It’s been a century since the west side of Onondaga Lake has been available to the general public. That changes this weekend, when Onondaga County opens up the West Shore Trail. This is the latest step in reclaiming what was once the most polluted lake in the country.
For nearly 30 years, waste from production of soda ash by Allied Chemical in Solvay was dumped into waste beds along the western shore of Onondaga Lake. What was left was a field of dry, chalky white alkaline waste rising 60 feet above the lake shore and covering 300 acres.