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USA Parks
USA Parks
Ohio
Ohio
Southeast Ohio Region
Southeast Ohio Region
Lake Alma State Reserve
Lake Alma State Reserve
LAKE ALMA STATE RESERVE
LAKE ALMA STATE RESERVE
27331 St. Rt 278
McArthur, Ohio   45651

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.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW
GeneralLand, acres292
 Water, acres60
 Nearby State Forest, acres2500
 Nearby Wildlife Area, acres1825
Day-UseFishingyes
 Hiking Trail, miles3.5
 Picnickingyes
 Picnic Shelters, #3
 Swimming Beach, feet550
 Beach Concessionyes
 Nature Centeryes
 Nature Programsyes
BoatingBoat Rentalyes
 Boating Limits-1
 Launch Ramps, #1
CampingPrimative, #10
 Electric Sites, #71
 Pets Permittedyes
 Dumpstationyes
 Camper Cabins, #1
 Group Campyes
WinterSleddingyes
 Cross-Country Skiingyes
 Ice Skatingyes
 Ice Fishingyes
Camping
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.
Swimming
Two public beaches are located on the north side of the lake. Change booths, latrines and parking are provided.
Boating
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.
Fishing
Bass, bluegill, crappie and channel catfish provide good catches in the lake. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.


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Picnicking
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.
Trails
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
October 11 A slice of Heaven on Earth! by Gabrielle Gallo
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!!!
June 22 A Great Family Getaway by Dawn M.
Since moving to Gallipolis almost 2 years ago we have been coming to Lake Alma throughout the summer! The lake and the beachfront is clean. They have a small place to play for kids and a volley ball net. Beautiful area!
May 15 lake alma
I come to the lake to get away. I also go to remember my mother her ashes were set free from this world there


Area Campgrounds
Lazy Dog Camp- Resort
1527 McGiffins Road
Jackson, OH
740-384-3060
Area Fishing Related Businesses
Jeff's Bait & Tackle
259 Bridge St
Jackson, OH
(740) 286-0107
Williams Bait & Tackle
1268 S Pennsylvania Ave
Wellston, OH
(740) 384-6163
Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
Haven Inn the Hills - Logan, OHCottages and Cabins
Great for a private relaxing get away. Whether you are looking for rest and relaxation with that special someone, or the best cook-out for family and friends Haven Inn The Hills is the answer for you.
19.6 miles from park*
Cherry Ridge Retreat - New Plymouth, OHCottages and Cabins
The privacy and beauty of a woodland paradise with the comforts and amenities of the Hocking Hills finest accommodations. Amenities include, Absolute privacy, Gourmet Kitchen, Stone fireplace in family room and master bedroom, Artist-designed furniture, Private Cabana with deluxe hot tub, custom bar and stereo.
18.8 miles from park*
Area Resources
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
17.6 miles from park*

USA Parks
USA Parks
Ohio
Ohio
Southeast Ohio Region
Southeast Ohio Region
Lake Alma State Reserve
Lake Alma State Reserve