The Ocoee Whitewater Center was built to host the canoe and kayaking events for the 1996 Olympic Games. It was the first Olympic white water venue to be constructed in a natural river bed. Ton after ton of native stone was brought in to transform the natural stream bed into the Olympic white water course we know today. The course is 500 meters long and is considered to be one of the best white water courses in the world.
Overlooking the white water course is a well appointed visitors center with a historical museum and gift shop. The visitors center is also the starting point for many of the Cherokee National Forests natural attractions.
Tanasi Trail System
Home to the Tanasi Trail System the Ocoee White Water Center boast 30 miles of mountain biking trails. The Tanasi Trails has a wide range of trail options. There is easy double track trails for bikers just wanting to take in the sights and more difficult single track trails with climbing and downhill sections. The Ocoee White Water Center has trail maps available to help you choose the best option for you.
Ocoee River Rafting
On weekends during the summer, the Olympic White Water Course is open to private boaters wanting to perfect their paddling skills and for commercial white water rafting. Carolina Ocoee Rafting offers ½ day trips and full day rafting trips on the White Water Course. Adventurous rafters can experience the thrill and challenge of rafting Olympic white water. No experience is necessary because all rafting trips are fully guided and all equipment is provided. A grilled riverside lunch is served on all full day trips.
Swimming & Snorkeling On the Upper Ocoee River
On week days there is no water released on the Upper Ocoee river for rafting, so the White Water Course and the Upper Ocoee River are popular swimming areas. Crystal clear water meanders its way through the natural and man made pools. Blue hole is a popular snorkeling area just upstream of the Whitewater Course. Natural rock formations that look like swiss cheese make Blue Hole a great spot to do some snorkeling. The Ocoee Whitewater Center also has several picnic areas so it’s a great spot for a picnic lunch.
Cherokee National Forest Hiking
The Ocoee WhiteWater Center is also a great starting point for day hikers. Hikers can take advantage of looping trails like the Bear Paw Loop and the Thunder Rock Express. The Rhododendron Trail follows the Ocoee River so it is a great option for seeing the river and the Whitewater Course. Don’t forget to pick up map at the visitors center before you head out.