Creeks that Feed the Ocoee River

by | Ducktown, Ocoee, Ocoee River, Whitewater Rafting

250,00 rivers cover over 3.5 million miles of landscape in the United States. All of these rivers are fed by small creeks and streams. Eastern Tennessee, part of the Appalachian Mountains chain, contains about 845 miles of creeks and branches some of which feed the Ocoee River. These streams draw in fishing enthusiasts looking to reel in a trophy trout. Hikers admire the gurgling water as they climb to the highest summit to see some spectacular views. Children splash and play in the creek’s shallow depths. Water is our life-force. Water quenches our thirst and nourishes our spirit just by being near one of many brooks that cascade over a bed of rocks and sediment. As we’re often reminded, without water we would not survive. 

blue jeans and sandals along side creekTennessee Stream” by yahtzeen is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Carolina Ocoee white water rafting gives tribute to the creeks that feed the Ocoee River. Without these streams of water, there would be no white water rafting–no place to feed your need for a wild adventure on a roaring river or a peaceful walk along its river bank. Below, check out some of the most popular creeks that feed the Ocoee River.

Mauldin Creek & Canada Creek

Mauldin Canada Creek

The two main creeks that feed the Ocoee River are Mauldin Creek & Canada Creek where they come together in Union County, Georgia. This confluence of creeks flows 56 miles in a northwesterly direction from Northeast Georgia as the Toccoa River, which then becomes the Ocoee River when it crosses into Tennessee. At the twin cities of McCaysville, Georgia and Copperhill, Tennessee, cross the truss bridge for an evening stroll and experience the changing names of one river as it flows under the bridge to become another. 

North Potato Creek & Davis Mill Creek

Copper basin draining into North Potato CreekStream in the Smoky Mtns.” by Phil Horton is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The Copper Basin drains into North Potato Creek & Davis Mill Creek which then flows into the Ocoee River. The chemicals of mining operations that began in 1847 ended up in soil, sediment, surface stream water, surface pool water, and groundwater. All of this drained into the Ocoee River causing environmental degradation. After the last copper mine closed in 1987, and the halt of chemical production in 2,000, steps were taken to clean up the environment adhering to EPA’s Clean Water Act established in 1942, making it safe for wildlife and the thousands of tourists who come to do some white water rafting, paddling, or fishing from the bank. To learn more about the cleanup from the copper mining, read Land and Water Restoration of the Copper Basin of Tennessee.


Rogers Branch

Ocoee River Dam

Rogers Branch is right above the middle Ocoee River launch site for white water rafting in Ducktown, Tennessee in the Cherokee National Forest. Rogers Branch has a good hiking trail for those who love to trek through the mountains before (or after) a white water rafting trip with Carolina Ocoee. If you’ve got some time and energy, hike to Hedden Grave–a depression that elevates to 1,719 feet. Breathe in the great outdoors as often as you can–walking near a branch or creek will do wonders for your mind and body.


Caney Creek

Caney Creek

The take-out for white water rafting at Caney Creek at Parksville Lake is named for the rivercane that grew along its banks in Polk County, Tennessee. Today, due to overgrazing by cattle, there isn’t much rivercane left. Caney Creek is also the name of a village that housed the workers for the Power House No. 2, the diversion dam, and flume–a trough to carry water several miles to generate hydroelectricity–being built in 1912 by the Eastern Tennessee Power Company for the Ocoee River. It was a modern town for the era with concrete sidewalks, baths in the homes, electric street lights, city water, fire hydrants, telephones and a tennis court. No cars or horse-drawn wagons ever drove through Caney Creek earning the village a feature in Ripley’s Believe it or Not. Remnants of the village still remain and you can hike back to see them. For more fascinating information about Caney Creek Village, visit Genealogy Trails History Group.


Big Creek

Big Creek is a watershed that flows northward from the Big Frog wilderness area into the Ocoee River at Parksville Lake. Though it’s a creek, you can do some decent paddling there when an abundance of rain falls. Big Creek is a mostly remote area with some awesome scenery–great for hiking if you like solitude. The trail crosses the creek several times, so wear some waterproof hiking boots!

The above are, by no means, all of the creeks that feed the Ocoee River in the Ducktown/McCaysville/Copperhill area of Tennessee, but are some of the most interesting ones. After you’ve enjoyed reading about creeks, please don’t forget to book a trip with Carolina Ocoee before you leave!


Margaret Marr, is a local author of paranormal, mystery, and suspense laced with romance. She has written over 15 books available on Amazon. 


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