Ocoee River

Class III-IV

The Ocoee River is the Southeast's iconic whitewater stream, providing 10 miles of seriously challenging whitewater in a spectacular mountain setting.

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Tablesaw Rapid - Photo: Brad Sisco - Am. Whitewater

Considered by many to be the birthplace of freestyle whitewater kayaking, the Ocoee was world famous before it hosted the 1996 Olympics' whitewater events. 

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Mikey's Ledge - Photo: Rob Murphy - Am. Whitewater

The Class IV Upper Ocoee section includes the Olympic whitewater course, and should only be attempted by the most experienced paddlers. Some rapids even thrashed Olympians.

American Whitewater Upper Ocoee Page
(Ocoee #3 Dam to #2 Dam)

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Hell's Hole -  Photo: Daniele George - Am. Whitewater

The Class III-IV Middle Ocoee section is the run of choice for many paddlers, offering several challenging practice and play spots, including the wildly popular Hell's Hole.

American Whitewater Middle Ocoee Page
(#2 Dam to #2 Powerhouse)

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Middle Ocoee - Photo: Christopher Neglia - Am. Whitewater

NOTE: The Ocoee River is dam controlled. Be sure to check recreational release schedules.
Upper Ocoee Dam #3 Recreational Release Schedule
Middle Ocoee Dam #2 Recreational Release Schedule

Activity type
Class III-IV whitewater paddling

Related Activities
Class III-IV whitewater rafting, flat water paddling (Ocoee and Parksville Lakes, Lower Ocoee), hiking, mountain biking, camping, fishing, hunting (in season)

Polk County, TN

Distance from Outdoor Chattanooga to Middle Ocoee Launch
48 miles | 55 minutes

GPS Coordinates 
(Ocoee Dam #1)
35.096316, -84.651167

Google Map

Dates | Hours
Recreational releases April - October

Rest Rooms
Yes. Forest Service pit toilets.

Overnight Camping
Cherokee National Forest (Ocoee River Zone) and private campgrounds.

Contact Information
Cherokee National Forest
Ocoee Ranger District
3171 Highway 64
Benton TN 37307-5823
(423) 338-3300
Cherokee National Forest South


Ocoee River