Getting the flavor of…
Paddling Cleveland’s ‘burning river’
“Once the poster child for industrial waste, the Cuyahoga has cleaned up its act,” said Kristan Schiller in the Chicago Tribune. Earlier this month—50 years after part of the 100-mile-long river caught fire because of an oil slick—the Cuyahoga officially became an Ohio Water Trail, a distinction that makes it more accessible to the public. The 1969 fire wasn’t the first, but it helped spur the environmental movement and led to the federal Clean Water Act. When I recently moved back to Cleveland after years abroad, I celebrated by paddling the U-shaped water trail. My friends and I chose the scenic easternmost portion, setting off in Eldon Russell Park near the town of Burton. In no time, we’d spotted a great blue heron. After decades of cleanup, bald eagles and river otters have also slowly reappeared. Stopping for lunch at the Iron Horse Saloon, we found another way to celebrate the health of Ohio’s rivers: fried walleye sandwiches.