The Ocoee River offers a world class ride when it comes to rafting, but it is not the only fun activity in the surrounding area. This is a non-exhaustive list of other things to check out when you are not rafting:
1. The Whitewater Grill – Though not the quickest place in town to eat, this restaurant is considered by locals and visitors alike to be the best food in the area. If they have the ingredients in house, they will make it for you.
2. Miss Bee’s Bus – This is exactly what it sounds like plus more! It is a very cool purple school bus on the side of Copper Head Road that has been converted into a store. You could spend two days in this bus and not see everything that the store has to offer. Go in to get a cool canvas, hacky sack, or to make cool bracelet for a friend, family member, or significant other.
3. Olympic Section – If you decide not to ride the Upper Ocoee during your stay here, then you must at least go to witness some serious CARNAGE at the Olympic Section, which is a man-altered rapid. It is located at the Whitewater Center, which has parking all day for just $3. Bring your bathing suit, a lunch, and a throw rope to catch some guests getting swallowed by Godzilla and Humungous (two features of this rapid). Keep in mind that the Upper Ocoee only runs on weekends.
4. Whitewater Center Hike – The Whitewater Center offers more than just a place to watch rafting. Go inside and ask the cashier at the gift shop or the park ranger for a trail map, which will navigate you through many miles of mountain biking/hiking trails in the area.
5. Mac Point Beach – The Ocoee River flows into and fills up Parksville Lake. This is the premier mountain lake in the area, and Mac Point Beach is a great spot to go grill out with some friends and go for a swim on a hot summer day. It is also a great place to do some star gazing at night.
6. GoForth Creek – This creek runs perpendicular with the Middle Ocoee and actually marks the halfway point on a Middle Trip. At very high water, this creek is “runable” on a kayak with constant Class V rapids all the way through. If you are not looking for something that extreme, just pull off to the side of the road where you will find a free parking area. GoForth at normal water level is a beautiful hike with many different places to camp for free!
7. Benton Falls Trail – Located off the same road as GoForth, Mac Point, and the Whitewater Center, there is about a 2 mile hike to get to these falls. You will come to a decently sized waterfall, but don’t be decieved because this is not the end all be all. Keep hiking up and around this first waterfall, and the views will only get bigger and better. Make sure to pack bug spray on this hike.