There are few things in life that have the ability to thrill like whitewater rafting with your favorite people, and one of the best places to do it is in North Georgia and South Tennessee on the Ocoee River. Technically, it’s also on the Toccoa, but we have to explain that part.
The Ocoee River and Toccoa River are actually the same body of water, just with different names at the border of Tennessee and Georgia. In Tennessee, it’s called the Ocoee. In Georgia, it’s called the Toccoa. It’s a 93-mile-long river that flows north westward through the southern Appalachian Mountains.
If you’re looking to go white water rafting Blue Ridge GA is a great place to go. In addition to white water rafting, you’ll also find tubing in Blue Ridge GA too!
Here are 9+ places to go tubing and whitewater rafting in Blue Ridge, Georgia, that you don’t want to miss!
Do you wish you could travel more, but don’t want to pay the expensive cost of airfare for your whole family? There is a way to fly your family for free and it’s easy to learn! Families Fly Free is a program that teaches families how to fly for free using travel rewards – including our family!
Want to learn how your family can do it too? Click here to grab 7 Secret Hacks for flying free that the founder of Families Fly Free personally uses to take her family of 4 all over the world!
WHITE WATER RAFTING BLUE RIDGE GA
As we mentioned, the beautiful Toccoa River runs for 56 miles through Georgia up to the cities of McCaysville, GA, and Copperhill, TN. From there, the rest is called the Ocoee River.
Whitewater enthusiasts from around the world come to the Ocoee to shoot the rapids, mostly between March and October. There’s a constant flow rate that keeps things exciting.
The river drops from an elevation of 2,120 feet to 750 feet, with the upper section having an average of 50 feet per mile drop for the five miles it runs. That’s the section with world-class rapids that made this an ideal site for the 1996 Olympics, because they have the most intense rapids of the river. However, the TVA only releases water to this section on Saturdays and Sundays, so plan accordingly and well in advance if you’re counting on this exhilarating adventure.
If you just want to dip your toe in the water first, so to speak, then take a look at the middle section. It’s about five miles, and has easier Class III waves that make it a better choice for beginners, or anyone looking for a lowkey adventure. You’ll still hit some waves, but nothing like the upper section. There’s even a portion where you can actually jump out of your raft for a bit and take a break from the excitement and just relax.
The middle section of the Ocoee is incredibly popular. In fact, it’s floated by more people than any other whitewater river in the country, with over 200,000 commercial guests rafting, and 10,000 privately boating it each year.
Most rafting companies offer you the option of combining both the upper and middle portions of Ocoee. It’ll take longer, obviously, and may be best as a follow up trip after you do the middle section the first time. (And trust me, after you do one whitewater rafting trip, you’ll be eager to do it again and again.)
The Toccoa portion is known for being much gentler, and is often used for tubing, although you could go kayaking in some parts.
If you have kiddos, you’ll need to know that Tennessee law requires children to be 12 years old before they can raft the Ocoee. Float, kayak and tubing trips on the Toccoa River in Blue Ridge and McCaysville are more ideal for families with littles.
You can tube on the upper Toccoa in Blue Ridge above the Lake Blue Ridge Dam, and the lower Toccoa in McCaysville. There are also rafting and tubing and kayak or canoeing float trips on the Toccoa for kids over five years old. A water safety vest is required for all tubing, rafting, kayaking or canoeing on the Toccoa River.
No matter which part you want to tackle, there are several companies you can work with so that your day on the water is safe and enjoyable. Before you book a ride with any of them, check their web sites for options, prices, and safety requirements, along with reviews from others who’ve used their services, to make sure it’s a good fit.
TOCCOA RIVER TUBING COMPANY
Near Blue Ridge, Georgia, one of the options for rafting is found with Toccoa River Tubing Company. Here you’ll find tubing for the whole family — children ages 5 and up can participate.
Located just 10 miles from Blue Ridge in McCaysville, GA, a tubing trip here includes the tube, a life vest, and shuttle services to and from the river. There are bathrooms and changing rooms on the property, so you can change before and after your trip. Parking here is free.
You will tube 1.5 miles down the river, which usually takes 1.5 hours. The exact timing will depend on the water flow that day, and your group. You are welcome to go at your own pace, and even stop for a picnic along the way!
Coolers are allowed at Toccoa River Tubing Company — and they even have cooler tubes for rent as well. That way, your cooler can head down the river with you in style. Alcohol is prohibited.
Reservations are not required, but can be made on their website. (Tip: Cooler tubes tend to go fast, so it may serve your crew well to reserve it online!) Toccoa River Tubing Company is open 7 days a week, weather permitting, from 10:30am – 3:30pm. Tube rentals are $12/person and $17 for a cooler tube.
TOCCOA VALLEY CAMPGROUND – TUBING
The Toccoa Valley Campground – Tubing offers tent camping sites, RV hookups, and tubing down the Toccoa River. Located about 20 minutes from Downtown Blue Ridge, Toccoa Valley Campground Tubing offers your family a fun adventure in their famous pink tubes!
Beginning at the Toccoa Valley Campground, you and your crew will enjoy a relaxed float most of the way down the river. There will be some Class I and II rapids, but it’s nothing you can’t handle — you don’t have to be experienced to enjoy the tubing here.
The float time will vary based on your group and water flow, but generally speaking, should take about 2 hours. Once you reach the take out point, you’ll be shuttled back to the campground.
Tubing here is $15 per person, and that price includes the tube (which has handles and a bottom), life vests, plus the shuttle ride back. There is no age limit for tubing, but children 13 and under must wear their life vest at all times. You can also bring your own tube with you. The price for launching from the area and the shuttle ride back with your own tube is $12/person.
Toccoa Valley Campground Tubing is open Mondays-Saturdays from 10am – 3pm. Parking is free, alcohol is prohibited.
In addition to tubing and camping, you’ll also find rafting and kayaking available here.
Ocoee Rafting has been around for more than three and a half decades. All that time, they’ve led guided whitewater rafting trips through miles of Class III and IV rapids.
The Ocoee Rafting Center is located about two miles from the Cherokee National Forest, where the Ocoee flows through a gorge, surrounded by wildlife and natural wonders. It will feel like you’re far away, yet it is within several hours of many major cities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina. They promise to lead you on an action-packed, fun-filled whitewater adventure.
You can book a two-hour Middle Ocoee River Rafting trip. Just know that their rafting trips run on weekends only in the spring and fall, and during the summer months they run every day, other than Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Professional photos are always taken and available for purchase (trust me, you’ll want these).
Carolina Ocoee is located in Ducktown, TN, and offers customized river-rafting trips to accommodate all age & fitness levels, plus souvenir photos. Carolina Ocoee offers trips on the Ocoee River as well as trips on the Nantahala River.
They point out that their Middle Ocoee Rafting Trip has over 20 named class III-IV rapids in a five mile section. That’s a half day trip. The Upper Ocoee Rafting Trip is known as the Olympic site of the 1996 white water canoe and kayak events and boasts exhilarating class III-IV white water rafting, combined with the man made white water rafting section used for the Olympics.
With this company, on weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day, you can add the Upper Ocoee section to the Middle Ocoee section to create 10 total miles of adventure for a full day of white water rafting exhilarating fun. They always offer professional photos, too, and again, you won’t be able to resist.
ROLLING THUNDER RIVER COMPANY
Ready for more tubing in the Blue Ridge mountains? Rolling Thunder River Company is located in McCaysville, GA, and boasts that they’ve taken more than a million people out on its river tours.
They offer full service kayak, tube and canoe trips with a shuttle. Head to their outpost, and they’ll shuttle you to the put-in on the Toccoa River. Once you’re done with the 1.5-mile float, you’ll see the take out at their outpost.
Rolling Thunder River Company also offers guided whitewater rafting trips on the Ocoee River. You need reservations for whitewater rafting, but you don’t for the tubing trips on the Toccoa, unless you have 15 people or more in your group, though you can make reservations.
A tubing trip on a normal day takes about an hour, but during water releases you’ll be going much faster — so it could take only 20 minutes! You have to be at least 5 years old to go on a Rolling Thunder float. Tubing is offered on Saturdays and Sundays. Tubes are $12/person.
OCOEE ADVENTURE CENTER
The Ocoee Adventure Center Outpost is located near Copperhill, TN, near Blue Ridge. They offer river rafting, but also have lake kayaking and mountain biking options.
If it’s rafting you want to try, they’ll guide you to the legendary rapids on the Ocoee River. You can take the full Ocoee 10-mile trip that takes you through the Olympic site we mentioned earlier. It takes about six hours and includes lunch.
Their Middle Ocoee trip will take about three and a half hours and covers the five mile section in the middle. They promise to use first class gear, including helmets, life jackets, and paddles. And if you need spray gear and wet suits, they’re complimentary.
The state of Tennessee requires commercial rafting participants on the Ocoee River to be at least 12 years of age.
Ocoee Outdoors says they are the #1 rafting company since 1977, and claims to be the most experienced outfitter. Their guides are trained to help you navigate the rapids and also teach you about the history of the Ocoee and the area surrounding the river.
They like to cater to private rafting trips for families, scout troops, corporate groups, church groups, and bachelor or bachelorette parties. They boast about their trip safety and customer service and say they’ll bend over backwards to see that you get the very best safety prep available.
OUTDOOR ADVENTURE RAFTING (OAR)
OAR is also all about helping groups, families, and couples who want to have fun adventures on the river.
They claim to be the leaders in professional certifications and the only Ocoee River rafting company with riverside property benefits. You can even tube the Lower Ocoee River to their base.
At base, you’ll find other sports activities. They have a 100% guarantee on their trip vouchers and are rated the #1 in guest satisfaction.
Cherokee Rafting has also been around for decades, starting in 1978. They claim to be the #1 family-friendly rafting company and also promote group outings. They have a reputation as a friendly and relaxing option that keeps people coming back year after year.
Located in Ocoee, TN, about 45 minutes from Blue Ridge, GA, you can find great whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River here. Enjoy 10 incredible miles of continuous class III and IV rapids, with a guide. Children must be at least 12 years old to participate.
ASKA MINING COMPANY
The Aska Mining Company is known for mining for gemstones, but they do more than mining. They also have tubing, too. You don’t need reservations; just show up and enjoy.
For about $12 you can rent a float, life jacket, and cover your shuttle ride back to base camp. Trips start May 1st and run through September 30th and run seven days a week from 9am until 6pm.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO BLUE RIDGE
- YOUR GEORGIA VACATION
- BLUE RIDGE: 50+ Top Things To Do In Blue Ridge GA In 2023
- HIKING IN BLUE RIDGE GA: Our Top 7 Trail Options
- BREWERIES: Looking For The Perfect Blue Ridge GA Brewery? Here Are 7 Great Options
- DOWNTOWN BLUE RIDGE GA: 17 Best Spots You Don’t Want To Miss
WHERE TO STAY IN GEORGIA
Follow us here: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube | MSN | TripAdvisor | Flipboard
We make no guarantees of any price listed on our site. We are not responsible for content on external web sites linked from ours, including linked resources, an external blog post, any partner site, hotel property sites, or affiliate sites. We only write about places we love in an attempt to help you in your adventures, but we can’t guarantee you will love them, too.
Posts may contain affiliate links at no cost to you. Several of our trips are also compensated by the respective tourism boards for the city or state we are visiting. This never impacts how we share the destination with you – opinions are always our own and we pride ourselves on that. We do not sell links or accept unsolicited guest posts under any circumstances. Don’t even ask.
United States Copyright, 365 Atlanta Family, LLC