With a desirable setting that combines the natural beauty of the east and west branches of the Black River with the ability to reach the energetic activity of downtown Elyria, the Cascade Park waterfalls are a vital part of Lorain County.
Officials from the City of Elyria and Lorain County Metroparks entered into a joint partnership to run the park in 2014. Both want to enhance the already stunning natural attributes of the east and west falls areas and blend them with efforts to revitalize the nearby downtown.
“It literally is a one-in-a-million area,” says Jim Ziemnik, director of the Lorain County Metroparks. “There’s a lot of beauty with the river and falls area, with observation decks and areas to walk through and appreciate all of that beauty. You can see the falls, the river and the gorge, and really admire all of it. And I can easily see where people might want to have a wedding or special event in an upgraded falls area. It’s so near downtown Elyria, you can go there after some time in the park.”
Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda says she believes the falls and downtown are good for each other. Projects such as continuing work to revitalize the arts in facilities like the old Brandau Jewelers building and other places with murals and artistic businesses, as well as adding other places to eat and shop, will bring people into the downtown and the falls area, she explains.
“They both will draw people and visitors to the other,” Brinda says. “I can easily see people making day trips to see the falls and the park, then going to eat, shop and go around downtown because it’s so accessible from the falls. It just makes sense to work with the parks and enhance an asset like the falls.”