(Last Updated On: March 3, 2023)

Sunset across Ocoee, TN overlooking the Hiwassee River

Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park is one of the first river state parks to be included in the Tennessee State Parks system. This is a recreational park that’s located along the Hiwassee and Ocoee Rivers. It’s a white-water site that’s known for its scenic beauty and rapids.

This park is a destination for fans of white water rafting. The rivers have Class I, II, III, IV, and V rapids based on the International Scale of River Difficulty. Other water activities in this park include canoeing, floating, and fishing. It’s a perfect place for a getaway for individuals and groups. Spend time in the water and float down the rapid rivers. Or you could just hike and enjoy the incredible scenes and nature.

Set up your tent at the primitive campgrounds and light a fire. Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park is perfect for an adventure and a break from your daily routine. It’s even a better destination if you are a nature lover and always on the hunt for thrilling sites. It is very conveniently located at just 30 minutes away from Cleveland, Tennessee.

The park has a very clean ranger station and the entire area is very beautiful. The park has many swimming places that are safe for all ages. As long as it’s safe, wade into the water. The river is very clear which makes this experience very surreal. You can see fish and even play catch and release. However, the river is fast-moving so make sure to be careful when wading or swimming. During the weekends, the river is safe until 3 pm which is the best time for a swim or wade for children. After 3 pm, the waters are not the safest, especially for little children.

Kayaks, tubes, and canoes can be rented on-site. There are also buses that take people up the river.

The scenic nature of the park makes it a perfect destination for nature photography. Pictures can be taken in the water or in the surroundings. You can also just sit on the banks or walk around the park with your dogs. There is abundant nature to enjoy in this park.

Fishing is also a popular activity in the park, especially fly fishing. There are several species of fish in the river. You can wade slightly in to find a good fishing spot. Fishing can also be done at the bank.

Camping here is made better with the Gee Creek, a 47-site primitive tent campground. Each site has a table fire ring and a grill. Hikers will enjoy the John Muir trail which meanders through the river gorge. The park also has public access to boat launch ramps.


Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park is a haven for water lovers. From canoeing, kayaking, rafting, and swimming, the river is the best place for water-related activities. Hiking is also available here with a scenic trail that rewards hikers with stunning views of the rivers. There are tons of fish in the river so if you enjoy fishing, you are in for a treat.


Camping at Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park is an incredibly enjoyable experience. The park has Gee Creek Campground which has 47 sites for camping. Each of the sites is fitted with a table, grill, and fire ring. The campsites are very tent-friendly and some of the sites are close enough to the river to enjoy the river ambiance. You will sleep to the sound of rushing water.

The location of the campsites makes it ideal for walks along the river, fishing, or shallow wading in the cold waters. Gee Creek is a primitive campsite. There is public water and a bathhouse containing sinks, commodes, and hot showers located at the center of the campground.

There are 8 separate group campsites at Gee Creek. The sites vary with some accommodating up to 25, 50, and 75 people. The costs vary per size of the campsite. Each site has been equipped with 2 picnic tables and a fire ring. Group activities can be conducted at a large field at the center of the group sites.


It goes without saying that the main attraction of this scenic river state park is floating, canoeing and rafting. Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park is an internationally-recognized white water site. Aside from the rapids, the park also offers spectacular views. Both rivers have rapid waters and it is advised that visitors be careful while boating.

The rivers are rated difficulty Class I to Class V meaning there are sections that will be easy to maneuver while some others will require complex maneuvering and might swamp your canoe. White water rafting is perfect on both Hiwassee and Ocoee since the river presents surprises at every turn. However, due to the unpredictable nature of the river, Coast guard approval at minimal type 2 or 3 is required. Life jackets are also required before paddling on the rivers.

There is an exciting Olympic whitewater section on the Ocoee River if you are looking for some thrilling adventure. The minimum age here is 12 years old and it is expected that you will encounter a Class IV whitewater.


There are many miles of foot and horse trails that wind their way through the Hiwassee and Ocoee areas and also the Cherokee National Forest. The main trail in this park, John Muir State Scenic Trail crosses this park.

The entire loop is 1.2 miles near Delano, Tennessee. It’s rated easy and takes about 22 minutes to complete. The trail is used by people hiking, running, and walking. The trail circles the Gee Creek campground, a large portion of it meandering along the river. It is relatively flat.


You can wade in and find a good spot to fish. However, this is strictly limited to the low flow periods. Fishing from the bank is also an option. The water is very clear and you can see fish.
During high flows, the river is heavily used by rafters and kayakers which can limit fishing. You can hire a guide to fish from a drift boat.

Angler fishing has seen some impressive catches such as Largemouth Bass, catfish, yellow perch, Rainbow Trout, and Brown Trout. Fly Fishing is also possible here. Remember to get a trout stamp before proceeding.


There are many great locations and opportunities for birding in this park. At the river, you can spot great blue herons fishing. Woodland birds can be spotted at the picnic areas situated in the wildflower bloom. Bald eagles have been spotted more frequently recently. At Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park you can spot over 100 species of birds.

Park Location

Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park
404 Spring Creek Road
Delano, TN 37325
Phone: 423.263.0050

Park Website



Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park: