From March to October the Ocoee River comes alive with whitewater enthusiasts from around the world who journey to shoot the world-class rapids in rafts, canoes, and kayaks. Outdoor adventure writer Kim Urquhart calls it "a paddler's paradise ...loved for its size and power, constant flow rate and continuous waves and holes".
One of the reasons for needing the dam was the relocation of Alcoa Aluminum to Blount County, Tennessee. The company needed tremendous amounts of power to make the alumininum. When the TVA acquired the Ocoee dams in the late 1930's, engineers admired the unusual means by which the company produced power and duplicated the effort in another dam, Ocoee # 3. In 1976 the TVA closed the flume from #2 for safety concerns.It was at this point that outdoor enthusiasts discovered the Ocoee, and by the time the Tennessee Valley Authority wanted to reopen the flume, an industry had risen. To benefit the recreational users of the Ocoee, the TVA agreed to let the water run in the old riverbed every Saturday. Today, this exciting course is know around the world thanks to 1996 Summer Olympics, which held a number of events on the river.
Ocoee River Whitewater
Olympic Events were held on the upper Ocoee River. They ended near the Ocoee Whitewater Center, and this section is generally not open to the public. After the center is the Middle Ocoee, a five mile section of the river from the center just west of Ducktown to a remote take-out point in the Ocoee Gorge. In this five miles the river falls some 250 feet across some Class IV+ rapids. The Middle Ocoee River is significantly calmer than the Upper Ocoee, although there are some good drops. Under normal conditions there are no Class V rapids on the river, however, at times when waterflow is greater than normal, some of the Class IV rapids become Class V.
Here is a list of some of the rapids on the Middle Ocoee River