Though the Cleveland Cascade had been allowed to fall on hard times, it has remained important to the lake and hill neighborhoods as a pedestrian artery and community hub.
Oakland has over 200 stairs and walkways, and the Cleveland Cascade is certainly the grandest and one of the most heavily used. Dramatic changes for the lake area are in the offing, too, thanks to the generosity of Oakland voters when they approved Measure DD in November 2002. So expect Cleveland Cascade to become even more central.
Whether you call your part of the hill above the Lake by the name Haddon Hill, China Hill, Cleveland Heights, or Peralta Heights, the Cleveland Cascade is a great way to get down to Lake Merritt and to all it and its neighborhoods have to offer.
Despite the neglect and deterioration of the Cleveland Cascade, there have been folks who refused to let that get them down.
Aspiring, driven, and ambitious, a large informally networked group of exteme exercisers see the Cascade as a venue for both community and self-improvement. They embrace the Cascade's steep incline, seeing in it an invitation to wrestle — good naturedly — with gravity on more-extreme terms than easily afforded elsewhere. Up to the top, then down toward the Lake so they can climb once again, the Cascade offers a workout so intense that it has become a hub for enthusiasts looking for an out-of-the-ordinary workout.
For some, standard bipedal locomotion isn't challenging enough, so they crawl the steps, their hands playing the role of extra feet, both climbing and descending — even backwards.
When vigor was flowing out of the Cascade, these hardworking crosstrainers of the Cascade pumped their own life force back into it, restoring its vitality with community and imbuing it with renewed meaning.
Your opportunity for major, long-lasting impact
If you are a philanthropically inclined individual or organization or a public-spirited company, and if the restoration of the Cleveland Cascade is a project that might align with your interests, values, and goals, please email.
There are exciting opportunities for you to have a major, long-lasting impact on Oakland, its residents, and visitors — by simultaenously honoring Oakland’s past and enriching its future — and for you to receive the recognition you deserve.