Two RV Gypsies: Full-Time RVers
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The two RV Gypsies hiked to Ocoee No. 3 Hydro Plant
at Ocoee Whitewater Center in Cherokee National Forest
4400 Highway 64
Copperhill, TN 37317
May 7, 2021

YSA map showing location of TennesseeTennessee map showing locaion of Copperhill

Ocoee Whitewater Center is sometimes listed in Copperhill, and sometimes in Ducktown. The two cities are near each other. The two RV Gypsies had a really hard time finding this place. They stopped at several places for directions, and were turned around twice. But they eventually got there, and enjoyed the day,

welcome to Tennessee sign Ocoee Whitewater Center sign
Fee Information sign Cherokee National Forest sign

After parking their car and paying the required fee, the two RV Gypsies walked on the bridge and enjoyed various views of the Ocoee River.

US Forest Service Bridge US Forest Service Bridge
US Forest Service Bridge
whitewater in the Ocoee River whitewater in the Ocoee River
whitewater in the Ocoee River Ocoee River and a big rock

There are several trails here to explore. The two RV Gypsies chose the easiest one, the Rhododendron Trail. It is a 3.3 mile out and back trail. The trail was an easy, flat, gravel trail, with steep slide slopes along the Ocoee River. The trail is good for all skill levels. Bikers were allowed on the trail, and the two RV Gypsies often had to step aside for the bikers to pass.

Bear Aware sign Rhododendron Trail sign
Rhododendron Trail Lee Duquette on the Rhododendron Trail

Below: The two RV Gypsies got several views off to the side of the trail of small, flowing waterfalls.

small waterfall small waterfall

Below: After a short stop at the viewing platform for a better look of the Ocoee River, it was time to continue past the big boulder on the trail.

Lee Duquette on the viewing platform big head-banging rock

More views of the Ocoee River along the trail

Ocoee River Ocoee River
trail blocked by fallen tree Ocoee River
green divider bar
Ocoee No. 3 Hydro Plant sign Ocoee No. 3 Hydro Plant
Ocoee No. 3  Hydro Plant Ocoee No. 3  Hydro Plant
Lee Duquette TVA Building and Lee Duquette

The Ocoee No. 3 powerhouse is located more than two miles downstream from the dam. At the dam, water from the river is diverted into a tunnel and carried to the powerhouse downstream. Because of the drop in elevation from the dam to the powerhouse, power generation is significantly higher than it would be if the dam were right next to the powerhouse. Unfortunately, the two RV Gypsies did not have time to get to the dam itself.

Since Lee Duquette once worked as an electrician at TVA in Chattanooga, Tennessee, he found the below sign quite interesting,

sign about the TVA system
power pipeline
power pipeline Karen Duquette

Below: Signs to nearby campgrounds and a glimpse of the river behind the TVA building.

Signs to nearby campgrounds the river behind the TVA building

Then it was time for the hike back to the The US Forest Service Bridge and continue on to the Ocoee Whitewater Olympic site.

Lee Duquette on the return hike

look below

page 2 - The 1996 Centennial Olympics Site and bridge.