Whitewater rafting and tubing
Whitewater rafting is on the most exciting adventures you can have up here in the Blue Ridge, GA area.
The OcoeeRiver, and white water center, is one the most popular whitewater rafting destination in the entire United States. And with over 20 continuous rapids, it’s not hard to see why. And one river rafting company—the creatively named Ocoee River Rafting—is located “just several miles from Blue Ridge, Georgia.” Here’s the link for more info.
I have personal experience rafting on two different rivers, but the most fun by far is the Ocoee. Once I had graduated to the boy scouts we went down the Ocoee. The rapids are class III+ on the International Scale of River Difficulty created by the American Whitewater Association, meaning the rapids are for the intermediately skilled. However, there are some rapids on the OcoeeRiver that get up to class V level.
While rafting the river there are so many exciting times it is hard to describe just one. However, there is one in particular that I remember from personal experience. While in the Boy Scouts we rafted once on the Ocoee river. About half way through our trip we found ourselves essentially in a whirlpool for several minutes, though it felt like an eternity. All of the sudden I noticed that the scout in front of me was just gone, then so was the adult leader next to him. In one of the pictures, we can see a leg of his sticking out of the river and nothing else. Then my brother fell into the river. According the pictures (I don’t have many memories of this), I tried to bring him back in raft. In the next picture, my brother’s in the river and I’m bear-hugging the raft, so as to not join him. My dad managed to pull me back in.
At one point, another raft came by and tried to push us out. The attempt was unsuccessful. I don’t know how but we eventually got out and had to land nearby to get over half of our passengers back in. Then we continued down to river and finished our awesome trip. All of the rapids on the river were fun to navigate but that’s the only one I remember.
I feel obliged to say this: you are completely safe on the Ocoee. All of the company guides are trained for obvious reasons. Accidents can still happen, as the water is a powerful force of nature. But, as I said I rafted on the Ocoee at a young age and I rafted on another river at a younger age, nothing happened. The guides will do everything in their power to keep you safe. They have to. It is their job. The companies are liable for your safety. You just have to paddle when and where they tell you to.
If you have very young children, under the age of 12, do not bring them on the Ocoee. Luckily, we have an even closer alternative—tubing on the Toccoa River which is safe for kids over the age of 5. You can float down the river tube for 1.5 miles with the tubing offered by Rolling Thunder River. If the TVA isn’t releasing water, this’ll take a couple of hours, but if the dam is letting water through, then that time is reduced by 2/3rds. However, if you want to spend more than 20 minutes on the river, they offer a 3 mile trip, doubling the original distance. Also, there is an alternative of tubing the UpperToccoaRiver, which is not controlled by the Lake Blue Ridge Dam. The upper river is located up Aska Road, in the “Aska Adventure Area”. There are several options for tubing the upper Toccoa. Toccoa River Adventures, Toccoa Valley Campground and Tubing, Shallowford Bridge Tubing, and Jon/Ron are some of the recommended vendors.
Reservations are not necessary. If you want to more than float, they also offer canoeing and kayaking.
Here’s a link, provided by the Chamber of Commerce with all the possible info you want to have on your Blue Ridge water adventure.