Thousands of rowers travel to Oak Ridge every year to train and compete at Melton Lake, one of the best rowing venues in the nation. Not only does Oak Ridge host several prestigious rowing competitions each year, the city also offers teams of all levels, including college and high school rowing programs, opportunities to grow and sharpen their skills during rowing spring training.
1) Great Rowing Venue
Melton Hill Lake is the perfect rowing venue for training and rowing competitions, with 173 miles of shoreline. Known as one of the best 2,000-meter rowing courses in the U.S., top athletes from across the country travel to Oak Ridge to train and compete at Melton Hill Lake throughout the year.
The Oak Ridge Rowing Course offers 30 miles of flat water and a seven-lane buoyed racecourse. Before or after hitting the lake, teams can also jog or run along a peaceful 5.6-mile waterfront trail.
The Oak Ridge Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (ORCVB) makes it easy for teams to plan their stay in Oak Ridge. For rowing teams, ORCVB offers complementary service to arrange hotels, meals, and transportation. With an array of hotels four-to-five miles from Melton Hill Lake, it is easy for teams to hit the water and travel back to the hotel for some rest and relaxation.
Many of the hotels in Oak Ridge provide free breakfast, gym amenities, access to meeting rooms, lounges, and pools.
For more information call 865-482-7821 or email RowOakRidge@oakridgevisitor.com. The Oak Ridge CVB even employs a former college rowing coach, so you’ll be in good hands.
4) Great restaurants nearby
Many restaurants in Oak Ridge cater to hotels and the rowing venue to make your team’s trip to Oak Ridge as stress-free and convenient as possible. Two great options are Calhoun’s and Big Ed’s Pizza.
Calhoun’s is a BBQ restaurant, bar, and event space that is located next to the rowing center. Big Ed’s Pizza is known for its amazing pizza and no-frills, family-fun atmosphere. In 2013, USA Today’s travel list named Big Ed’s one of the top 51 pizza parlors in the country.
5) Plenty of free-time activities
Oak Ridge offers plenty of team-building activities on and off the water. If your team wants to take a break from rowing but still wants to have some fun on the water, you can rent kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, or pedal boats from Adventures Outdoors. Oak Ridge is also home to one of the largest spring-water-fed outdoor pools in the country.
If your team wants to have some fun on land, Oak Ridge offers plenty of options. In all, Oak Ridge has more than 60 miles of beautiful greenway trails perfect for running, walking, and biking. Don’t have bikes? No worries. Your team can rent bikes and trikes from Adventures Outdoors.
Need a break from the elements? Oak Ridge features fun indoor activities perfect for large groups. At the American Museum of Science & Energy (AMSE), your team can learn about energy and Oak Ridge’s role in World War II. One exhibit at AMSE will literally make your hair stand on end. If you’re looking for a great place to relax and socialize, check out the Oak Ridge Bowling Center.