Nestled in the Foot Hills of the North Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains
One of the legacies of the 1996 Summer Olympics, the Ocoee Whitewater Center was
the location of the Canoe, Kayak and Slalom events. Located on Hwy. 64 north of McCaysville,
the center was built by the U.S. Forest Service.
Normally, whitewater adventure runs from June to September, when releases from Lake
Blue Ridge dam increase the flow of the water on the Toccoa/Ocoee River (the Toccoa
River becomes the Ocoee River at the Tennessee State Line). Rafters, canoeists and
kayakers all journey to the center located in the Ocoee River Gorge to enjoy the
In addition to whitewater sports, the center has a one-mile hiking trail which crosses
a 330 foot suspension bridge and circles the center. The trail is entirely accessible
for those who are physically challenged. There are an additional 20 miles of trails
for hikers and mountain bikers, including the Bear Paw Trail and the Chestnut Mountain
Trail, both of which are loops. A recent addition, the Thunder Rock Express, has
received a lot of positive comments from bikers.
The Old Copper Road Historic Trail allows hikers and bikers an easier paced adventure
along the restored path that was used to transport copper by wagon from Ducktown
to Cleveland before the arrival of the railroad from Blue Ridge.
Even if you don't want to play in the whitewater, hike or bike, scenic U. S. Highway
64 through the gorge offers many photographic opportunities and there are swimming
holes, picnic areas, a native garden, gift shop and much more.
Directions to The Ocoee Whitewater Center: In Blue Ridge, take GA 5 north to McCaysville,
then turn left on Tennessee Highway 68. In Ducktown, take U. S. 64 west to the Ocoee
Whitewater Center on the left.