Thursday, November 17, 2011

Visiting the Ocoee Whitewater Center

When we drove through the Cherokee National Forest this fall we took a quick stop at the Ocoee Whitewater Center. Some of you may remember this spot from footage of the 1996 Summer Olympics. This incredible place is where the whitewater rafting competitions were held.

Ocoee Whitewater Center
To help travelers enjoy the visit there is a back deck behind the center. You can sit here and watch the world go by. The water around the whitewater center is rocky but calm. I enjoyed standing at the back of the center and taking in the scenery and could have stayed put for hours.

You can feel the energy and the raw power from the river at pull-offs near the shoreline. It gushes and twists in sharp contrast to the peaceful Cherokee National Forest that surrounds the Ocoee River.



Ocoee River in TN
Some brave souls were out on the water when we visited. We pulled off of the side of the road to watch the kayaks. The bright outfits stood out against the rocks and rushing water. My hat is off to them. No matter how intense the exhilaration may be there's no way that I'd have the guts to to ride the rapids.

The Ocoee Whitewater Center has a neat gift shop on the ground floor. Look for everything from really cool craft items to accessories that you can use on the river. I'm pretty sure that even sunscreen was available.

Ocoee River at the
Ocoee Whitewater Center
An information area is on the top floor of the center. If you want to know anything about the river, the surrounding area, Athens or the Ocoee Whitewater Center just ask. You might want to bring a notepad and pen so you can write everything down. I picked up information on several campgrounds that are near by.

We'll have to try some of the campgrounds when spring comes. Winter weather doesn't work for a pop-up camper. There are some terrific campgrounds in the Cherokee National Forest. I am looking forward to putting the pop-up to good use around the river and by visiting the Ocoee Whitewater Center again.

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