6501 Waterlevel Hwy. SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
Middle Ocoee River
An exhilarating new whitewater rafting experience was created in the late 1970s when the Tennessee Valley Authority Flume Line became unable to carry the Ocoee River’s water to its powerhouse to turn the turbines. The water diverted back into the riverbed and the rest is white water rafting history! The Middle Ocoee River is now one of the most popular destinations for whitewater in the world.
So what can you expect? Five miles of Class III and Class IV whitewater, featuring large waves, spectacular mountain scenery, seventeen challenging rapids and a drop of 56 feet per mile. The adventure takes you through a deep gorge within the Cherokee National Forest. Families, community and corporate groups flock to Ocoee each season to experience an unforgettable river adventure.
With a highly trained guide at the helm, no previous experience is required for our Middle Ocoee whitewater rafting trip. Trips are available on weekends during the spring and fall and run from Thursday through Monday in June, July and August. Unfortunately, we cannot run trips on Tuesdays or Wednesdays due to the dam release schedule. You can opt between a morning or afternoon trip, with the entire experience taking around four hours.
Want an all-day adventure? Why not combine your Middle Ocoee River whitewater rafting trip with an expedition on the Upper Ocoee to experience the most exciting 10-mile whitewater adventure that the Southeast has to offer!
- Trip Length: 3 hours
- River Miles: 5 miles
- When: June, July, August trips are offered daily except Tuesday and Wednesday
- Class: III-IV
- Minimum Age: 12 years
Why is the Middle Ocoee River the MOST POPULAR rafting section?
The Middle has got it all with high-speed rapids scaring even the adrenalin junky. Or swimming holes to jump off the raft, dunk-a-friend, or flip. Your guide knows 50 ways to get you out of the raft—spectacular gorge views for the family, wildlife, and guide stories and history galore. Your guide asks, “mild or wild?” before the big ones. Or “who wants to ride the bull?” We call group bonding rescuing your spouse or best friend. Or not, let ’em suffer as you laugh at their bulging “help me” eyes. Don’t worry. Your guide knows where it’s safe and not. Just remember, “wild or mild?” it’s your choice.
"Wild or Mild Action… Who wants to ride the bull?"
The Middle Ocoee so much action it often scares folks, and that’s part of the buildup. But not everyone is an adrenalin junky. Outland guides are masters in the art of entertaining and offer the trip for your needs. Mild rides are for the timider types preferring laughing at swimmers from the security inside their raft. Or how about a tranquil float in the doldrums or a safe rapid to swim. Outland guides will deliver your flavor of adventure, Wild or Mild.
River guides are world champion storytellers mastering the art of evoking fear, shock, and laughter. The bus ride around those hairpin cliffs overlooking the whitewater doesn’t need help to make it scary. Yet, stories of local culture and the school bus of despair carry legends of lore. Let’s just say our guides love what they do. Approaching the put-in rafters, goose-neck to one side of the bus to see the 50-foot waterfall sliding over the dam and historical wooden flume. Your heart pounds, “are we going to run that?” As the mountaineer yells, “WILD OR MILD?” Game time. Are you ready to bond with your friends like never before?
Beauty & History.
“Is that a train track?” rafters ask as they practice self-preserving paddling commands and worry if they will run the falls. Initially built in 1913, the 1976 rock slide broke the wooden flume releasing the wild water back to the riverbed. Whitewater pioneers began proposing the economic benefits to the Tennessee Valley Authority and negotiated commercial rafting release dates. Morning and late afternoon rafters can see the river turn on and off, also known as “riding the bubble.” Spottings of eagles, deer, bear, heron, ducks, and fish are most common. The remote Ocoee gorge promises beautiful views, flora, and fauna. It’s up to you to smell the roses.
Who Should Paddle the Middle Ocoee?
The minimum age is 12 years old and with a medium intensity spirit of adventure. Outland guides are trained to accommodate both the adrenalin junky (wild) and more conservative (mild) rafters. Make sure to let your guide know your preference, “wild or mild.” We’ll take care of you.
"Can we do it again?" Try an All-day Adventure.
90% of rafters want to go back and raft it again. Your best option is to do the Upper (Olympic section) & Middle Full-Day Combo. Everyone agrees, “we’re glad we did both.”