"" Writer's Wanderings: The Falls of Cuyahoga Falls

Monday, October 05, 2020

The Falls of Cuyahoga Falls

 It all started with a quest to find The Gourmet Popper. It is a chain that makes the best caramel popcorn. There was one located in downtown Cleveland and before any Indians game we would buy a bag, request the bag be left open (they would fill it to the top then) and eat it down to where we could seal it before going into the game. Rarely did any make it home.

When COVID closed down the location, we went online and looked for any others we could find. In Cuyahoga Falls, we found one that was about to reopen in a new location and we eagerly awaited the news on their Facebook page that they were open. It came. We went. Our pantry is stocked up with the delicious treat. In telling of our trip to a fellow Pickleball player, he excitedly told us of a little restaurant/tavern that had the best Lake Erie perch dinners he'd ever found. We were hooked.

We searched the location and found the Boulevard Tavern. But our friend had mentioned walking to the falls. Hmmm. Were there really falls in Cuyahoga Falls.? It made sense. If Chagrin Falls had a waterfall, then it seemed reasonable the Cuyahoga Falls would too.

A little more research and we learned that there were two falls, one big and one small. The Big Falls had been covered by the dam that formed the reservoir there but the Little Falls was still there. The only problem was that it sits between the freeway and the back of the Sheraton Suites which has a fence all around it and doesn't seem to allow access. Down the road just a bit though was the perfect place to see it.

We found High Bridge Glens Park and parked. It was a chilly and windy but sunny late afternoon. There were a couple of walkways. One led to a pedestrian bridge from which you could see the Little Falls. It was a nice view even from a distance. Another walkway led to a ramp that weaved back and forth to a lookout point almost at the base of the gorge the Cuyahoga river had created over the many years it had wandered through the area.

Historical markers always catch our attention and we learned some interesting facts about the park. In 1879, a resort was built that spanned both sides of the river and included a dance and dining pavilion, lots of trails, overlooks, waterfalls and a suspension footbridge. They also think it had one of the earliest roller coasters in the area and one of its visitors was soon to be president, William McKinley. 

Eventually the resort gave way to industrial growth and the river was harnessed to supply power. In 2009, the park was rededicated and attention has once again been drawn to the importance of the Cuyahoga River which is one of fourteen National Heritage Rivers. The Cuyahoga is a unique river that flows both north and south because of the way it winds through the valley. Its name means Crooked River.

During our wonderful perch dinner, we noticed a picture above our booth that looked a lot like a cave from Hocking Hills in southern Ohio. Upon closer inspection we saw the notation that the photographer had actually taken the picture in Cuyahoga Falls. We googled the Mary Campbell Cave and found that the Summit Metroparks was nearby. After our dinner, there was still a little daylight left so we found the park and walked the trail we thought led to the cave but didn't find it before we decided we were losing too much daylight.

It was a great afternoon/evening. We felt like we'd had a travel adventure and didn't have to go farther than a half hour from home. 

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