Historically, copper was the mainstay industry of the copper basin
area in this corner of Polk
County, Tennessee. Even the original inhabitants, Cherokee
Indian farmers, produced limited amounts of copper, during
their residence in the area.
Over time, copper mining became unprofitable, and new technology
permitted sulphuric acid products to take its place. Eventually,
all mining ceased in the area, with sulphur being imported for acid
efforts began as early as the 1920's and have continued ever since,
with more than 16 million trees having been planted.
Today, the Ocoee River area appears the same as many of the National
Forest recreational areas of the southeast. The Cherokee
National Forest, and the Ocoee River itself, provides
a home to many animals including black
bear. A thriving recreational
industry is present, providing opportunities for rafting,
canoeing and kayaking,
camping and backpacking,
and horseback riding.
The Ocoee River flows through the copper basin, creating one of
the most exciting and reliable whitewater runs in the southeast
US, with the title of the only Olympic
whitewater course in the US.
have been carved out over the millions of years, through the hard
granite folds, as the river has flowed down stream, creating the
rapids we enjoy today. One of the most popular sections of the river
for playing is the Blue
Holes located on the Upper, which is a section marked
by the numerous large potholes which pool the river when the water
is turned off. Swimmers frequent this area when the water is turned
Given the Copper Basin's history, many environmental groups and
projects have emerged, working to protect the area and the water.
Among them the Conasauga
River Watershed Ecosystem Project, Southern
Appalachian Forest Coalition, and the Ocoee
Whitewater Rodeo, an annual event held to raise money
for river conservation.
Hundreds of thousands of visitors to this area have grown to appreciate
the power of the whitewater and the growing beauty of the area.
Being an easy day trip from Atlanta
TN or Knoxville
TN, and all points in between, the Ocoee River is a quick
mini-vacation available to those with even the smallest time frame.
water quality report
P.O. Box 309 Long Creek, SC 29658