Frequently Asked Questions About Ocoee River Rafting
Do I need previous whitewater experience?
- One of the great things about the Ocoee River is that there is no experience necessary! There will be a trained guide in each raft, and we think we have some great guides. After the trip you will too.
Is there an age limit to raft on the Ocoee River?
- Yes. The Tennessee State Parks Department requires that to raft on the Ocoee River you must be at least 12 years of age.
Will I have to sign a waiver?
- Yes. All participants must sign a waiver and release of liability form. You can either bring the waiver with you or sign the day of the trip. Please keep in mind, all participants under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian's signature on their waiver. View Waiver
How long is the whitewater rafting trip?
- Middle Ocoee River: This section is America’s most popular whitewater river. It is famous for 5 miles of continuous class III and IV rapids. The Middle Ocoee River has over 20 rapids and Grumpy’s, Double Trouble and Table Saw are just a few of them. Approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours is the time you will spend on the water. Total time with us would be ½ hour before the trip for check-in, a 10 minute bus ride to the river put-in, the water time of about 1 ½ to 2 hours and about a 20 minute bus ride back to the outpost totaling around 3 to 3 ½ hours.
- Upper Ocoee River: This section is known for being the 1996 Olympic site for the kayak competition. It is about a 5-mile section of class III and IV rapids and pristine whitewater wilderness. Water time on the Upper Ocoee River is about 1 ½ hours. The total trip time is about the same as the Middle.
- Full Ocoee River: If you want a real fun-filled, action-packed day we offer the Full River Trip. We start with a trip down the Upper Ocoee River and then we take you on a trip down the Middle Ocoee River. With around 10 miles of whitewater rafting, the Full River Trip takes about 3 - 3 ½ hours on the river. From check-in to check-out, expect this trip to take you around 5 hours.
How long is the bus ride to the Ocoee River put-in?
- The Ocoee Rafting outpost is only about 5 miles to the river, which is an advantage for us because our customers only have to ride the bus a short distance to the river and back. We are on the upper end of the river rather than the far lower end, that’s why we have a shorter bus ride. We are only about 2 miles from where the Cherokee National Forest begins and from there it is only mountains and river for about 20 miles. The bus ride is just a short part of your overall trip.
What should I bring and wear?
- T-Shirt are required to be worn on all tours. Tank tops are not allowed unless they have a full back. No racerback tanks allowed.
- Shoes that are secure on your feet are required. No flip-flops are allowed to be worn.
- We recommend quick dry clothing; it is more comfortable when wet. Jeans and sweat pants are not recommended.
- We have nice clean changing facilities for your convenience after the trip. We recommend bringing a towel, shower items, a change of clothes and a plastic bag for wet clothes.
What happens if it rains?
- You are going to get wet anyway so you’ll never know the difference! In the outdoor adventure business it would be hard to do business according to the weather, so we do run our trips RAIN OR SHINE. Whitewater rafting is one of those sports where you are going to be wet from about the time you get on the river until the time you get off, but you’ll be having so much fun you probably won’t even notice. We do have splash jacket rentals available during the Spring and Fall months on cool, rainy days.
When is the best time to go rafting?
- Anytime the river runs will be fun, but there are better times than others. The best time to go rafting is through the week in June, July and August or on weekends in the Spring and Fall. Saturdays of course are sometimes more convenient for many but Saturdays in July and August are the busiest days of the season and most of these days it is very crowded on the river. Being crowded does not mean you won’t have a good trip, it just means you will probably have a longer wait to put on the river and the guides may not get to play on the rapids as much due to heavy traffic of other rafts. If possible to raft on other days rather than the busiest days of the season, it is best, but any day you raft we will do our best to make sure you have a great whitewater rafting experience.
Is whitewater rafting safe?
- As the oldest company on the Ocoee River, Ocoee Rafting has been providing whitewater rafting trips for almost 40 years with an excellent safety record. Our staff will do everything possible to provide you with a trouble free river experience. The safety of our guest is the foremost concern of our staff. The sport of whitewater rafting has inherent risks that are beyond human control and must be assumed by the participant. All participants will be provided with a lifejacket and helmet and a safety briefing will be given before the trip. We want everyone to be comfortable and to have a safe, fun experience.
Will there be photos taken?
- Yes! We have found that photos are an important part of most everyone’s whitewater rafting adventure. You’ll have so much fun we’re sure you will want to capture a memory of it. Photos are taken of each raft on each trip and are available for you to view when you get back to the outpost after your trip.
What time should I arrive for my trip?
- Our check-in time is the trip time. There is no need to be at our outpost until your trip time. We check in for 20 to 30 minutes depending on how large the trip is. If you arrive at the trip time, you will still have enough time to check-in and then get to the restrooms and changing room before the trip begins getting equipment and a safety briefing. It usually takes another 20 to 30 minutes to get equipment and get a safety briefing. Total time before the bus takes off is usually about 45 minutes from your trip time. It is not recommended that you arrive any earlier than your scheduled trip time in order to prevent long waiting periods.
How will we be seated in rafts?
- We have 6 man rafts and we fill our rafts as needed. We do not guarantee that you be seated together unless you make a reservation together under one name and pay with one credit card. If your reservation is for more than 6 people, we fill one raft and the rest will go in another raft. We will not break up a group of 6 people if they have booked together under one name.
Do you recommend any other outdoor activities?
- Absolutely! Check out the following:
- Zipline Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge: www.ZipBlueRidge.com -- Located between Ocoee Rafting and Blue Ridge, this zipline course sits on a beautiful 165-acre tract of land. You'll zip through the property for over 1 mile. You'll experience the mountains from the treetops. You'll zip into the valley, soar over pastures, cross over Fighting Town Creek, and much more. Ask us about our Raft & Zip Discounts.
- Toccoa River Adventures: www.ToccoaRiverAdventures.com -- Offers tubing, canoeing, and paddle boarding on the beautiful Toccoa River. Only 3 miles from Ocoee Rafting, this is a fun and inexpensive addition to whitewater rafting. Also great for groups with children too young to raft, because the Toccoa River is good for everyone 3 years or older.