One of the wonderful things about living in a warm, temperate climate is the opportunity for lots of water play. From swimming and skiing to funyaks and rafting. We love to enjoy the great outdoors.
Boating, water-skiing, knee boarding, jet skiing… whatever you like to do, we’ve got something for you. Parksville Lake/Lake Ocoee in nearby Polk County, is a reservoir located in the Cherokee National Forest, and is an excellent location to try all of these activities. Their website tells where the public boat launches are located. Lake Ocoee Marina, located at 2496 Hwy 64, on Parksville Lake, has slips that can be rented and a boat launch. (423) 338-5591. The Hiwassee River is also an ideal destination for a day on the water. Several public boat launches for the Hiwassee are also located on the Cherokee National Forest Website. The lower section of the Hiwassee River is generally a slow-moving river between North Mouse Creek to Blythe Ferry boat ramp and the Tennessee River. Most all types of boats can navigate this portion of the river and fishing is abundant in the main channel, inlets and creeks. You will also find some marinas to provide food, drinks and fuel. The Ocoee Region loves boating…and it shows! In fact, while you’re enjoying our waters and your boat needs service or accessories, visit the professionals at Cleveland Boat Center. With over 34 years of experience, they are eager to help! 3125 Waterlevel Hwy. (423) 472-1201. What’s warm weather without swimming? Fortunately, we have many opportunities for you to dive in….whether it’s into a lake, river or just a swimming pool. We’ve even got beaches!
These man-made beaches in the Cherokee National Forest on Parksville and Chilhowee Lakes in nearby Polk County, are the perfect place to swim and play. • Parksville Beach • Mac Point • Chilhowee/McKamey Lake
If a swimming pool is more your style, try one of our public pools.
Kenneth Tinsley Recreation Center
4301 Keith St., Cleveland, TN (423) 559-3355
Enjoy the Olympic-sized pool at Kenneth Tinsley Park, complete with diving boards, lifeguards, and kid-pool. This recreation park also has four lighted softball fields, a concession Stand, seven (Five lighted) tennis courts, a fitness/jogging Trail (connected to the greenway), picnic areas and a playground.
Cleveland Community Center
1334 Church Street SE Cleveland, TN (423) 559-3322 The Community Center has a Public Swimming Pool, Softball Field and gymnasium. 150 Shepard St NE Cleveland, TN (423) 472-4551 Mosby park is equipped with a playground, picnic pavilion, basketball courts and a water splash pad.
Water Slide and Wave Pool
Enjoy this 100 ft speed slide, wave pool, lazy river and wet climbing wall on Horn’s Creek‘s 300 acre resort located next to the Cherokee National Forest. Other activities include a high/low ropes course, adventure race with plenty of mud, and a paintball course. Horn’s Creek Resort is located at Route 1, Sloan Gap Road Ocoee, TN. (423) 338-9575.
Kayaking, Funyaks & Tubing
With whitewater rafting so synonymous with the Ocoee Region, you would expect that kayaking would also be a very popular activity. It is! But whitewater kayaking is not the only kind of kayaking to be enjoyed…flat water kayaking is growing in popularity all across the nation and there are many bodies of water which a day trip or a short scenic trip would be very enjoyable. New to kayaking? No problem! Several of our whitewater outfitters offer kayak instruction. Kayaking is a sport which can be exhilarating or relaxing…it’s your choice. Or you can come to the Ocoee Region and not be forced to choose…both are available, wherever your boat takes you.
Thrill seekers of all ages and skill levels can find adventure on the Hiwassee River. Your options for getting down this river include rafts, inflatable kayaks (called funyaks), sit-on-top kayaks and inner tubes. The Hiwassee River Blueway is divided into three sections. The upper section of the Hiwassee River offers an easy to moderate whitewater experience. This section of the river, winds through the mountains of the Cherokee National Forest. Based on the International Scale of River Difficulty, the upper section of the Hiwassee River is primarily Class I (moving water with small waves, few obstructions) and Class II (easy rapids with wide, clear channels; some maneuvering required). The middle section of the Hiwassee River is typically swift flatwater between the Highway 411 bridge and Charleston, Tennessee. This offers slow, peaceful floats and fishing for trout, bass, bluegill and crappie. During most summers, striped bass make their way up this stretch of the river, as well. Motor boats can generally navigate to the Patty Bridge access area. The lower section of the Hiwassee River is generally a slow-moving river between North Mouse Creek to Blythe Ferry boat ramp and the Tennessee River. Most all types of boats can navigate this portion of the river and fishing is abundant in the main channel, inlets and creeks. You will also find some marinas to provide food, drinks and fuel.
Shoot the rapids on America’s only Olympic River, the Ocoee. The 1996 Olympics put the Ocoee River on the map, but whitewater rafting is what the makes the Ocoee famous.
Located just 20 miles east of Cleveland, Tennessee in Polk County, the Ocoee River with its class III and IV whitewater rapids is one of America’s most popular whitewater rivers. Our whitewater outfitters make a trip on the Ocoee easy by providing everything, you just show up and dig in.
Anyone age 12 or over can enjoy the rapids of the Ocoee on guided raft trips offered by outfitters. These guided trips are available weekends April-October and weekdays June-August. This is a vacation experience you’re never going to forget!
Once you get a taste of these waves, you’ll be back for seconds! Check out our Rafting Outfitter Directory and get started planning your next adventure!