The beauty and incredible landscape of the southeast region is no secret for outdoor enthusiasts or vacationers alike that make their way to visit from all across the U.S. But what many may not realize about this region is that a number of areas are part of the temperate rain forest of southern Appalachia. During the course of an average year, some areas including Pisgah, Chattahoochee, and Cherokee National Forests can receive over 100 inches of rainfall.
While in the height of summer rain showers tend to come and go quickly, an unexpected shower can still put a halt to many fun outdoor activities. Luckily, whitewater rafting the Ocoee River is not one of them.
Free flowing vs dammed rivers; what is the difference?
Throughout the southeast region, there are several amazing rivers set in idyllic scenery that draw visitors from all over the country for exciting whitewater adventure. Many of these rivers though, are free flowing rivers, meaning there is no dam system regulating water levels. What sets the Ocoee River apart is its unique dam system that creates a thrilling and, most importantly, consistent whitewater experience.
The two main sections of the Ocoee River, the Upper and Middle Ocoee, combine to offer a total of 10 miles of thrilling whitewater adventure. The Upper Ocoee, made famous for hosting the whitewater Olympics in 1996, was specially altered by engineers to create a narrowed riverbed that houses more powerful rapids. The Middle Ocoee, while milder, boasts 5 miles of continuous class III and IV rapids that are no small feat either.
Enjoy whitewater fun all season long on the Ocoee
While whitewater rafting experiences on free flowing rivers like the Chattooga in Georgia or the Nolichucky in North Carolina are dependent on just the right weather conditions, the Ocoee River welcomes rafters rain or shine all season long. Free flowing rivers like the Chattooga rely on the right amount of rainfall to keep the water level from being too high, creating dangerous rapids, or being too low, not providing enough water to raft on. The Ocoee River’s dam system is regulated to run water on a specific schedule and force that creates endless fun for rafters every week of the season.