Raft and Ride weekend is almost here and it’s going to be a great weekend of fun and adventure! There’s a lot of information below, but please take a moment to read through it all so you’ll have a safe, comfortable, and fun weekend at the ranch!
DATES & TIMES
Most folks arrive late Friday and depart after their Sunday activities, but you’re welcome to come as early as noon on Friday and depart as late as 7pm on Sunday. Also, everyone is welcome to come a day early or stay a day late as well. Bring $10/night cash per additional night with you. If you plan to come Thursday, please reply back and let me know to expect your arrival on Thursday.
ARRIVAL AND CHECK-IN
Johanna and I will be on site for check-in beginning at noon on Friday. When you arrive, please pull up to the pavillion area for check-in and to unload your car. Reservations are not needed for bunkhouses or camping. When you arrive we will help you select a bunk for the weekend. Please do not leave your cars parked long at the pavillion. Parking is down the hill just a bit. Please park at an angle and as compact as you can.
If you plan to arrive after 10pm on Friday, please let me know to expect your late arrival. We will assign you a bunk if requested ahead of time and leave it posted on a message board.
DIRECTIONS & CARPOOL
Please carpool if possible to save gas and parking spaces! We have 110 persons coming this year so parking will be tight. Consider sharing coolers as well! The best way to form a carpool is to post a comment on the Raft and Ride event page. Be sure to state what time you’d like to depart on Friday and the part of town you’re in. If you can drive please post with how many you can take as well. Get those comments posted ASAP so carpools begin forming.
The last 2 miles can be very dark at night so please drive slowly. Watch for the Eagle Ranch signs up in the trees.
Directions to Eagle Ranch:
Or follow this link to generate a map:
DIRECTIONS TO ACTIVITIES - IMPORTANT PLEASE PRINT THESE AND BRING WITH YOU IF NEEDED
Transportation for rafting trips is provided by the ranch. However, you will have to drive to other locations for horseback riding, zip lines and kayak/tubing.
We will form carpools at the ranch. Please be willing to drive others.
Hiwassee River Kayaking or Tubing (45 minutes drive) -
Horseback Riding (20 minutes drive) - We will form a caravan and follow the Eagle Ranch lead car so no maps needed.
Hiking, Mountain Biking (15 minutes drive) - We’ll form carpools.
WHAT TO BRING
LODGING - For tent campers bring tent and sleep pads, bags, etc. I recommend a tarp to place under the tent as the ground can get very damp in the field. For Bunkhouses bring sheets, comforters, pillows, etc. I believe it’s all full size but you can always just lay your sheets flat. The mattresses are good but you may want extra padding. Bunkhouses are shared and sleep 4 - 6 but there is plenty of room to spread out. We will have bunkhouses for ladies, men, and coed/couples available.
COMFORT - Sunscreen, sunglasses, caps, bug spray, small fans (there is electric in the bunkhouses), personal toiletries, slippers or sandals to walk to the bathhouse, camp chair, and EAR PLUGS if you sleep lightly (the party can go into the late hours and be noisy), flash light or head lamp.
FOOD & DRINK - Dinner and breakfast are provided but you will need to bring your own LUNCHES. You will not have access to the kitchen so bring things that are prepared and ready to eat. You can bring a cooler and there is an ice machine on site with plenty of ice. Don’t forget to bring your own water, sodas, or beer. Alcohol is allowed unlike that camp you went to as a kid!
The ranch will have some limited vegetarian options available. Unfortunately they can’t accommodate many special dietary needs. If you have any particular dietary needs you might consider bringing some additional meals with you.
There is a small grocery store nearby but be aware it closes early. The nearest package store is about a 20 minute drive.
FUN STUFF - Card & board games, field games, balls, paints, etc. The ranch has a volleyball court and horseshoes.
GRATUITIES - Please be generous to your guides! Bring $5-10 to tip your guides on each of your activities. For rafting we will collect gratuities when you return but please remember your guide’s name.
WHAT TO WEAR
Around the ranch dress for warm weather but you may want a layer for night as it will be around 60 degrees.
Rafting, tubing, or kayaking - You MUST wear either water shoes or closed toe shoes (old tennis shoes are good). Shoes must stay on your ankle as well so no flip flops. You will want to wear swim wear. Ocoee and Hiwasse water is cold but air temps will be hot. In these conditions you are better off in just your swimwear as the water will dry off you and you’ll stay warm. Wearing a shirt on top will just hold the cold water to you. If you want to wear a top I suggest a performance shirt (nylon/poly). Cotton is evil in cold water!
Horseback Riding and Zip Lining - Comfortable loose fitting pants or jeans & close toed shoes (no sandals/flip flops/open back).
A note on alcohol - this is an adults weekend and alcohol is permitted. Please enjoy yourself! Bad drunks will be drug out into the woods or thrown overboard in the Ocoee. Know your limits!
Consider that the next morning you will be up a little early for your activities! It is not fun rafting Class III waters with a raging hangover!
The parties can get noisy and run late into the night. If this isn’t your idea of fun I will direct you to the camp sites and bunk houses farthest from the pavilion. The noise levels there are usually ok. I recommend ear plugs if you’re a light sleeper.
We will be purchasing rafting photos for the group! Other activities may offer photos but these are not included.
Paddlers who are BYOB be sure to bring $10 cash for your shuttle fee.