Ocoee Outdoors Frequently Asked Questions
Definitely! We might be a little biased because we obviously love rafting, but we think that you will too! You should keep in mind that many of our guests are first time whitewater rafters and we’ve designed our trips, equipment, and instruction to be “first-timer friendly”. All you need is the excitement and appreciation for adventure and you’re sure to have a great time rafting on the Ocoee River!
We sure think so! The Middle Ocoee has over 20 Class III and IV rapids. If you join us for our All-Day Upper & Middle Excursion, you’ll get in some class V rapids as well. The Ocoee River has a little something for everyone and is guaranteed to keep even the most experienced boater on their toes while the Middle Ocoee is still friendly enough for first-time rafters. Read a whitewater rafter review to learn more about the complete experience.
At Ocoee Outdoors, we have the experience and we provide the best experience on the river. We’ve been whitewater rafting the Ocoee River since 1977 and it shows. All of our guides are Senior Guides meaning they are the most experienced guides on the river – you can count on them to navigate you and your raft mates through the most precarious sections of the Ocoee River.
Like we said, we also provide the best experience on the river. Our trips are longer than any other company that runs the Ocoee River. While other Ocoee river outfitters try to hurry you off the river to get more people back down – we take our time to show you our beloved Ocoee River and its hidden gems, like Jump Rock.
While gratuity is not required, and not included in your reservation cost, it is always welcome.
If you thoroughly enjoyed your experience and want to express your appreciation to your guide, gratuities are genuinely appreciated.
If you have a specific guide that you want, maybe a past guide or a friend, we can usually accommodate that for you! Otherwise, your guide will be assigned to you on the day of your trip. You’ll be in great hands either way! Remember that part above about how all of our guides are Senior Guides? This isn’t their first rodeo and this will be apparent when you’re on the river with them!
We have a max 6 people per raft rule for our boats! This does not include your guide.
Lifejacket, Helmet, Paddle, Raft, and Guide are all provided! If you need a wetsuit, booties, or spray jacket you can add those on at checkout! The water is quite warm in the summer and you most likely will not need the add-ons. If it’s spring or fall, you might want to consider the wetsuit, booties, and spray jacket.
You should bring a swimsuit, or shorts and a t-shirt that you don’t mind getting soaking wet. You will also want to bring along some water shoes – these can be sandals with straps, actual water shoes, or tennis shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. You might also want to bring your sunglasses – if you do, we sell sunglass straps at our office.
You bet! We have a photographer on the river who you can buy photos from at the end of your trip. Leave your personal camera back at the office – it’s a wet and wild ride, and your camera might not make it back!
We’ve been rafting the Ocoee River since 1977 – don’t you think we would go to another river if this one wasn’t fun anymore? We wrote a blog, 10 Things You Should Know About the Ocoee River. You can probably pull out a few things from that article that will make you realize how great the Ocoee River is! For one, it’s consistently ranked as the best river in the United States. One of our favorite facts – it was the home for the Atlanta Olympic white-water event for the 1996 Olympics. The only time the event has been hosted on a natural river!
You don’t necessarily need to be a strong swimmer – our guides work hard to keep you in the boat and not in the water. If you do want to swim, however, there will be ample opportunities to get out of the boat and take a dip!
With an adventure activity like rafting, there is always a chance that you may. Here’s what we do to minimize that risk:
First, like we mentioned, all of our guides are Senior Guides. This means that they have a lot of experience on the river. They know all of the little tricks to the river, and this will play into your favor for staying in the boat.
Second, our safety briefings and demonstrations are clear, concise, and thorough. We also take our time on the river. We don’t rush you – this allows us to make sure you’re comfortable with our instruction and your paddling. This will go a long way to making sure you stay in the boat!
Yes! Our minimum age is 12. The Tennessee State Parks Department requires that to raft the Ocoee River.
If it’s raining, we’ll still go! You’re going to get wet anyway. However, if we deem the weather to be dangerous we will cancel the trip.
If you find it necessary to cancel your trip – let us know asap. Review our full policies here!
Yes, you do! You can either download the pdf from our site, from your booking confirmation or just sign it on the day of your trip when you show up at our office!
Our Middle Ocoee trip is approximately 4 hours, with 2 of those hours being on the river. Our All-Day Upper & Middle Excursion is a 6 hour trip with 4 hours of river time.
Our offices are located right before the canyon entrance to the river! We’re just 10 minutes from the takeout, 20 minutes from the put in for the Middle, and 30 minutes from the Upper Middle!
For USPS: PO Box 72, Ocoee, TN 37361
For UPS/FedEX: 1985 Hwy 64, Benton, TN 37307
Our current operational processes have been approved by the State of Tenessee. Some of the changes we have made include the following:
- Disinfecting (with approved disinfectant) all bus seats, paddles, life jackets, helmets, and rafts after each use. Restrooms and all counters are disinfected frequently throughout each day.
- Adherence to social distancing recommendations at our check-in facility.
- Requiring completed waivers from home when guests check-in.
- Requiring guests to maintain social distancing during transport to and from the river by spacing out the seating arrangements. We are loading the bus inside from back to front so that rafters do not pass other rafters and staff. All windows on the bus are open for better air circulation.
- Mandatory temperature (touchless) checks upon arrival for all staff and rafters.
- Encouraging rafters to bring and wear their masks at our facility and on the bus ride to and from the river. We are providing personal ziplock bags for mask storage on the bus while you are on the river.
- Hand sanitizer is provided in several locations at our outpost.
For fewer crowds, weekdays (Monday, Thursday, and Friday) are great days to raft.