Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park was the first river managed in the State Scenic River program. A 23-river mile section, from the North Carolina to U.S. Hwy. 411 north of Benton, has been declared a Class III partially developed river. This stretch of river offers canoeing, rafting, fishing, hiking and nature photography. A scenic portion of the John Muir trail winds through the river gorge. Numerous public access sites provide boat launch ramps.
Floating the Hiwassee:
Based on the International Scale of river difficulty the Hiwassee State Scenic River is primarily Class I (moving water with small waves, few obstructions) and Class II (easy rapids with wide, clear channels; some maneuvering required). Certain sections may be considered Class III (rapids with high waves capable of swamping an open canoe; requires complex maneuvering).
Middle Ocoee: The Middle Ocoee is almost a continuous whitewater experience from the Put-In at Rogers Branch until the Take-Out at Caney Creek. The flow level can vary between 1200 and 1800 cubic feet per second (CFS). The whitewater section from the wooden diversion dam to Ocoee No. 2 Powerhouse has an average drop of 54 feet per mile and is considered a Class III and IV river. When taking a rafting trip on this section of the river approximate time on the water is 2 hours.
The Upper Ocoee:The Upper Ocoee River experience begins at Ocoee No. 3 Dam, where the river runs parallel with the historic ‘Old Copper Road’, at this starting section of the river you will encounter Class II whitewater and seclusion in the wilderness. The whitewater excitement continues with the thrilling Olympic whitewater section of the Ocoee River where you will encounter Class IV whitewater.
(Note: Minimum age for commercial rafting on the Ocoee is 12 years old.)
Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park is also a popular fishing stream and anglers of all ages enjoy fine catches of large-mouth bass, yellow perch, catfish and brown and rainbow trout. The latter two species are stocked by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
The Gee Creek primitive tent campground has 47 campsites, each with a table, fire ring and grill. Adjacent is the Gee Creek Wilderness of the Cherokee National Forest.
For more information, please contact the park directly at 423-263-0050.