Alum Creek in central Ohio is a close destination for central Ohioan paddlers who are looking for a short drive and a nice quiet paddle.
Alum Creek is a recreational lake for sailers, weekenders and fisherman during the spring, summer, and fall. As we recently visited the lake on a balmy winter day we encoutered several bass boats darting from bank to bank. The fisherman keep to themselves and with an abundance of shallow water paddlers can often take advantage of the shallows in order to bypass the larger boats.
On the southern end of the resevoir is a large dam maintained by the Army Corp of Engineers. Close to this dam on the west side is a large beach and the further north you travel the more remote it gets.
The USGS and Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) offer great maps with good depths, routes, and put-in / take-outs.
We usually put in on the north side of Cheshire Road and paddle north to route 36 and beyond. There are easy access points to the north as well that we have made use of in the past.
Fall and winter paddling offer quiet adventures and loads of wildlife on the banks. Recently we encountered many deer on our trip along the banks. As one travels north the banks get higher and higher and when water depths are lower many of the banks stretch 30-40 feet above the water...if not more.
Alum creek offers a great "rustic" paddle even though it is bordered by suburbia.
There are many public ramps and a state park that offers all ranges of camping opportunities. Sweeping banks could provide for stealth camping if need be. In the summer you can use restrooms.
Travel East on Route 36 from Delaware, OH.
Easily accessible from Route 23 out of Columbus.