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Alum Creek State Park
Drive west of the dam, where Big Walnut Road turns north to become Lewis Center Road and turn in at the Visitor’s Center sign. The beach parking area turn is about 0.25 miles further north. The beach is very crowded on summer weekends but is lightly used most other times of the year. Park at the Visitor’s Center (first right after the dam), and walk the trails to the east (down to the beach) and then north, looping through a small forest patch. The beach is not much for mudflats and shorebirds, but usually has a big flock of gulls roosting (check for terns and oddities), and can have a few shorebirds during migration, especially in the morning before the crowds build up. It also gives a commanding view of the southern reservoir and any waterfowl upon it. The shrubs around the visitor center can be a good migrant trap as can the forest edge trail to the north of the parking area. The overgrown field area east of the visitor’s center (down to the shore) is an excellent spot for migrant and wintering sparrows including flocks of Chipping, Field, and Tree Sparrows, but be alert for just about anything.
Alum Creek rests in the midst of the fertile agricultural till plains and river valleys of Delaware County. In contrast to the surrounding farmlands, the park offers a diverse array of natural features. Cliffs of Ohio shale are notable in many areas, exposed as Alum Creek and other streams cut through underlying bedrock. The shale was formed as mud washed into the ancient sea which covered the area several hundred million years ago. The dark hue of the rock is due to the mixture of a carbonized plant material and mud that formed the shale.
The rich soils of Delaware County gave rise to a luxuriant beech-maple forest after the retreat of the glaciers about 12,000 years ago. That original forest has long since been cut but a healthy second-growth forest is preserved in the park. The woodlands harbor a variety of plant species and offer the interested observer beautiful displays of wildflowers and wildlife. Large-flowered trillium, wild geranium, bloodroot, and spring beauties carpet the forest floor. The forest is home to fox squirrel, woodchuck, rabbit, white-tail deer, and many other species of wildlife.
Restrooms on site.
Content from Alum Creek State Park webpage and Ohio Ornithological Society