Valley Picnic Area Park Lot CLosed - Plateau Trail Loop Affected
Valley Picnic Area Parking Lot is closed for the replacement of the damaged culvert on the Plateau Trail, from dusk on Monday, September22 to 5 p.m., Thursday, October 2, 2014. Access to Plateau Trail is via the Oak Hill Trailhead. Loop unavailable.
Valley Bridle Trail south of SR 303, across from golf course, is collapsed by river. Hard closure. Plateau Trail Bridge, north of Valley Picnic Area is closed. No detours. Plateau & Oak Hill trails are open. More »
The Cuyahoga River, made famous by its troubled history of industrial pollution and spontaneous fires, lies at the heart of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Just one of over a dozen fires on the Cuyahoga River, the 1969 blaze was nothing new. Industrial rivers, much like the Cuyahoga, burned frequently, but it was the preceding events that made the 1969 fire vastly different from the others. Time magazine published an article about the burning of the Cuyahoga River that would prove to be a pivotal turning point in the fate of the heavily polluted waterway. The "Mistake by the Lake," as the city of Cleveland was called, became a poster child for the environmental movement. Something had to change. The burning of 1969, and subsequent popularity, sparked legislation for the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and the Clean Water Act of the early 1970s. The Cuyahoga River, among many others, was on track to cleaner days.
The Cuyahoga River RAP works to plan and promote restoration of beneficial uses, such as fishing and canoeing, of the lower Cuyahoga and near-shore Lake Erie through remediation of existing pollution problems and prevention of future ones. Beneficial use impairments were identified in the Stage One Remedial Action Plan. Stage Two, implementation and restoration of beneficial uses, is only partially completed. Extensive research and monitoring by numerous agencies have been funded to improve understanding of water quality impairments within the watershed.
Currently, impairments to the water quality of the Cuyahoga River are being addressed under the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program. A TMDL is a written, quantitative assessment of water quality problems in a water body and contributing sources of pollution. It specifies the amount a pollutant needs to be reduced to meet water quality standards, allocates pollutant load reductions, and provides the basis for taking actions needed to restore a water body. The TMDL for the Cuyahoga River is divided into three sections, the upper, middle, and lower Cuyahoga. The section of the river that flows through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is considered part of the lower Cuyahoga.
For more information regarding TMDLs for the Cuyahoga River visit the Ohio EPA:
The park hopes to gain a better understanding of the ability of indicator organisms to predict the presence of human pathogens and, consequently, risks to human health. This information will improve our understanding of waterborne pathogen occurrence and assist the NPS in making informed decisions about when the water quality in the Cuyahoga River will be safe for recreational use in the future.
Visitors should still be warned to use caution when contacting Cuyahoga River water. While water quality has steadily improved over the past 40 years, contaminant and bacteria levels can still be high, especially after periods of rain.
For more information on Cuyahoga water quality and advisories, visit the FAQs page.
Read the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) fact sheet on water quality work at CVNP, Escherichia coli in the Cuyahoga River within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Visit the USGS website for a direct link to all kinds of water information. Here you'll find information on Ohio's streams, ground water, water quality, and many other topics.
Did You Know?
A young James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States, worked briefly as a mule boy on the Ohio & Erie Canal, an important cultural resource within Cuyahoga Valley National Park.