In the midst of some of Ohio's most rugged, scenic territory of Jackson and Vinton counties 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. It is a friendly community park with walking trails and scenic views.
Hand-powered vessels and boats with electric motors only are permitted on Lake Alma. A boat launch ramp is located at the northeast edge of the lake.
Lake Alma State Park Campground offers Full Hookup and Electric sites and a Camper Cabin. Reservations are required and can be made online or by calling (866) 644-6727.
Dog Park with Swim Area
This small dog park is fenced on three sides with the fourth side open to the waters of Lake Alma. A perfect place for your pets to frolic and swim without a leash.
Bass, bluegill, crappie and channel catfish provide good catches in the lake.
- Spring rainbow trout release
- Ohio fishing regulations apply.
- A valid Ohio fishing license is required (16 and older).
Hunting is permitted in designated areas. Deer, turkey and waterfowl are prevalent.
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.
- BeachGuard — Water quality advisories, Memorial Day to Labor Day, from Ohio Dept. of Health
Five hiking trails cross the park:
- Acorn Trail - 1 Mile - Moderate
- Island Loop Trail - 0.5 Mile - Moderate
- Lake Loop Trail - 1.4 Mile - Easy. Multi-use paved path; connects to the Wellston Bike Path that ends at the old train station in downtown Wellston
- Old Pine Trail - 0.72 Mile - Moderate
- Sassafras Trail - 0.57 Mile - Moderate
In the proper winter conditions, park guests can enjoy ice skating, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing.
More to Do
- Several basketball courts and playgrounds
- Volleyball court
- Horseshoe pits
History & Natural Features
After the Treaty of Greenville of 1795, the Native American 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.
Lake Alma is set in the heart of the unglaciated hill country of Jackson and Vinton counties, Ohio. These hills are a 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 70 percent of Ohio’s remaining woodlands on only one-third of the state’s land. The park is a fine example of the second growth forest now covering this part of the state. In this area, the forest is mainly comprised of a mixed oak composition.
With the progress of forest succession on surrounding farmlands, upswings in the population of deer, gray squirrel and other woodland species were encouraged. In the late 1950s, wild turkey were reintroduced into the region 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 wood thrush, pileated woodpecker, great-horned owl and barred owl make this park their home.