Looking for a real rush? The Ocoee River Gorge is one of the premier sport destination rivers in America, ideal for kayaking and whitewater rafting. Site of the 1996 Olympics whitewater competitions, the Ocoee boasts the mile-long Olympic whitewater course, as well as a four-and-a-half mile rafting area.
Believe it or not, when TVA is using the Ocoee River to create electricity, the river channel is a bed of dry rocks, with just enough pooled water to swim in a few places.
But when TVA releases water for recreation, it brings two famed stretches of river roaring to life: the one-mile Olympic whitewater course fed by releases of water from Ocoee Dam No. 3, and a four-and-a-half mile padding area fed by water from Ocoee Dam No. 2 when the water is not being diverted by the flume to the downstream powerhouse.
Though it feels like a wild ride, the water releases are actually carefully controlled—for world-class competition the water can’t vary significantly. But for most of us, it certainly feels like a world-class thrill ride.