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Rafting: Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need any previous whitewater rafting experience?

No prior experience is necessary! We provide a professional guide in each raft and many of our guests are first timers. Probably the most thrilled of all our guests are those who have seldom, if ever, held a paddle.

How old do I have to be?

You must be at least 12 years of age to raft the Ocoee River. This is mandated by the state of Tennessee. If you have an 11 year old in your group there are a number of alternate activities in the area to enjoy and we are happy to suggest some for you. There is no maximum age limit but individuals should be in good health and physically active.

Is rafting the Ocoee safe?

The safety of our customers is our utmost concern. Our guides are committed to ensuring the safety and enjoyment of our guests, and each is trained and certified in first aid and CPR. However, there are certain dangers inherent in whitewater rafting that are beyond our control. Participants must realize this and take full responsibility for the risks involved. Each guest will be required to sign a liability waiver. The use of alcohol or drugs before or during river trips on the Ocoee is strictly prohibited. We want your Ocoee adventure to be a fun and enjoyable experience.

Will I get wet?

Yes! See our recommendations for what to wear. Things like expensive jewelry and nice watches and valuables that can fall out of your pockets should be left behind so they don’t get wet or lost.

What happens if it rains?

Trips run rain or shine. You are going to get wet anyway and once your are on the river you will probably be having too much fun to notice. If the weather is cool and rainy we provide complimentary spray jackets and spray pants.

Are there changing rooms?

Changing rooms and hot showers are provided. Remember to bring a dry change of clothes and shoes for after the trip.

Can I bring along food or drinks?

Neither food nor drinks are allowed on the river. The only thing allowed in the raft is you and your equipment and you will be busy paddling so plan to eat and drink before and after the trip. For those on the Full Day Trip a catered lunch is provided on the river.

What if I have a medical condition or special needs?

Please consult with us. We are able to accommodate many types of special needs if we are given advance notice. Most medical conditions will not prevent you from having an enjoyable trip however it is important to let us know your situation before the trip. If you have any questions please call us. In the case of expecting mothers rafting is not recommended.

How many people are in a raft?

Up to six passengers plus your guide are in a raft.

Should I tip my guide?

You are not required to tip your guide and it is not included in the price of the trip. If however you thoroughly enjoyed your experience and want to express you appreciation to your guide, gratuities are genuinely appreciated. Typical amounts are $5 per person or $30 per boat.

What time should I arrive for my trip?

We are on Eastern Time so plan accordingly. Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to trip time which is when check-in begins. If you miss your trip because you are late we do not issue refunds. We will do our best to place you on a later trip if possible. If you are running late please call us at 800-272-7238. Plan to arrive early!

How do I get to and from the river?

We provide bus transportation from our Rafting Center to the put-in and from the take-out when the trip is complete. We are the closest outfitter to the take-out which means it is only about 10 minutes until you are back to our facilities.

Will there be photos of my trip?

Yes there will be a professional photographer on the river to capture your adventure and your photos will be available to view and purchase when you return to Ocoee Inn after the trip.

I am a group leader. Is there any additional information to share with my group?

As the group leader we know you are trying to gather all pertinent information to pass along to your group. Lots of helpful information can be found here . All rafters are required to sign a waiver . Also remember that photos of your trip will be available for purchase in our retail shop following your return from the river as well as T-shirts, hats and other souvenirs. Although it is not required, the guides work hard for their rafters and it’s acceptable to tip your guide if you enjoyed your trip.  Typical tips are $5 per person.