Hiwassee Scenic River Park is located on Spring Creek road at U.S. Hwy. 411, the Ocoee river on U.S. Hwy. 64. The Hiwassee was the first river managed in the State Scenic River program. A 23-river mile section, from the N.C. state line to U.S. 411 North of Benton, has been declared a Class III partially developed river. This stretch of river offers canoeing, rafting, fishing, hiking and nature photography. A scenic portion of the John Muir trail winds through the river gorge. Numerous public access sites provide boat-launching ramps. At the Gee Creek campround, picnic areas, sanitary facilities and primitive camping are available. Adjacent is the Gee Creek Wilderness of the Cherokee National Forest. The Ocoee River is a premier white-water river in the Southeastern United States possessing Class III, IV, and V rapids. Access sites are maintained.
For more information visit the Ocoee Whitewater Center!
The Hiwassee State Scenic Rivers' "Gee Creek" campground is a haven and a home-away-from-home to many river users. Campsites are more tent-friendly than most. We have a large open field that serves as overflow to the 47 campsites. Some of the campsites are close enough to the river to be lulled to sleep each night by the sound of rushing water. An easy walk will lead you along the rivers edge for fishing, nature walks or a brisk dip in the cold waters.
Gee Creek primitive campground has 47 sites, each with a table, fire ring and a grill. Public water and a bathhouse containing sinks, commodes, and hot showers are located near the center of the campground. Campsites are provided on a first-come, first-served basis, and there is a fee for their use. No reservations can be accepted and stay limit is two weeks. Call for more information: 423-263-0050.
Tent camping is permitted along most of the John Muir Trail above the Appalachia Powerhouse. (THIS IS NOT A STATE SCENIC TRAIL, However, IT DOES PARALLEL THE STATE SCENIC RIVER )It is a USDA FS managed area of the Cherokee National Forest. The U.S. Forest Service also operates a small campground called Quinn Springs on State Highway 30.
The Hiwassee is a popular fishing stream and anglers of all ages enjoy fine catches of large-mouth bass, yellow perch, catfish, and brown and rainbow trout. The latter two species are stocked by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. There is no park fee for fishing on the Hiwassee in the State Park, however, state fishing rules apply. There are some parking areas along the Hiwassee in the Cherokee National Forest that require a parking fee.
Commercial guide services are available.
Tennessee Fishing Regulations (exit TDEC)
Tennessee State Parks fishing policies
The park has a 1 mile hiking trail loop that goes around the campground and along the Hiwassee River. There are also several hiking trails in the Cherokee National Forest which is adjacent to the State Park Gee Creek campground.
The Cherokee National Forest, operated by the U.S. Forest Service contains many miles of foot and equestrian trails meander through the wilds of the Hiwassee and Cherokee National Forest. Unless otherwise designed, trails are for foot use only. Horseback riding trails are marked by a horse and rider silhouette sign. For more information horseback riding trails in the Cherokee National Forest, call 423-338-3300.
Please note that horses are NOT allowed in the park.
Many picnic areas are scattered along the Hiwassee River. Most have tables and grills and are accessible to drinking water and restrooms. Picnickers are encouraged to leave their picnic sites cleaner than they found them.
Sugarloaf Picnic Area:
Year round, day use, restrooms, picnic tables (10) with grills, volleyball court, basketball goal, canoe and fishing access, short walking path, 1:10 scale replica of the 1996 Olympic whitewater section of the Ocoee River. Sugarloaf is located at Ocoee Dam No. 1.
Floating the Hiwassee: Based on the International Scale of river difficulty the Hiwassee State Scenic River is primarily Class I (moving water with small waves, few obstructions) and Class II (easy rapids with wide, clear channels; some maneuvering required). Certain sections may be considered Class III (rapids with high waves capable of swamping an open canoe; requires complex maneuvering). more...
Middle Ocoee: The Middle Ocoee is almost a continuous whitewater experience from the Put-In at Rogers Branch until the Take-Out at Caney Creek. The flow level can vary between 1200 and 1800 cubic feet per second (CFS). The whitewater section from the wooden diversion dam to Ocoee No. 2 Powerhouse has an average drop of 54 feet per mile and is considered a *Class III and IV river. When taking a rafting trip on this section of the river approximate time on the water is 2 hours.
The Upper Ocoee River experience begins at Ocoee No. 3 Dam, where the river runs parallel with the historic 'Old Copper Road', at this starting secion of the river you will enocunter *Class II whitewater and seclusion in the wilderness. The whitewater excitement continues with the thrilling Oympic whitewater section of the Ocoee River where you will encounter *Class IV whitewater, with rapids such as the famous 'Humongous'.
(Note: Minimum age for going on the Ocoee is 12 years old.)
Tour buses are welcome.