Cedar Falls Dams

River/Stream: Cedar River

Location: Cedar Falls, Black Hawk County
        Latitude: 42.5394418321774
        Longitude: -92.4485510578773
        Click here to view an aerial map of the dam.

Click here to enlarge image

View of dam face and tainter gates

Built: First mill race dam 1848. Current originally 1886

Owner: City of Cedar Falls

Height: 12.5 ft.

Length: 342 ft.

Hazards: visibility, portage, urban, height

Warning Signs: do not meet current standards

Portage: Take out on river left at the beach between the Island Park boat docks and the bridge. Follow the bike trail under the bridge, and put back in at a shallow cove below the dam. Distance is approximately 100 yards.

Fatalities 3

  • April 13, 2017 - Anthony S. “Tony” Romero, fell off ledge while fishing and was pulled into recirculating hydraulic. He died a few days later.
  • April 24, 1971 - Randy Scheffert from one of two powerless boats swept over dam
  • July 7, 1954 - Lyell Corwin, slipped on ledge and fell in while fishing

Close call: on May 14, 2017, firefighters and police pulled Chloe Adams from the Cedar River after she slipped into the tumultuous water beneath the dam.

Other close calls - canoeists and jet skier survived accidental runnings of tainter gates. Do not paddle under the bridge towards the dam.

Click here to enlarge image

Upstream view of dam horizon line

Clay Hole Park and Play

Whitewater kayakers gather at a breeched "beautification" dam approximately 600 yards downstream from the tainter gate dam in Cedar Falls. Click here to see the description of Clay Hole on American Whitewater.

Paddlers and other river users are urged to avoid the sticky hydraulic that forms to the west (river right) of "D" hole.