"This nearly level day hike starts at the popular Ocoee Whitewater Center in the Cherokee National Forest. Trace a restored section of the Old Copper Road, once used to transport copper ore from Ducktown to a rail line in Cleveland. Today you walk alongside the rocky Ocoee River, passing open sunning rocks and beneath wooded flats, tracing the same route of those 17 decades distant. The path is level, well marked, and easy, making it fun for anyone.
From the 30-minute courtesy parking area in front of the whitewater center, pick up a concrete trail winding downhill toward the Ocoee River. Look for a sign indicating the Old Copper Road Trail near the huge footbridge crossing the Ocoee. Come alongside the river then immediately cross Laurel Creek on a series of flat stepping stones. The pea gravel path shortly comes to the Blue Hole, a deep river pool popular with swimmers. By the way, water releases from the upstream Apalachia Dam can come without warning, so if you sense the river rising, head for shore. Large sunning rocks are scattered about . The river here is dam controlled and most often has low flow, exposing an inordinate number of reddish rocks. Keep upriver on the wide, level path shaded by shortleaf pines, holly, mountain laurel, and river birch."