As the gateway to Cherokee National Forest, Ocoee, Tennessee is a travel destination for visitors from all over the country. With incredible waterfall hikes, scenic campgrounds, lakeside cabins and whitewater fun that’s set all within the stunning Appalachian Mountains, it’s easy to see why hundreds of thousands of visitors make their way to the area each year. Before you hit the road, here are some tips to consider as you prepare to embark on your Ocoee adventure!

What season will it be when you visit?


Summers in the southeast tend to be pretty warm, with temperatures rising into the upper 90s in the middle of the season. It’s the perfect opportunity to take advantage of all the water access in the area and cool off. It’s a good idea to pack plenty of lightweight clothing, sandals, and (of course) your swimsuit! Also, packing a rain coat is encouraged in case of summer showers.


Weather during the Tennessee spring and fall times can fluctuate quite a bit. Because of this, it’s a great idea to pack lightweight clothing as well as warmer layers to add on as needed according to the temperature. Especially in the spring, bringing along a rain coat is essential.


Known to have generally mild winters, this region can also see several inches of snowfall throughout the season. Visitors during the winter will experience the special beauty and tranquility of the area that is uniquely available during this “off season” time. Be sure and pack your winter boots and coat if you are visiting during the winter months.

What adventures are you planning?

Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or like to take time in the outdoors in smaller bites, it’s certain you’ll be spending time in nature during your stay. Below is a list of popular activities to enjoy in the area, and some tips to prepare for them.

Whitewater rafting

Taking a whitewater rafting trip can easily be the thrill of your year. It’s a fun and exciting adventure that you should definitely take advantage of while in Ocoee. Because you will need to be able to maneuver quickly, it’s important to wear comfortable clothes that allow you to be active and that will stay on your body during your rafting trip. It’s a good idea to wear:

  • Comfortable active wear (shirt and shorts are recommended for both guys and gals)
  • Water shoes that fasten securely


With many impressive trails right in the Ocoee area, you don’t have to look far for great hiking options. In the summer, hiking is a great way to take cover from the sun under the canopy of trees, and in the cooler months, a great way to keep active and warm outside. Remember to pack:

  • Water bottle
  • Bug spray
  • Snacks


Beautiful Lake Ocoee (aka Parkville Lake) is a great place to spend a lazy day enjoying nature and all the wonderful wildlife there is to see. If you plan to kayak or enjoy other flatwater boating like a pontoon or stand up paddle board, a few things you could consider packing along with you would be:

  • A dry bag (an air tight bag designed to keep important things like your cell phone or keys from water damage)
  • Sun block
  • Sunglasses


To sum it up

Ocoee has something special to offer in each season of the year, and especially in the action-packed summer months. But as you adventure, you always have more fun when you have items that help keep you comfortable. Some general items not to forget to pack are:

  • Water bottle
  • Raincoat (a good idea in any season)
  • Bug spray
  • Sunblock
  • Dry bag
  • Snacks

In Summer – Lightweight clothing, bathing suit, water shoes

In Spring/Fall – Layers, including lightweight items and warmer materials

In Winter – Boots, wool or knit sweaters, winter coat

Get packing!

Now that you’ve got some tips for what to prepare for, you’ll be able to pack your bags knowing you’ll have what you need. See you in Ocoee!