In the midst of some of Ohio's most rugged, scenic territory lies 292-acre Lake Alma State Park. A quiet 60-acre lake and a gentle creek meandering through a wooded valley provide a restful setting for park visitors.
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.
76 campsites are available.
6 full-service campsites offer electric, sewer and water hookups
67 electric sites
10 non-electric sites
10 are walk-in only sites
Pets are permitted on designated sites
Facilities include ADA-accessible shower house, flush toilets, tables, fire rings, dump station and drinking water
Playground is located in the campground
Camp office loans games and sports equipment to registered campers
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.
Dog Swim Area
A dog area with lake access offers a place for your pets to frolic and swim without a leash.
Bass, bluegill, crappie and channel catfish provide good catches in the lake. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.
Hunting is permitted in designated areas. A valid Ohio hunting license is required.
Several scenic picnic areas with tables and grills are located throughout the park.
A public beach is located on the north side of the lake. Latrines and parking are provided. Swimming is permitted during daylight hours only. Swim at your own risk. Pets are NOT permitted on swimming beaches
Five hiking trails cross the park:
Acorn Trail - 1 Mile - Moderate
Island Loop Trail - .5 Mile - Moderate
Lake Loop Trail - 1.4 Mile - Moderate
Old Pine Trail - .72 Mile - Moderate
Sassafras Trail - .57 Mile - Moderate
The Lake Loop Trail is a multi-use paved walkway/bicycle path that begins half way in on the park road, loops part way around the lake then connects to the Wellstone Bike Path that ends in downtown Wellston at the old train station.
In the proper winter conditions, park guests can enjoy ice skating, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing.
Boat rentals are available from the camp office.
Volleyball and basketball courts are available in day-use areas of the park, along with a playground for youngsters