Alum Creek State Park
The Multipurpose Trail, a 2.5 mile loop through wetlands is a fast, easy trail. White tail deer, various duck species, Canadian geese, great blue heron, and other fauna are often seen. It is a popular place for people walking with their dogs. There is a short cut that makes it a 3/4 mile loop. This trail is a good place for winter hiking when dry. The trail, so named for foot, cross country ski, and snowmobile use, would be more aptly named the "Muddy-purpose Trail." From late winter to mid summer, much of the trail is soaking wet, especially along the lake shoreline.
Much of the trail is covered in grass that is not mowed frequently. Grass gets 3-4 feet high during tick season, so beware. Poison ivy is abundant in patches. There are briars along the trail, so thorns are present. Although not permitted on the trail, beware of bicycles rounding turns too fast. The trail runs through a public hunting area, avoid it during deer gun season. I once found (the hard way) a sawed off steel fence post in the middle of the trail, but have not been able to find it again. (Perhaps it is gone.) It was in the northwest part of the loop. The trail crosses several old fence lines, so watch your step.
If not for all the hazards, this trail would be great (and get a much higher rating from me). It is still a good trail for an aerobic workout hike, especially during late autumn, winter, and early spring. When it is too cold for wading through mud, I take the east side (paralleling Africa Road) of the trail to the really muddy hill (about 1/2 mile and just before the trail turns west) and back, repeating it as needed.
The Multipurpose Trail is located on the east side of Alum Creek Reservoir on Africa Road. From Columbus take I-71 to the Polaris exit and turn right onto Worthington-Galena Road. Take Worthington-Galena Road north about 3/4 mile to the 4-way stop and turn left on Africa Road. Follow Africa Road west and then north about 3 1/2 miles to the first picnic area. The trail head is at the first parking lot on the right. Water and restrooms are at the far end of the parking lot.
The Ohio State Parks division has a page on Alum Creek State Park.
Have questions? Write the Ohio Barefoot Hikers.
The Ohio Barefoot Hikers name, logo and site content © 2010 Ohio Barefoot Hikers. All rights reserved.