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.
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.
Ocoee Rafting earned its reputation for keeping rigorous safety guidelines over more than 36 years of riverine voyaging. Staffed by a cadre of veteran river guides, Ocoee Rafting has shared the singular exhilaration of class III and IV whitewater rafting with countless adventurers in search of rollicking outdoor enjoyment. The company shuttles its rafters to the raft entry point from the Ocoee Rafting Center, located in historical Ducktown, where the Blue Ridge Mountains swell along the horizon and the river's edge. Rafting groups delve into the wilderness of the Cherokee National Forest and brave either the tamer Middle Ocoee or the Upper Ocoee, which was the site of the 1996 Olympic whitewater competition as well as the 1991 World Series of Tom Sawyer Imitators. Additionally, a series of nearby cabin-style accommodations furnish visitors with the option of extending their rafting trip.
The courteous staffers at River Tubing pair up customers with comfortable, dual-chamber tubes perfect for warm days spent on the calm waters of the Chattahoochee River. Two-, four-, and six-hour tubing trips take place seven days a week on stretch of river between Rogers Bridge and Medlock Bridge populated with wildlife including beavers, turtles, and otters. Shuttles carry customers and their gear to the drop-in spot and return them to the rental station at the end of the trip. While on the water, guests can sip drinks from coolers, connect their tubes to those of friends, hop out and swim, or issue speeding tickets to fast-moving schools of trout.
Jim and Jeanette Greiner have been helping people escape the concrete ecosystems of everyday life since 1971. That's the year that they founded Wildwater, and as its name suggests, it started as a rafting outfitter that led groups down the rushing waters of the Chattooga River. Today, Wildwater's trained guides still navigate a number of rivers?the Ocoee, Nantahala, and Pigeon, in addition to the Chattooga River?but they've expanded their reach to the land as well. The company offers canopy tours with a combination of ziplines and elevated bridges, inviting guests to take a thrilling trip through the treetops. If clients prefer to stay within a few feet of the ground, they can opt for jeep tours that explore paths beyond the main roads.
Since Wildwater's team values the beauty of the natural environment, they embrace eco-friendly practices intended to help protect the areas they explore. Each of the company's locations strives to minimize its impact by using solar-powered water heaters for the showers, composting leftover food, and painting all of the outdoor equipment with chlorophyll.
Ocoee Zipz lines up seven exciting ziplines over a mile-long course that runs next to the mighty Ocoee River, with each line featuring a Wizard of Oz-themed name and opportunities to observe native fauna, such as raccoons, deer, and tropical penguins. Mount the 30-foot Cowardly Lion and soar on the wings of a zipper to Dorothy, whose cables will usher you onward to several other stations, finally ending with a 65-foot soar across the Wizard. As you whip along at speeds of up to 45 mph, flying monkey guides ensure that the trip progresses smoothly and safely.