkeys were reintroduced into this part of the state giving Vinton County the highest population of this species. Other valuable resources found at Lake Alma include a vast array of woodland wildflowers such as large-flowered trillium, wild geranium and hepatica. The forest floor is blanketed with a variety of ferns, mosses and lichens. The woodthrush, pileated woodpecker, great-horned owl and barred owl make this park their home.
History of the Area
A wilder country than this in early days would be hard to imagine. Rocks and intermingled forests, Indians, wolves, wild game and snakes were more numerous than interesting.

After the Treaty of Greenville of 1795, the Indian threat in the Ohio territory subsided, clearing the way for settlement. The first geological survey of Ohio revealed that Vinton County was rich in mineral resources. Millstone, coal and iron ore provided the resources for flourishing industries.

The charcoal iron industry spurred growth in this Hanging Rock iron region. From 1818 to the turn of the century, thousands of acres of woodlands were cut to fuel the 46 furnaces in the region. At its peak in the mid-1800s, Ohio was the nation's leading producer of iron for implements and weapons. The millstones quarried along Raccoon Creek helped alleviate the dependence upon imported French and Pennsylvania buhrstone. The Raccoon Creek quarry was only one of eight millstone manufacturers in Ohio in the mid-1800s.

For a time, coal was an important Vinton County export. Its importance has waned in this century but continues to provide a boost to the local economy. The timber industry is the county's most important business today. Vinton County is the least populated and most heavily forested county in the state.

Built in 1903 by the late C.K. Davis, a wealthy coal operator, Lake Alma was originally constructed as an amusement park. The park then boasted a large dance pavilion, outdoor theater, a merry-go-round and several other rides. This attraction prospered only until 1910 and was later purchased by the city of Wellston for a municipal water supply. The city leases the area to the ODNR Division of Parks and Recreation for operation as a state park.
Ohio does not have an annual pass and does not charge entrance fees to state parks.
GeneralLand, acres292
 Water, acres60
 Nearby State Forest, acres2,500
 Nearby Wildlife Area, acres1,825
 Hiking Trail, miles4
 Picnic Shelters, #3
 Swimming Beach, feet550
 Beach Concessionyes
 Nature Centeryes
 Nature Programsyes
BoatingBoat Rentalyes
 Boating Limits-1
 Launch Ramps, #1
CampingPrimitive, #10
 Electric Sites, #71
 Pets Permittedyes
 Camper Cabins, #1
 Group Campyes
 Cross-Country Skiingyes
 Ice Skatingyes
 Ice Fishingyes
Lake Alma offers 60 campsites suitable for tents or trailers. All sites are wooded and have electricity. Pet camping is available on designated sites. Facilities include pit latrines, tables, fire rings, dump station and drinking water.
Two public beaches are located on the north side of the lake. Change booths, latrines and parking are provided.
Non-powered watercraft and boats with electric motors only are permitted on Lake Alma. A boat launch ramp is located at the northeast edge of the lake.
Bass, bluegill, crappie and channel catfish provide good catches in the lake. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.

Scenic picnic areas with tables and grills are located throughout the park. Three picnic shelters are located throughout the park. The picnic shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Approximately four miles of trail traverse hilltops and valleys offering hikers a scenic view of the park. A 1-mile paved walkway/bicycle path begins at the park entrance and ends at the park exit.
Area Attractions
Lake Hope State Park is 24 miles north off State Route 278. Cabins, a camp area, dining lodge and other recreational facilities are provided there.

Lake Katherine State Nature Preserve in Liberty Township on County Road 60 is a 1,467-acre botanical preserve. Lake Katherine contains the largest and finest colonies of both the bigleaf and umbrella magnolias. The rich forested ravines of the preserve contain communities of hemlock, sweet gum, birch and beech. The drier ridgetops support mountain laurel, Virginia pine and oak. Many rare plants including several species of native orchids are found here.

Lake Rupert of Wellston Wildlife Area, four miles south of McArthur, provides excellent opportunities for fishing. Pike, largemouth bass and bluegill provide good catches while the wildlife area offers good hunting for rabbit, deer and squirrel.

Leo Petroglyph State Memorial is located southwest of the park on County Road 28. The area features rock carvings made by Fort Ancient Indians. Trails and picnic facilities are provided.

Buckeye Furnace State Memorial, located southeast of Wellston, is a reconstructed iron furnace of the Hanging Rock district. The complex includes the changing house, charcoal and casting sheds and the company store.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 15 Lake Alma State Park by Tammy_s
park review stars; one to five I have been going to lake alma my entire life. This weekend I went and I was mad because at the beach there were people with DOGS Zane they were letting them swim in the lake with us One of the dogs decided to POOP in the water They have a dog beach and I feel that should be enforced The park ranger came around one time and I was there about 5 hours , until the dog pooped in the lake This needs to be addressed Its certainly not fair to people who want to bring their children to swim in the lake .
March 21 by Michelle
park review stars; one to five
October 11 A slice of Heaven on Earth! by Gabrielle Gallo
park review stars; one to five Since I was a child every year I looked forward to our family camping trips to Lake Alma. Over fifty years later I live in California but still return at least once a year with my family for a stroll around the lake, swimming, & a camp fire! Oh how I love this place & dream of days gone by!!!
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Area Campgrounds
Lazy Dog Camp Resort
1564 McGiffins Road
Jackson, OH
Area Fishing Related Businesses
Williams Bait & Tackle
1268 S Pennsylvania Ave
Wellston, OH
(740) 384-6163
Jeff's Bait & Tackle
259 Bridge St
Jackson, OH
(740) 286-0107
Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
businesss listing main photo
Cottages and Cabins
Trickle Creek offers luxury cabins in Hocking Hills. The cabins are situated on nearly 236 acres of secluded cabin rentals in the deep wooded ravines in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Hocking County, Ohio.
29.8 miles from park*
businesss listing main photo
Hidden Cave Cabin - Rockbridge, OH
Cottages and Cabins
Hidden Cave Cabin is an authentic log cabin with 2 bedrooms in a private wooded setting. It is located on one of the most scenic drives in Hocking Hills and just 3.6 miles to Rock House and less than 10 miles to Conkle's Hollow and Old Man's Cave.
26.1 miles from park*
Nearby Hotels
Area Resources
businesss listing main photo
Offical Guide to Southeastern Ohio's Scenic Wonderland, the Hocking Hills. The 9 State Parks and State Forests. How to get there, things to do, interesting local merchants, what to see, places to stay. Reserve your cabin or campsite online
17.4 miles from park*

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Ohio State Parks