Waterloo Falls

Virgil Murphy Circle, Cookeville, TN 38501

happyly approved

A waterfall off the beaten path.

A waterfall as lovely as it is secluded!

Waterloo Falls is a much lesser-known, but stunning waterfall in Cookeville, Tennessee. We actually stumbled across Waterloo Falls after our trip to Cummins Falls (a much more well-known waterfall) was canceled due to rising waters in the gorge. What Waterloo Falls lacks in popularity, it makes up for in beauty and seclusion! 

The waterfall is about 40 ft high and plunges into a large pool. The water near the falls is deep and I could not touch the bottom as I swam around. We visited after a full night of rain, so the water was high and the current was strong. It was still approachable, but my husband and I took turns swimming while the kids hung down away from the falls. The current was too strong to bring our kids up to swim in this pool. However, my son (3) enjoyed splashing around in the creek. The rocks are a little slippery, but with water shoes, this area downstream is a perfect spot for young ones to play. Based on pictures from other people’s visits, it looks like the water is much lower on a non-rainy day. 

Getting to the falls to the falls from the parking lot was quite easy, once we knew where to go. Follow the dirt road along the creek and up the hill (not the hill you drove down). As you are walking up the hill, you will see a gravel entrance/ driveway on your left. The driveway is blocked off with a chain rope (to prevent cars) and that’s the entrance to the path. The path is just a few minutes' walk to the river. There are parts that are steep as you are descending to the river, but my 3-year-old was able to walk it with help. There are stairs that take you down the final descent. Once at the bottom, you follow the river for about 25 yards to the waterfall. There is space on both sides of the river to set up your stuff.

The most difficult part of this adventure was finding the location of this waterfall and where to park. There is no address or location when you look for it in your GPS, so it was a bit of trial and error. Lucky for you, I can help you find it more easily. It is located on Virgil Murphy Circle and Waterloo Road. Take the 136 N towards Waterloo Road. Turn left on Waterloo, then left onto Virgil Murphy Road - it is a dirt road. Follow the dirt road until it splits. At the split, you will see a sign that says, “Welcome to Waterloo Venue and Events.” Follow that sign (left) down the hill and you will see a dirt parking lot. 

Because this is private property, you must register your vehicle and sign a waiver. It costs $6 a person to visit, including my 3-year-old son. We were one of two groups there when we arrived at 12 pm, but we saw quite a few cars arriving as we left around 2 pm (many of whom also came from closed Cummins Falls).  While it was fairly empty during our visit, I can imagine this place being popular with locals on weekend afternoons. To avoid crowds, I recommend going earlier in the day.  

Maureen Varghese
Nashville, TN
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