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281 US Highway 64, Ocoee, Tennessee 37361
800-277-4537

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The Fascinating History of White Water Rafting in Ocoee

River rafting is the most exciting attraction in Ocoee. But how did this fun outdoor activity come to the area? And where did white water rafting have its start? Learn all about the fascinating history of white water rafting in Ocoee below:

Brief History of River Rafting

rafts beside the ocoee riverPeople have always been innovative when it comes to transportation, which is why you can trace rafting all the way back to the Native Americans.

However, what we know as modern rafting comes from a man named John Fremont when he and an inventor named Horace H. Day created a rubber raft in the 1840s to survey the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain areas.

The first commercial white water rafting trip took place in 1940 through Snake River Canyon, located in Idaho.

During World War II, the military used rafts, and after the war, surplus rafts from the military were used for commercial rafting in the northwestern United States.

Popularity of white water rafting continued to rise through the 1950s to 1970s, until white water rafting was introduced for the first time at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

Today, people can white water raft all across the country!

History of White Water Rafting in Ocoee

ocoee river with rapidsSo when did rafting come to Ocoee?

In 1976, one of the dams on the river was damaged during a rock slide. While the TVA was repairing the dam, people noticed the white waters that were being released while the dam was open. They grabbed their kayaks and rafts and headed out on the water.

The TVA wasn’t thrilled by people rafting on the river, and although they resisted at first, an agreement was made. TVA would open the dams during the summer season so people from all over the world could enjoy the rapids, which is how commercial white water rafting came to Ocoee!

The 1996 Olympics

When the Olympics were being held in Atlanta in 1996, they needed somewhere to hold the river rafting event. That’s where the Ocoee came in—the white water events were hosted on the river. The course was 10 miles long, and visitors can enjoy the run today!

More About White Water Rafting

rafying ocoee river tnIt’s pretty neat to know how white water rafting came to be in the Ocoee area. Of course, now you need to know what kinds of trips you can enjoy on the river!

If you want a little bit of adventure, choose the Middle Ocoee River Trip. It’s known as the nation’s most popular rafting trip where you’ll enjoy 5 miles of class 3 and 4 rapids.

Anyone who loves thrills will want to experience the Upper River Trip, and this is the portion of the river that has the 1996 Olympic course. You’ll get to see Humongous, the largest rapid on the river first hand if you choose this trip!

And if you just can’t decide which trip you want to do, you can do both! We offer a full day of white water rafting. Guests start out on the Upper River, we break for lunch, and then you finish the day on the Middle River.

You don’t want to miss out on chasing the thrills of the Ocoee. Book your trip for white water rafting in Ocoee today!