Whitewater Rafting FAQs
A few tips to make your trip more enjoyable:
- Be ready to get wet!
- We're on Eastern time.
- Arrive early! We recommend arriving at least 15-30 minutes before your scheduled trip.
- Everyone must sign a waiver. A parent or legal guardian must sign for children under 18. If a parent or guardian will not be accompanying the child, please click here to download a waiver or call 1-800-338-7238 so that we can fax a waiver form.
- A few things to bring:
- Bathing suit
- Waterproof sunscreen
- Sports sandals or old sneakers
- Fleece clothing, if the weather is cool
- Dry clothes
- Shower supplies for a hot shower
- Leave valuables and pets at home.
- If you wear prescription glasses or contacts, make sure they're secured with a leash (like chums or croakies) and bring a spare pair if possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
At Cascade, our goal is to make your Ocoee rafting trip THE BEST trip you've ever had. We encourage you to call us at 1-800-338-7238 if you have any questions or need special accommodations. Below are some of the questions we frequently receive.
Q. Do I need a reservation?
A. Yes. Call 1-800-338-7238 to make a reservation. We can often accommodate last-minute reservations, but it is best to call us as far in advance as possible, particularly for larger groups.
Q. Is rafting safe?
A. We make every effort to ensure you have a safe trip. We have one of the best safety records on the river, and our guides receive extensive training every year in river safety, whitewater rescue, and first aid/cpr. However, whitewater rafting is an inherently dangerous activity. Please talk to us if you have specific concerns.
Q. I've never rafted before and I'm not athletic! Can I still go?
A. Experience is certainly not necessaryówe'll teach you everything you need to know. You will need to help paddle the raft and you may swim in the river, so we recommend all rafters be in good physical condition.
Q. Can I bring a lunch or a drink on the raft?
A. No. Once you're in the raft, you'll be paddling, and there is no place to keep things dry. Please plan to eat/drink before or after your tripówe have picnic tables at our outpost if you'd like to bring a picnic. If you are taking a full-day rafting trip, we will provide your lunch and drinks.
Q. Will I get wet?
A. Absolutely! Be sure to dress appropriately (see below) and leave anything that can't get wet (like watches, cameras, fancy sneakers, etc.) or that could get lost at home.
Q. What kind of clothing or equipment do I need?
A. We provide all the safety gear and rafting equipment you will need. However, dress appropriately. Generally, all you need in the warm months is a bathing suit, waterproof sunscreen, and a pair of sports sandals or old sneakers. When it's cooler outside, bring along a pair of fleece pants or a fleece jacket. (Hint: Synthetic fleece and wool stay warm even when wet, but cotton loses its insulation value.) Also, remember to bring a towel, shower supplies, and dry clothes for a hot shower in our bathhouse after your trip!
Q. I have a medical condition or disability. Can I still raft?
A. Please call us. Depending on your condition, we may be able to find a way to provide you with a safe and enjoyable rafting trip. We do not recommend rafting for pregnant women.
Q. My son or daughter is 11 years old. Why can't she or he raft?
A. Tennessee state law requires that all rafters be at least 12 years old to raft the Ocoee River. This is not our rule, and we can't make any exceptions. However, there are many nearby activities that you and your child can do while the rest of your group rafts if you decide to bring him or her along.
Q. What else is there to do while I'm visiting the Ocoee?
A. If you still want to do something on the water, you might try tubing down the lower Ocoee, funyaking on the middle Ocoee, or taking a kayaking lesson. In addition, the Ocoee region offers unparalleled natural resources, including extensive mountain biking trails, hiking trails, fly fishing, horseback riding, and other adventures. If interested, we can help you plan a complete trip.
Q. Where can I stay after rafting?
A. There are many camping and lodging facilities nearby. Please click on 'Lodging' for a complete list.
Q. I'd like to go rafting with my church, scout troop, business or other large group. Can you accommodate us?
A. Absolutely. We offer substantial discounts for groups and are happy to help arrange lodging, meals, or additional activities for your group. Please click on 'Groups' or call to design a trip suited for your needs.