In 1975, four friends with hearts full of the great outdoors decided they needed a place to get gear indoors. This quest for adventuring equipment lead Gerald Marshall, Bubba Sloan, Denny May, and Ned Buxton to found High Country Adventures as a gear shop for all manner of activities performed under the sun. These days, Gerald continues to captain daring cruises down the Ocoee River's relentless rapids while Bubba runs the retail side of things in Buckhead. Meanwhile, High Country Adventures guides lead expeditionary parties on waterborne trips down the middle and upper Ocoee's burbling banks, recapturing the sun-dappled fun that inspired the store's creation in the first place. They also offer rentals of mountain cabins or campsites at their 30 acre Ocoee Outpost and paddle board and kayak tours on nearby Lake Ocoee. Vacationers can also enjoy rock climbing and caving excursions in the Cherokee National Forest.
Foaming white rapids rush down the Ocoee River as birds chatter from within the leaves of towering trees. For more than two decades, this has been the home of Adventures Unlimited, an environmentally sustainable full-service resort rolling with 30 acres of campgrounds, cabins, and whitewater-rafting facilities. Landscaping and gardens highlight native plants and animals, vehicles run on biodiesel fuel, and any construction efforts use sustainable materials or rocks that everyone was always tripping over anyway. The family-operated adventure company launches groups on whitewater-rafting trips through the tumultuous currents of the local Ocoee and Hiwassee Rivers or further afield in Costa Rica. To facilitate dry-land exploration and provide an energy outlet for serial finger painters, they also recently opened an outdoor wooded paintball field supplied by a full rental shop.
The rolling peaks and rushing waters of the Great Smoky Mountains provide the backdrop for Big Bear Rafting's rafting treks. Led by local river guide Daniel Sutton, each fully escorted rafting trip pits guests against the sprays and currents of the Pigeon River, which snakes its way through the lush mountain landscape along the Tennessee-North Carolina border. Before you grab your paddle, read on to learn more about each trip:
Upper Pigeon Whitewater Rafting: Beginning at the state line, this adrenalin blasting trip finds rafters navigating their way through five miles of Class III and IV rapids. When they're not concentrating on the rapids, rafters can take in the scenery of the Big Pigeon River Gorge, which cuts a scenic path through the surrounding mountains.
Lower Pigeon Scenic Rafting: Available at limited times throughout the year, this easygoing journey takes place in the beginner-friendly Class I and II rapids of the Lower Pigeon River. The scenery is just as awe-inspiring as that of its big brother; the river flows through the heart of the stately Cherokee National Forest, where towering timbers provide cool, pine-scented protection from the sun's UV rays and dirty looks.
As a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee's School of Architecture, Jon Felderman savored free time away from his office job in downtown Knoxville. Ditching his button-down shirt and tie, Jon headed to the Pigeon River on the weekends during the spring of 1996 to begin his training as a river-rafting guide. In just a year, Felderman's skill and enthusiasm had earned him promotions from river guide to trip leader and then to river manager—all while he maintained his full-time architecture job. Finally, in 2004, the inexorable draw of nature inspired a massive change: Jon abandoned the rigors of city life for good, founding his own rafting company, Big Creek Expeditions. Staffed by experienced guides who share Jon's love of the great outdoors, today the company leads trips down both the upper and lower Pigeon River and orchestrates rafting and camping packages for overnight expeditioners.
If you're a sports fan, White Water Express in Copperhill is the place you want to be.
Next time you're in the neighborhood, this club should be at the top of your list with their amazing restaurant.
Youngsters are more than welcome to join mom and dad at this club.
Parking is plentiful, so guests can feel free to bring their vehicles.
White Water Express is obviously the place to be, so get your calendar out and make plans to visit it soon.
Those who love quaint and secluded vacation spots will love Mountain Creek Hideaway in Tellico Plains, a cozy and comfortable lodge.
There are close and convenient parking spots located within walking distance to Mountain Creek Hideaway.
Retreat to the simple pleasures of lodge life when you plan your stay at Mountain Creek Hideaway in Tellico Plains.