Just over the Tennessee state line and about 30 minutes from Murphy, NC is the Ocoee Whitewater Center - a great place to spend the day for an outing.
The Ocoee Whitewater Center (OWC) site was constructed for the purpose of holding the 1996 Olympic Canoe and Kayak Slalom competitions. This was the first time these events were held on a natural river and it was appropriate the Ocoee should be chosen as the site as it was already one of the most popular whitewater rivers in the world. Constructed using 60,000 tons of native rock, individually placed and cemented into position along the banks of the river, the riverbed itself was narrowed to create the spectacular rapids necessary for the competition. Those same rapids are the draw for the thousands of people who come each year to raft or to test their kayaking skills on the Olympic course.
Since the Olympic events, the Ocoee Whitewater Center has evolved into a highly visible and much used venue. They have mountain biking trails, hiking trails, picnic areas, suspension bridge that spans the river, gorgeous gift shop and restaurant. The paved walkways along the river are perfect for watching the rafters, walking your dog or leisurely family walks. When the river is turned off there’s great swimming holes and places to fish. It’s one of our favorite places to drive down to and walk along the river watching the rafters and kayakers go by on the weekends too.