Ocoee Whitewater Center
Site of the 1996 Olympic Canoe/Kayak Competition, the Ocoee Whitewater Center is run by the National Forest Service and is also a regional visitor center and day use recreation area. Water releases scheduled by the TVA create an Olympic class whitewater venue. Local outfitters lead rafting trips on both this section of the river and the next five mile section of the Ocoee River.
The Tanasi Bike Trail System, one of the best mountain biking opportunities in the southeast, is also located here. With more than 30 miles of hiking and biking trails, visitors can choose leisurely walks or mountain bike rides on shady riverside trails or a blistering, high energy trek down the Thunder Rock Express. Or spread a picnic under a shade tree by the river, or swim in the "blue holes" when the water level is down.
Native gardens honoring Olympic athletes and Cherokee Indians invite visitors to stroll through the grounds. A historic trail, built by Cherokee Indians and used by 19th century miners to transport copper ore by mules and wagons follows the river upstream. Along the way visitors can see rock formations.
Be sure to visit the gift shop, which offers a selection of local artists' creations, nature oriented souvenirs and outdoor wear.
Hike the Rhododendron Trail, which follows the river downstream with sections built on wood walkways above the Ocoee River.
How to Get There
From Knoxville - Distance to OWC = 116 miles
I-75 South to Exit 25 and go right for 5 miles (through city) and exit onto Hwy. 64 East. Travel 26 miles and OWC will be on the right.
From Chattanooga - Distance to OWC = 52 miles
I-75 North to Exit 20 (1st Cleveland exit) and go right for about 6 miles and exit right onto Hwy 64 East. Travel 26 miles and OWC will be on the right.
From Atlanta - Distance to OWC = 167 miles
I-75 North - Exit onto Hwy 411 North. Exit onto Hwy 64 East. Travel 18.5 miles and OWC will be on the right.
Pet Friendly Notes
Pets must be on a leash.
Contact Local Whitewater Outfitters for Whitewater Rafting
Mid-March - Mid-November : Open Daily from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Mid-November- Mid-March: Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm but closed the weekends of Christmas and New Years.
The rest of the site is open during daylight hours year-round.
There is limited short-term parking in front of the visitor center. For longer stays a day-use fee of $3 is required.