Ocoee River KayakingTrips
What it’s Like – Kayaking Trips on the Ocoee
Ocoee river kayaking is an awesome experience for the trained kayaker. The Ocoee River is dam controlled which means dependable water for 112 days a year on the Middle Ocoee and 34 days a year on the Upper. The normal water release on the Middle Ocoee is 1250 cubic feet per second. On the days when the Upper Ocoee is running, the river will be higher on the Middle section. This additional flow has little effect on the bigger rapids, though some of the play spots get better or less exciting depending on a few hundred cfs. The highest recommended level for safe kayaking trips on the Ocoee River is 4000 cfs. The Middle Ocoee is class III and IV and most of the rapids are not overly technical.
Ocoee river kayaking is more challenging on the Upper than on the Middle. After putting in for your kayaking trip at the very top of the river, you have a mile and a half of somewhat easier class II whitewater with a couple of good play spots before getting to the bigger rapids. Once you reach the Ocoee Whitewater Center the natural riverbed has been reduced from 200 to 300 feet wide to 75 to 100 feet to make better rapids for the 1996 Olympic Slalom course. This artificial narrowing causes the water to be much faster and pushier as well. The Olympic course designers used artificial barriers (faux rocks) in the river bed and along the sides as well to create more powerful rapids and holes. Kayaking trips on the Ocoee River may not require one to be an Olympic paddler, but they do call for greater skill levels on the Upper section.
How to Get Started Safely with Kayaking Trips on the Ocoee
If you are just starting out in kayaking, then you will be advised to get some instruction to be able to join safely in Ocoee river kayaking. Ocoee Adventure Center has highly qualified instructors ready to help you become proficient enough to join in on the fun. Private kayaking lessons are affordable and a great way to learn in a fun, friendly and safer environment. Our instructors start out on a lake while you learn the basics and then move along to slow moving water with mild rapids to teach you more advanced techniques like catching eddies, entering fast current and surfing. After a few days of lessons you may be able to start paddling on an easy stretch of the Ocoee River. Before you know it you will be able to comfortably take kayaking trips Ocoee River style with your friends.