3 Hydroelectric Dams That Control the Impressive Power of the Ocoee River
The 37-mile stretch of flowing water known as the Ocoee River is controlled by several hydroelectric dams that allow us to provide our thrilling white water rafting adventures! Hydroelectric power is the most reliable, efficient, and economical of all renewable energy sources, and the dams on the river join nearly 30 other power-generating dams throughout the Tennessee River system! Read on to learn about the 3 hydroelectric dams that control the impressive power of the Ocoee River:
Ocoee Dam #1
Ocoee Dam #1 is the first of three Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) dams on the Ocoee River and was among the first hydroelectric projects in the region when it was completed in 1911! This dam is 135 feet high and stretches 840 feet across the river, creating the 1,930-acre Parksville Lake Reservoir. Parksville Lake is also known as Lake Ocoee and it’s the oldest lake in the Cherokee National Forest! If you happen to visit Lake Ocoee during the summer months, you can enjoy recreational opportunities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, and swimming!
Ocoee Dam #2
Ocoee Dam #2 was completed in 1913 and is only 30 feet high, but it stretches for 450 feet across the river! Despite the modest height, it utilizes a unique system that allows the amount of power generated to equal that of a 250-foot-high dam! Water from the river is diverted from the dam into a flume, a wooden trough supported on a bench carved out of the mountainside. The flume then carries the water to a point where it is discharged through pipes to the powerhouse more than 250 feet below! The flume was constructed in 1912 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Ocoee Dam #3
Ocoee Dam #3 was constructed during World War II to produce power for the war effort, but today it primarily provides the powerful water flow for white water rafting excursions! In fact, a section of the river below this dam was the whitewater venue for the 1996 Olympics! Adventurous thrill seekers can experience 5 miles of class III and IV rapids on our Upper Only Olympic Course that operates on select Saturdays throughout July and August! Ocoee Dam #3 is 110 feet high and stretches 612 feet across the Ocoee River, diverting water into a tunnel that carries it down into a powerhouse.
About Our Whitewater Rafting Trips
You can experience the power of the Ocoee River by joining us on one of our thrilling white water rafting excursions! Our rafting season begins on weekends in April, and then we offer trips 5 days a week (Thursday through Monday starting Memorial Day through Labor Day) and on weekends in the fall. We offer several fun rafting trips, including our popular Middle Ocoee Whitewater Rafting Trip that features 5 miles of continuous class III and IV whitewater with over 17 major rapids! You’ll not only love the excitement of rafting with us, but also the stunning natural beauty of the gorge in the Cherokee National Forest!
Now that you know about the hydroelectric dams that control the power of the Ocoee River, plan your next whitewater rafting adventure to experience the incredible power of the river for yourself! We look forward to seeing you at our outpost!