Waterloo Falls is the lowest of several small waterfalls and rapids which occur along the South Santiam River. The falls, taking its name from the adjacent town, are rather a series of rapids where the river constricts through a narrows formed by an arm of bedrock which protrudes across the riverbed. The total vertical drop is only about 5 feet and in following the falls are neither significant nor terribly impressive. Taking the feature solely as a set of rapids however, it can be thought of as quite a bit more significant (though still paling in comparison to other rapids and falls further upstream along the river).
- Waterloo Falls is the Historical name of this waterfall.
Waterloo Falls has been named and recognized as such for well over a century, taking its name from the nearby town. The name Waterloo was given to the local post office and thereafter the town in 1875, and it likely follows that the falls were named around the same time. The falls was the site of a grist mill built by Elmore Kees, which was likely a major player in the establishment of the town at this location.
Exit Interstate 5 to eastbound US 20 in Albany and follow Highway 20 for 17.5 miles, then turn left onto Sodaville-Waterloo Road where signs point to Waterloo. Follow Sodaville-Waterloo Road, which turns into Gross Street, for one mile to Waterloo Park (the main road bears left, park entrance is to the right). The falls can be found adjacent to the park and can be approached closely from within. If the park gates are closed, follow the main road for one block to an un-gated parking lot. The falls can also be viewed from the bridge over the South Santiam River along Waterloo Road, adjacent to the un-gated parking area.