Ocoee Whitewater Center

Area Status: Closed

View of Ocoee Whitewater Center in Cherokee National Forest

The OWC lower day-use area will open May 22.  The building/visitor center and upper restrooms remain closed - opening to be determined.  Visitors are advised to bring their own hand sanitizer/soap because it will not be available.

In 1996 the world's eyes were on the Ocoee Whitewater Center (OWC) as it hosted the world’s first Olympic whitewater event on a natural river.

Today the Ocoee Whitewater Center offers something for everyone.

The OWC marries the best of the natural and artificial worlds.  A sleepy river set in a lush, rocky river gorge, this section of the Ocoee was carefully modified into a channel to enhance its rapids.  During the 1996 Summer Olympics, the Ocoee Whitewater Center opened its doors as a premier whitewater venue for athletes from all over the world.

Now you can enjoy a wide variety of activities at the Center such as: hike or bike historic or forest trails, play in the water, picnic along the river, stroll through the native gardens and walkways.

See the Calendar of Events page to see what's happening at the OWC.

Click on the following links for information about

Ocoee Whitewater Center Guide

At a Glance

Operational Hours: The OWC building is open April through October.  Closed November through March. The rest of the site is open during daylight hours year-round.
Rentals & Guides: Programs for groups of 12 to 24 snorkelers may be scheduled through the Ocoee Whitewater Center (423-338-3331).
  • Cost is $25 per snorkeler
  • A guide and lifeguard lead groups
  • Wetsuits, masks and snorkels are provided
  • Programs run from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Participants need to provide their own transportation to the site; bring your own swimming suits, towels, wading shoes (flip-flops need an ankle strap), lunch and drinking water
  • Picnic tables and restrooms are available 
  • Tents will be set up for changing rooms
For more information, see this slideshow.
Area Amenities: Interpretive Site,Accessible,Fee charged for some activities,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking
Fees: User fee is $3.00 (lower lot). OWC Visitor Center parking, limited to 30 minutes, is free in the upper lot.
Usage: Heavy
Closest Towns: Ducktown, TN
Water: Available
Restroom: Flush and Vault Toilets
Passes: Holders of the Cherokee National Forest Annual Pass or any interagency America the Beautiful pass (Annual, Senior, Access, Military, or 4th Grade) can use the site for free. Digital Pass Icon
Operated By: US Forest Service

General Information


From Knoxville - Distance to OWC = 116 miles

I-75 South to Exit 25 and go right for 5 miles (through city) and exit onto Hwy. 64 East. Travel 26 miles and OWC will be on the right.

From Chattanooga - Distance to OWC = 52 miles

I-75 North to Exit 20 (1st Cleveland exit) and go right for about 6 miles and exit right onto Hwy 64 East. Travel 26 miles and OWC will be on the right.

From Atlanta - Distance to OWC = 167 miles

I-75 North - Exit onto Hwy 411 North. Exit onto Hwy 64 East. Travel 18.5 miles and OWC will be on the right.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Mountain Biking

The OWC is the primary trailhead for the Tanasi Trail System.

Day Hiking

Looking for a short walk or an easy hike?   At the OWC, you can hike with history along the 2.4 mile restored segment of the Old Copper Road Trail, or take an easy 1 mile stroll around the Olympic course at the Ocoee Whitewater Center on the Rhododendron Trail. 

Visitor Programs

Interpretive Areas

Visitor Centers


Group Picnicking

The pavilion at the OWC is first-come first-serve, or for a fee, can be reserved for group gatherings.  For more infomation, or to make a reservation, please call the OWC.

Boating - Non-Motorized

For more information regarding whitewater, please visit the Ocoee River page. 



Interpretive Site:
Picnic tables:
Fee charged for some activities:
Drinking water:

Quick Links

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
1,853 ft