The Ocoee River Has Excellent Whitewater Rafting Adventures
Other than the fact that Cleveland, TN has several golf courses, walking trails and some soccer fields it did not appear to me to have a lot of outdoor activities. Move out further into the country, near where I live, and all that changes.
You will see vehicle after vehicle and bus after bus loaded with whitewater rafting equipment. I never put much thought into whitewater rafting adventures until I started noticing those vehicles with the colorful tubes on their roof tops.
I wondered where they were going with the tubes and rafts. I now know they head for whitewater rafting adventures on the Ocoee River. The Ocoee River was the scene of the 1996 Olympic Whitewater Rafting events and is now open for the public’s enjoyment.
Whitewater rafting is big business on the Ocoee River. When we moved here at the end of last summer we didn’t know anything about the area or the fact that it is a haven for whitewater rafting. We know better now. Following is information on three whitewater rafting outfits. All three outfits use the Ocoee River’s miles of fast currents to give you an exciting ride.
The Ocoee River ranks in the top 10 of all whitewater rafting areas in the United States. We have friends coming to visit this summer and they plan to do some whitewater rafting so I will make sure they read this information.
Option #1 – Whitewater Rafting
6501 Waterlevel Hwy.
Cleveland, TN 37323
From their location on Highway 64 in Bradley County, TN they are a short 15 minute ride to the Ocoee River. At Outland Expeditions they don’t just put you in a raft or tube and throw you in the river.
They work with their customers to make them feel comfortable with the rafting adventures. They also have cabins, a lodge, a bunkhouse and a large area for camping so you will have a place to crash after a busy day on the river.
Feel free to give them a call Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 6 pm if you have any questions or would like to make reservations. They have rafting trips leaving about every ½ hour from 9 am to 5:30 pm. They have extensive food menu items for combo trips, be sure to check that out on their website.
They have various rafting packages for you to choose from, examples are:
Base rate Monday-Sunday is $23.00/person
Group rates Monday-Sunday is $22.50/person
Base rates with combo trips is $76.50/person
Prices do not include taxes….group rate is 30 or more people
Release forms have to be signed by each participant. Their website has a list of recommended ‘what to bring’ items. Their website is also full of information regarding all activities that are available other than just rafting.
Another popular company for rafting adventures is Ocoee Outdoors. They have been in business since 1977. All rafting companies use the same water, the Ocoee River. Each one has variations in pricing and packages.
Ocoee Outdoors has special rafting trips for kids, ask for the birthday special. If your child is turning 12 they will have a raft trip for free, as long as there are four paying members in your rafting party.
Option #2 – Whitewater Rafting
1985 Highway 64
Benton, TN 37307
Ocoee River Rates for their Sunday and Monday special are $32/person
Saturday rates are $44 for 1-11 people
They have various group rates
They also have rafting trips on two other rivers.
Their rates include tax
Check their website for all the rates and dates
They do not have any on-site lodging. There are campgrounds, motels, cabins and B&B’s in the area as well as a few restaurants. Again, their website has all the information you need including release forms and photos. They will be happy to help you with all your accommodation needs.
The third rafting company is called Wildwater Ltd. Rafting. They do rafting on the Middle Ocoee and Upper Ocoee and a combo package which is 10 miles of guided whitewater rafting and lunch. Wildwater Ltd. Rafting has rafting sites in other places such as the Pigeon River, the Natahala River, and the Chattooga River.
This is a large corporation with several rafting locations and a very detailed website. Their rates for the Ocoee River range from $34 to $44 dollars for either the upper or middle Ocoee or $76 to $104 for a combo package. The have a deli on the premises and a picnic shelter for your use. They have two fully guided ½ day trips.
Option #3 – Whitewater Rafting
The Wildwater Ltd. Rafting Ocoee River facility
9472 Hwy 64 W.
Ducktown, TN 37326
No matter what rafting outfit you decide to use, be sure to read and follow all their on-line instructions and information sheets. Whitewater rafting is a lot of fun, but it is also a sport where preparation and caution should be number one. Your whitewater rafting guides are there to help you enjoying your rafting adventures on the Ocoee River.