Ocoee Rafting: White Water Rafting The Ocoee River In Tennessee

Ocoee River White Water Rafting the U.S. Southeast...

There are many fantastic adventure sports out there, including mountain biking, rock climbing, scuba diving, and hang gliding, but one of my favorites is white water rafting! To do this properly, you really have to travel to a mountain location that has a fast moving river that has rapids of high intensity, such as the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, and the Ocoee River in Tennessee in the southeastern United States…

Some of the great rivers in this area include the New River and Gauley River in West Virginia, Chattooga River in Georgia, and the Ocoee River in Tennessee! The Ocoee River is the one that I’ll be talking about here, and it was the home of the city of Atlanta Olympics white water rafting course and competition, back in 1996… The course was specially designed and made for the Olympics, and is one of the best on the planet, with incredible class V rapids for both kayaking and rafting by the many tour companies that have permits for the river. This is probably the most popular location in the southeast for white water rafting tours, due to its great location close to the Atlanta and other big cities. With just a day trip, someone could drive up and back with no problem…

The Ocoee RIver is Dam Controlled...

There are many very good companies that you can use for your trip on the Ocoee River, but choose wisely because you may be better off with a bigger company that has a lot of experience and can extricate you and your group quickly if your raft gets into any kind of trouble out on the river. There are many places that it can happen, too, and the bigger companies will always have spotters near the nastiest rapids so they can throw you a line quickly if you happen to fall out of the raft… The location is also very scenic and beautiful, so be sure to enjoy the surroundings as you go down the river.

The Ocoee River is dam controlled, which makes for a very intense ride! The Army Corps of Engineers, or whoever is in charge of the release of water from the dam, does this on a regular and controlled basis so that the river is always ready for some great rafting during the times that the companies are guiding guests down the river. So you can always be assured of one of the best white water rafting trips in the Southeast, unlike the Chattooga River in northeastern Georgia, which is not dam controlled and subject to rainfall to fill the river to a higher level thus creating more rapids…

Humongous Rapid...

Olympic Section on the Ocoee River...

Depending on where you put in to the Ocoee River, you may need to help carry the raft a little ways, and it can be relatively heavy. It’s actually easier going on this river than it would be on the Chattooga RIver, due to the remote location of the Chattooga River and the put in spots. Once you are in your raft and your guide has given you the instructions for the day, then the fun begins! It starts out sort of slow as it builds up through a few smaller rapids and gradually to the big and intense section of the river, which takes you through the Olympic area and the huge manmade rapids! So get ready for this, it’s not a good place for you to fall out of the raft here!

Most of the really big rapids are in that section of the river, but there are also some monsters later on in the trip. They break up the Ocoee River into 2 or 3 sections, and you can do the whole trip or just one section. If you choose to do the whole river, then there is one place that you will have to help portage the raft around a dam to start again at the bottom. This is a relatively shallow area, but still very fast moving with lots of rapids, and not a good spot to fall out here, either! So a good rule for the day is to stay inside the raft if at all possible, because rapping a knee or elbow against a rock could mean a trip to the hospital or worse!

The Ocoee River is Very Popular...

The Ocoee River is not really long enough or slow enough to stop for a quick bite to eat along the river somewhere, but on some trips they do, such as the Chattooga River. Because of the Chattooga Rivers length and remoteness, a nice picnic lunch is particularly nice after a few of those tough rapids! So check with your guide company beforehand if you are concerned about a quick snack or eating on the way…

The Ocoee River is very popular during the summer, so make sure to plan and book your trip ahead of time, because it can fill up fast! There are also many great campgrounds to stay at if that is something you’re looking for, and your rafting company may even have a location at the river for campers, so check with them… Many local hotels and motels are also available if you’re not so much into roughing it. I hope this gives you a few pointers about rafting the Ocoee River… See you out on the water!

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2 comments

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 5 years ago from South East Asia

One of my dreams. One day, one day...I hope. Thanks for your hub.


maria.rose profile image

maria.rose 5 years ago from Florida

Awesome! I’m really glad you enjoyed this hub so much.Honestly, that is what I really love about hub. thanks a lot for sharing info..........

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