Welcome Valley Village is located in Polk County, Tennessee, bordering both Western North Carolina and North Georgia. Our rental cabins are located just a few miles outside the Cherokee National Forest, which is best known for its great rivers and numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation and scenic drives. The nearby cities of Cleveland, Blue Ridge and Chattanooga offer a wide variety of shopping, dining, entertainment, and first-class tourist attractions. Our area's rich history is showcased by the Tennessee Overhill Heritage Assocation.
The Ocoee Whitewater Center
Just two miles from our rental cabin village, you can connect to The Ocoee Scenic Byway which traverses the Cherokee National Forest from east to west along Highway 64. The Byway offers particularly beautiful scenery along a 4 mile stretch of Lake Ocoee and through the Ocoee River Gorge. Along the Byway, don't miss the Ocoee Whitewater Center where you can stroll among the terraces of the colorful Native Garden, see the race course used for the 1996 Olympic Canoe and Kayak Slalom competition, visit the gift shop, explore the hiking and mountain bike trails, or take a cool swim at the "blue hole," a favorite river spot among locals for generations.
Just 6 miles from our Village, Forest Service Road 77 climbs the breathtaking route up Chilhowee Mountain to the Chilhowee Recreation Area where families can enjoy swimming in a mountain lake (with sandy beach), picnicing, hiking, or mountain biking along numerous woodland trails. Many families staying at our Village enjoy the short hike back to Benton Falls which begins at Chilhowee Lake.
Along the picturesque Lake Ocoee are two public swimming beaches, picnic areas, boat ramps, and a marina. At the marina, you can rent a canoe, fishing boat, or pontoon boat for the day or by the hour.
Whitewater Rafting on the Ocoee River
World class whitewater earned the Ocoee River international attention during the 1996 Olympic Canoe and Kayak competition. There are a number of whitewater rafting companies in operation which offer a guided experience on this wild and scenic section of the Ocoee River that you'll never forget.
For a more relaxing river experience, many of our guests enjoy tubing or boating the lower section of the Ocoee River where our Village is located. You can put in 3 miles "up river" from our Village at Sugarloaf Mountain Park. From there, you can lay back in your tube, glide along the swift-moving water, and gaze up at the huge trees that line this section of the river until you reach our Village about an hour and a half later. Several companies in the area offer guided tubing trips on this lower "slower" section of the Ocoee River. Or you can do your own self-guided trip -- all you need is your own lifejackets, tubes, and 2 vehicles (one to drive to the put-in and another to leave here at the Village).
The nearby Hiwassee River offers an "in-between" river experience -- several easy to moderate rapids mixed with some slower stretches of water. The Hiwassee is one of the most scenic rivers in the country. It is of pristine clarity and over 200 yards wide in places. Several companies provide tube and boat rentals on the Hiwassee River, which normally includes a shuttle service and life jackets (no guide). There are plenty of water-craft options on this river: tubes, canoes, funyaks, kayaks, and rafts.
Fishing is also very popular in our area. You can fish for bream, bass, bluegill, and catfish right here at our village along the banks of the Ocoee River or off our fishing dock. The nearby Hiwassee River offers world-class trout fishing. A specially established Trophy Section yields rainbow and brown trout in the 15" to 19" range while opportunities at 22" to 24" present themselves daily. Commercial fishing guides are available.
Our area has become a popular destination for mountain biking. There are two major trail systems within 20 minutes of our Village: The Tanasi Trail System anchored at the Ocoee Whitewater Center, and the Chilhowee Trail System anchored at the Chilhowee Recreation Area. Both systems provide numerous trails for all levels of riders from beginners to experts. Several outfitters provide guided mountain bike trips, or bring along your own bike and we’ll provide the maps!
Horseback Riding is another popular activity in our area. Several companies provide guided horseback riding trips for riders of all ages and skill levels. Riders are treated to panoramic mountain views along the many miles of available trails.
One and two hour trail rides are available, as well as hayrides, dinner, and music.
In 2004, passenger excursions began along one of the most beautiful river gorges in the country. The Hiwassee River Rail Adventure offers spectacular views along its journey to the top of the Great Hiwassee Loop. At the top of the loop, passengers pass over a bridge 62 feet above the tracks they just traveled on as the rails negotiate a spiraling formation.
Other train excursions in the area include the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway traveling from nearby Blue Ridge, GA to Copperhill, TN. Also, the Tennessee Valley Railroad offers a trip through one of the oldest railroad tunnels in Tennessee, passing under Missionary Ridge near downtown Chattanooga.
There are many beautiful scenic drives in our area. Our Village is located just 2 short miles from the beginning of the Ocoee Scenic Byway. Visitors can also drive the crest of the Unicoi mountains along the Cherohala Skyway – a spectacular byway which took 30 years and $100 million to complete. The entrance to the Skyway is located in Tellico Plains roughly 45 minutes from our Village. Just before the entrance to the Skyway, motorists can take a short detour on Forest Road 210 where you’ll be treated to a beautiful view of Bald River Falls (shown here) without even leaving your car.
Visitors also enjoy driving to the top of Chilhowee Mountain along Forest Road 77 which offers many turnouts with breathtaking views of Lake Ocoee below. When you reach the top, a small, clear mountain lake is the center point of Chilhowee Recreation Area.
Another popular route is Highway 30 which winds along side the beautiful Hiwassee River and passes through the historic town of Reliance, TN. Along the way, pull over and let the kids enjoy splashing in a mountain stream!