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The Thrills of Upper Ocoee River: An Adrenaline-Pumping Rafting Experience

the thrills of upper ocoee river



For heart-pounding thrills and unbeatable views, there’s no better way to spend a day than on the Upper Ocoee River. Nestled in Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest, this river is renowned for its exciting rapids and stunning scenery. From white water rafting to kayaking, adventurers can enjoy an adrenaline-filled experience that will stay with them forever.

The Ocoee River has long been associated with extreme sports enthusiasts; it was even used as a venue during the 1996 Olympics! Today, visitors from all over flock here every summer to get their fix of thrills and excitement. While experienced rafters tackle challenging rapids like Broken Nose and Double Trouble, novice paddlers have plenty of calmer sections to practice their skills and take in the incredible beauty of the surrounding forest.

The Ocoee River

The Ocoee River is a renowned whitewater rafting destination located in Eastern Tennessee. The Upper Ocoee offers an adrenaline-pumping experience, with river features such as rapids and boulders that challenge even the most experienced rafters. The upper section of the river has a variety of conditions depending on water levels and flow rates, creating a unique environment for every trip down this stretch of whitewater.

Regarding ideal conditions for rafting, the Upper Ocoee offers plenty of options – from mild Class II/III rapids during low season to more challenging Class III/IV+ rapids when water levels are higher. Rafts typically travel through narrow channels between rocks and other obstacles while navigating around ledges and boulder gardens. There’s no shortage of thrills here!

There are also plenty of opportunities to take in some stunning scenery. With its winding curves, lush vegetation, rocky banks, and occasional glimpses of wildlife, the Upper Ocoee provides an unforgettable outdoor adventure that will leave you wanting more each time you venture out onto its waters.

Ideal Conditions for Rafting

The Ocoee River offers an unforgettable rafting experience, and it’s important to know the ideal conditions for getting the most out of your adventure. To ensure a thrilling ride down the Upper Ocoee, you’ll want to pay attention to several factors:

    • The rafting season – typically running from April through October, depending on water levels.
    • The water level – higher is better for whitewater rapids; however, lower water levels can limit access.
    • Weather conditions – sunny skies are preferable so that you can see every bend in the river and enjoy every wave!
    • Wave size – these determine how much air you get when bouncing off each rapid.

Knowing what kind of conditions make for an optimal rafting day will help you plan your trip and maximize the thrills. Of course, even with perfect weather and good flow on the river, there are always exciting rapids and challenges awaiting around each corner.

Exciting Rapids and Challenges

The Upper Ocoee River is known for its exciting rapids and challenges that will get your adrenaline pumping. Here are some of the notable rapids and features you can expect to encounter:


1. Broken Nose

This Class IV rapid is a favorite among experienced rafters. It features a powerful wave train and a massive rock in the middle of the river, which creates a thrilling obstacle to navigate around.

2. Double Trouble

As the name suggests, this rapid is a double drop that will test your skills. It consists of two consecutive drops, each with its own set of waves and currents. Rafters need to work together to maneuver through the rapid successfully.

3. Flipper

Flipper is a technical Class III rapid with a sharp drop and a powerful hydraulic at the bottom. It requires precise navigation to avoid getting flipped or caught in the hydraulic.

4. Tablesaw

One of the most popular rapids on the Upper Ocoee, Tablesaw is a Class IV rapid with a long, powerful wave train. It gets its name from the hydraulic feature that resembles a saw blade. It’s an exhilarating rapid that demands skillful maneuvering.

5. Diamond Splitter

This Class IV rapid presents a challenging obstacle course of rocks and waves. It requires precise line choices and quick reflexes to navigate through the narrow channels.

6. Moon Chute

Moon Chute is a thrilling Class IV rapid that starts with a steep drop, followed by a series of powerful waves. It’s known for its high waves and fast currents, offering an adrenaline rush for experienced rafters.


These are just a few examples of the exciting rapids you can expect to encounter on the Upper Ocoee River. Each rapid provides a unique and exhilarating experience, with varying degrees of difficulty depending on water levels and flow rates.

Safety Precautions to Consider

The Thrills of Upper Ocoee River An Adrenaline-Pumping Rafting Experience

It’s time to take the plunge and have a thrilling adventure on upper Ocoee River. But before you jump in, it’s important to consider some safety precautions that will ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Here are just a few of the things you should keep in mind:


River Safety Ocoee Safety
Lifejackets must be worn at all times Rafters must wear helmets while rafting
No alcohol allowed on river trips All rafters must sign waivers prior to the trip
Safety equipment is provided by tour operators Have radios available with tour guide
Follow instructions given by guides or staff Utilize proper oars/paddles when rafting


In addition to these safety measures, you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing appropriate clothing and footwear. Closed-toe shoes or sandals are best suited for this type of activity, as they will protect your feet from any sharp objects underneath the water. Make sure whatever clothes you choose wick away moisture quickly so that you don’t get too cold during your journey downriver. It’s also recommendable to bring along plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent.

Common Amenities and Services

For those looking to embark on a thrilling rafting experience, the Upper Ocoee River offers no shortage of amenities and services. From river guides to gear storage and shuttle services, this is one adventure you won’t want to miss out on!


    • Rafting Gear Rental: Travelers can easily rent all the necessary equipment for their exciting ride down the rapids right at the launch site. This includes life jackets, paddles, helmets, and other safety gear.
    • Shuttle Services: Don’t worry about having your own transportation – many companies provide pick-up/drop-off shuttles that will take you from your starting point to your destination along the river.
    • Gear Storage: Worried about where to store your excess items? No problem – most rental facilities offer secure lockers or bags, so you don’t have to drag extra stuff around with you during your trip.
    • River Guides: The best way to ensure an enjoyable and safe experience is by hiring a professional guide who knows the area well. With years of experience navigating these same waters, they’ll know exactly how to handle any situation that may arise while still allowing everyone in the group to enjoy themselves fully as they traverse through each rapid!

There are plenty of access points spread throughout the course, which make it easy for travelers of all skill levels to start (or end) their journey wherever they wish.

Tips for an Enjoyable Rafting Trip

Rafting down the Upper Ocoee River is an adrenaline-pumping experience, and it’s important to be prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. Here are some tips to get you ready for your adventure.


    • Choose the right tour or trip.

Consider your skill level and preferences when selecting a rafting tour. There are options for beginners, intermediate rafters, and advanced paddlers, so choose one that matches your abilities and desired level of challenge.

    • Listen to your guide.

Pay attention to the instructions given by your guide or instructor. They are there to ensure your safety and help you navigate the river effectively. Follow their advice and paddle commands to make the most of your rafting experience.

    • Dress appropriately.

Wear comfortable, quick-drying clothing suitable for water activities. Swimsuits or quick-dry shorts and shirts are recommended. Don’t forget to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.

    • Stay hydrated.

Rafting can be physically demanding, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle with you and take regular sips to keep yourself hydrated throughout the trip.

    • Bring a waterproof camera or GoPro.

Capture exciting moments and beautiful scenery with a waterproof camera or a GoPro. Just make sure it’s securely attached to you or your equipment to prevent it from getting lost in the river.

    • Have a positive attitude.

Rafting is an adventure sport, and unexpected things can happen. Approach the experience with a positive mindset and be prepared to face challenges with enthusiasm. Remember to enjoy the journey and have fun!

    • Respect the environment.

Leave no trace behind and respect the natural environment. Avoid littering and disturbing wildlife. Appreciate the beauty of the river and its surroundings while minimizing your impact on the ecosystem.

    • Be a team player.

Rafting is a team activity, and teamwork is crucial for a successful trip. Communicate and cooperate with your fellow rafters, listen to each other, and paddle together to navigate the rapids effectively.

    • Relax and enjoy the ride.

While rafting can be thrilling and adrenaline-pumping, take a moment to relax and enjoy the ride. Take in the breathtaking scenery, feel the rush of the rapids, and appreciate the unique experience of being on the Upper Ocoee River.


With these tips in mind, you’re now ready for a thrilling ride down the Upper Ocoee River! Get ready for exciting rapids and unforgettable memories as you take in the sights of this magnificent area.

Wrapping Up

At Bigfoot Outfitters, we highly vouch for the thrills of rafting down the Upper Ocoee River. From its exciting rapids to its breathtaking views and common amenities and services, a day on the river will surely be an unforgettable experience that will leave you wanting more. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned veteran, taking proper safety precautions and following tips from experienced rafters are essential in ensuring you have a safe yet enjoyable time out on the water. So if you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure, don’t hesitate to add some white-water rafting at the upper Ocoee River to your list!

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