Cedar - Clay Hole, Cedar Falls (PnP)

Cedar, Iowa, US


Clay Hole, Cedar Falls (PnP)

Usual Difficulty II (for normal flows)
Length 0.01 Miles
Avg. Gradient 12 fpm

IA, Cedar River, Clay Hole

IA, Cedar River, Clay Hole
Photo of Steve Weliver by Ty Graham taken March '03 @ 2200

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Cedar River at Waterloo, IA
usgs-05464000 500 - 4300 cfs II 00h44m 3320 cfs (running)
"D" hole starts giving up loops and cartwheels for skilled paddlers in shorter boats. Gauge (5146 sq.mi. drainage) lies about 7 miles downstream, with one decent-sized trib intervening, so gauge may very slightly overstate flow here.

River Description

This playspot is named after the "Clay Equipment Co." which was located next to the river years ago. The river bottom in this section is bedrock with some sand & gravel.

All of the Clay Hole features are created by an old "beautification" dam. It's intact on river left and broken out in the center, ("D" hole, which is where we do most of our playing). Everything from the center to river left is fun and safe. The only portion we've found to be nasty is in the "you're on your own area" - it's shallow, has many sharp rocks, a pinning spot (bridge pier), and one deep hole that WILL recirculate you. But, there are a few of us who venture in for a thashing every now and then. One can side surf out either end so it's not terminal.

We have removed all rebar, head-banging rocks and trash on river left out to the "D" hole. Stuff continues to get thrown or washed in or get exposed with high flows so pay attention. Flow in this pic is approx. 1800 cfs.

To Get There:
Find the intersection of Hwy 57 and Main Street in Cedar Falls, IA. Go across the river on Main Street and turn right onto Lincoln St. Proceed about 3 blocks to Greeley Street and turn right (by the bait shop). There will be a parking area next to the river just above the play hole.

For the non-playboater:
There is plenty of flatwater for rec boaters. In fact, after play, you can float a mile or so downstream to George Wyth State Park and take out right at your camp site. There are over 60 miles of surfaced bike trails with some single track dirt trails. Main St. has many cafes, bars, antique shops, bike shop, etc., so stay a while.

StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2009-05-06 09:44:33


Rapid Descriptions

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User Comments

Users can submit comments.
February 7 2008 (4002 days ago)
Ben VanCampDetails
Check out the Cedar River Environmental group at http://www.thecregproject.org CREG is a watershed
non-profit group focused on the long-term sustainability of the Cedar River and its tributaries.
Headquartered in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the group arose from the Cedar River Festival, the longest
active river clean-up in Iowa.