FAQ – Ocoee River

fqa - ocoee river

1. What class rapids are on the Ocoee?

The Ocoee River has two sections of river for white water rafting the Upper Ocoee and the Middle Ocoee. The Upper Ocoee River is a mix of Class III and Class IV white water. The Upper section of the Ocoee is highlighted by the thrilling White Water Course used in the 1996 Olympic canoeing and kayaking events. The Middle Ocoee River is also a mix of Class III and Class IV whitewater. The Middle section is packed with almost continuous white water and has lots of great rapids to surf and play. Check out our Ocoee River Rapids page.

2. What days does the Ocoee run?

The Middle Ocoee River runs every Saturday and Sunday from April thur October. It also runs every Monday, Thursday, and Friday from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

The Upper Ocoee River runs every Saturday and Sunday from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Ocoee River Release Schedule

3. How do you stay in the raft when white water rafting?

Listen to your guides instructions. Before and during your trip your guide will give you tips on bracing into the boat with your legs and when to be ready for the rapids ahead.

When rafting you sit on the side tube of the raft, so you can put one foot on the floor of the raft for stability and the other under the tube in front or to the side of you to brace yourself.

Paddle! Paddling actually helps you stay in the boat. The resistance you create when paddling actually helps push you back into the boat. It’s also a really good workout.

4. How deep is the Ocoee River?

The Ocoee has both shallow areas and deeper areas. As the river narrows and widens it changes the water depth. Generally the wider the river section the shallower it is.

The depth of the Ocoee River is millions of years in the making. Heat and pressure caused folds in the rock along the Great Smoky Fault that have gradually built up over time. This process transformed sedimentary rock into metamorphic rock.

Over many millions of years the Ocoee River cut its way through these rock layers to become what we now know as the Ocoee River George. As you pass thought the gorge both light and dark layers of rock can be seen. The two layers have worn away at different speeds creating the rapids on the river.

Check out the full geological story of the Ocoee – The Geologic Story of the Ocoee River

5. How old do you have to be to raft the Ocoee?

You must be 12 years old or older to raft the Ocoee River. There are no exceptions to this rule. It is the law on the Ocoee River.

6. What level is the Ocoee River?

To determine the Ocoee River level we use the International Scale of River Difficulty which uses a Class I -VI system.

The Ocoee has two sections of river used for whitewater rafting. The Upper Section and the Middle Section. Both sections have class III and class IV rapids. The Upper Section is best known for the thrill and challenge of  the White Water Course used in the 1996 Olympics. The Middle Section is best known for being packed with lots of wave trains, surf spots and fun splashy whitewater.

7. How long does it take to raft the Ocoee?

The Ocoee River has three rafting trip options. The Upper Ocoee Trip, The Middle Ocoee Trip or the Ocoee Combo Trip. The Upper Ocoee Trip is 5 miles long. It takes approximately 2 hours on the water and 3 hours round trip. The Middle Ocoee Trip is 5 miles long. It takes approximately 2 hours on the water and 3 hours round trip. The Ocoee Combo trip is 10 miles long. It takes approximately 4 hours on the water and 6 hours round trip. The Combo Trip is both the Upper and Middle Ocoee sections with a fresh grilled riverside lunch in between.

8. Where is the Middle Ocoee River?

The Middle Ocoee River is located in the Cherokee National Forest in Eastern Tennessee.  Ducktown Tennessee is the closest town to the white water rafting activities on the River. Our outpost is conveniently located just above the put-in at :

Carolina Ocoee
225 Industrial Drive
Ducktown, TN 37326

9. Where does the Ocoee River begin?

The Upper Ocoee River begins at Dam #3 and goes to Ocoee Lake #2.

The Middle Ocoee River begins at Dam #2 (Roger’s Branch) and goes to Parksville Lake (Caney Creek Take-out).

10. Where does the Ocoee River end?

The Ocoee River Rafting Trip ends just after Powerhouse rapid. The water then goes into the Lake Ocoee watershed. Lake Ocoee covers 1,930 areas and is a popular flat water recreation area.

For more information check out our frequently asked questions for general whitewater rafting.