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Hang gliding in the northeastern United States gives you an experience like no other. Here are the best locations to go hang gliding in Connecticut.
Whether you’re trying to think of a new place to visit to go hang gliding or you’ve just moved to Connecticut and you’re trying to figure out where you can launch from, this is the article for you. Even though this state might not come to mind as one of your dream gliding spots, it offers some of the most amazing views you’ll find anywhere. Where should you hang glide in Connecticut?
The top hang gliding locations in Connecticut include:
- The Connecticut Hang Gliding Association
- Talcott Mountain
- Chauncey Peak
- Sharon Mountain
- West Rock Ridge State Park
- Falls Village
- Morningside Flight Park
Anyone that wants to find the best hang gliding spots in Connecticut has come to the right place. We’ll discuss the best spots around the state to go hang gliding in this post. Each location offers amazing views and a unique experience. So, whether you're a beginner or an experienced pilot, there's something for everyone!
In order to give you the best companies and launch sites in Connecticut to go hang gliding, we had to research places in the state and make sure that other pilots enjoyed flying there. After extensive research and discussion, we’re confident that these really are the best spots in Connecticut. So get ready to take to the skies at any location below.
Is Connecticut A Good Location to Go Hang Gliding?
When you're trying to figure out where to go hang gliding, there are likely two main things on your mind: what the weather is like and what views you can see while flying there. After all, you need good weather in order to stay up in the air for a long time, and you want there to be good views from the sky to make the trip worth it in the first place.
So what does Connecticut have to offer? Should you go hang gliding there?
For much of the year, the weather in Connecticut is actually really good for hang gliding. The months from spring to summer are generally the best times to go because the weather is more stable and there are often thermal updrafts, which help you stay in the air longer. However, even in the cooler months, the weather is can still be good enough to glide except when the temperatures really start to drop like they do in the New England area.
While the weather isn't bad, the real treat of hang gliding in Connecticut is the views. No matter where you go in the state, you're guaranteed to see some amazing sights. If you're near the coast, you can see the Long Island Sound and all the way out to the Atlantic Ocean. And if you're inland, you can see green grass, rolling hills, and even some mountains in the distance. It's truly a sight to behold from up in the air no matter where you're flying, what direction you're heading, or what kind of views you like to see.
So, if you're looking for a great place to go hang gliding, Connecticut should be on your list. It has everything you need for a great flight: good weather and amazing views. And, if you're looking for something to do after your flight, there are plenty of options nearby no matter where you choose to land. So let's take a look at some of the best places in the state to go gliding.
Top Hang Gliding Locations in Connecticut
Since we've exhausted just how great Connecticut is for hang gliding, let's look at where you should go in the state to take to the skies. We'll start off with one of the best organizations in the state that you should consider hang gliding with and then we'll dive into the good stuff and look at the best places in Connecticut to take off with your own hang glider and take to the skies.
Connecticut Hang Gliding Association
As mentioned above, the first option we're going to look at is the top hang gliding organization in the state: the Connecticut Hang Gliding Association (CHGA). This is a great option if you're new to hang gliding or if you're looking for someone to fly with. The Connecticut Hang Gliding Association is a group of passionate pilots that fly all around the state and they're always happy to take new members out for a flight.
To get started flying with the CHGA all you need to do is head to George's Pizza in the middle of Unionville on the first Tuesday of each month. This monthly meeting among members of the CHGA is open to anyone that's interested in joining and taking to the skies. It starts at 7 pm and is the easiest, most laid-back way to get a feel for how it works and to meet some of the members.
This group is perfect if you're just getting started because they offer training and tandem flights so you can learn the ropes before you take off on your own. They also have group glides where everyone meets up and flies together which is a nice way to meet other pilots in the area, see some amazing views, and get some good experience flying.
Dues to join the CHGA are $50 per year, but that cost is nothing compared to how much you can learn and the treasure trove of information and experience available to you. So, if you're looking to get started in hang gliding, the Connecticut Hang Gliding Association is a good option and is worth checking out before you start flying on your own at any of the launch sites below.
First up on the list is Talcott Mountain, which goes hand in hand with the Connecticut Hang Gliding Association from above since it's one of the most common places they fly. Talcott Mountain is located in the Hartford area and it offers some great views of the cityscape as well as some more rural areas. It's a great place to fly because it has both open and wooded areas, so you can get a feel for different types of flying.
In this area, you'll often find thermals rising which is great news for hang gliders because that means you can stay up in the air for a long time. The average flight here lasts around 45 minutes to an hour or so, but if you get lucky with a thermal you could be up there for hours enjoying the views. Speaking of the views, you'll be treated to some great ones of Hartford and the surrounding area from up in the air.
The best time to fly at Talcott Mountain is usually from around early April through late October when the thermals are strong, but it's a great place to fly year-round. If you're interested in flying here, be sure to check out the Connecticut Hang Gliding Association's website (linked above) for more information on group glides and training.
When you get done gliding for the day, you'll also have lots of other fun things to do nearby. You can head into Hartford for some great restaurants and shopping or check out one of the many museums. You're also not too far from Mystic if you want to check out some of the great seafood restaurants and shops down there.
Next up on the list is Chauncey Peak, located in the Meriden area. Part of the Metacomet Range, Chauncey Peak is the highest point in Central Connecticut. The views from the top are absolutely incredible, and if there are little to no clouds in the sky, you can see all the way to Long Island Sound.
The average temperatures during the warmer months are perfect for hang gliding, and there's even a good chance of thermal currents that can help keep you up in the air for longer. However, the colder months can be pretty cold and windy, so it's not advised to go hang gliding during those times.
Chauncey Peak is located about halfway between Hartford and New Haven, making it a great option if you're looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city for a day. And if you're looking for fun stuff to do after you’re done hang gliding, there are lots of trails nearby that are worth exploring.
We've only looked at mountains so far and, well, that trend is going to continue since that's mainly what Connecticut has to offer. That said, the next place you should consider going hang gliding in the state is Sharon Mountain. Located in the northwest corner of the state, Sharon mountain offers some of the best views in Connecticut. When you're flying high above the ground, you can often see across the border into New York because of how wide open the landscapes are up here.
The weather is also generally pretty good for hang gliding. Spring through summer is obviously the best time to go (as will be similar for just about all of the locations in Connecticut) since that's when the weather is most stable. However, you can usually find a day or two here and there that are decent for hang gliding even when it’s wintertime.
As for other things to do in the area, Sharon mountain is actually home to a pretty popular ski resort. So if you do decide to go gliding in the winter and you're someone who wants to do some skiing or snowboarding while you're here, then you'll be all set. There are also a few other smaller ski resorts nearby that you can check out.
All in all, Sharon mountain is undoubtedly one of the best places to go hang gliding in Connecticut. The views are incredible and there's plenty to do in the area, no matter what time of year you come. So if you're ever in the northwest corner of the state and you're looking for a place to launch, check this spot out.
West Rock Ridge State Park
Okay, okay, I'll throw you a bone here and go slightly off the mountain kick. Slightly. We're going to step away from a specific mountain or peak and look at the entire West Rock Ridge next. But more specifically, we're going to talk about West Rock Ridge State Park.
This is an awesome place to go hang gliding for a few reasons. First of all, the views that you're going to get from high above the ground are incredible. You'll get to see the endless green fields, and woods below, as well as some unprecedented views of the rest of West Rock Ridge that you just can't get from anywhere on the ground, no matter how high you hike.
Another great reason to come here is that the weather is usually pretty good. Obviously there's no guarantee, but the average temperatures during the warmer months range from around 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which is perfect hang gliding weather.
Plus, if you're coming with family or friends who don't want to go hang gliding (or just need a break from it), West Rock Ridge State Park offers plenty of other activities. There are hiking trails, picnicking areas, and even a quarry swimming hole where you can cool off after a long day of flying high.
Finally, we're going to finish off the list of Connecticut hang gliding spots with Falls Village, located in the town of Canaan. Canaan is in the northwest corner of Connecticut, close to Massachusetts and New York. The views from Falls Village are some of the best in the state, with a perfect mix of farmland, forests, and mountains.
The weather here is also great for hang gliding, with relatively mild temperatures year-round. If you come to the area any time from May through October, you'll be able to take advantage of the thermals that form in the afternoon.
There are plenty of things to do in the area as well other than hang gliding, such as hiking, camping, and fishing. In the small town, there are also some tasty restaurants that you can try so that you have something to do when you get finished flying for the day. So if you're looking for a great place to go hang gliding in Connecticut, Falls Village should be at the top of your list.
Morningside Flight Park (Located in New Hampshire)
I know I mentioned above that we were finishing off with Falls Village. But that was just the spots located in Connecticut itself. That said, as a list of hang gliding locations anywhere in the northeastern United States, this article would not be complete without mentioning Morningside Flight Park. Even if it is located in nearby New Hampshire.
Morning Flight Park is one of, if not the most popular, hang gliding locations in New England. It's a company that offers everything you need to get started and take to the skies. It has introductory hang gliding classes, introductory paragliding lessons, tandem hang gliding flights, and more to get you off the ground and up in the air no matter how experienced (or inexperienced) you are.
Even though it's not located in Connecticut, it's close enough for you to use it as your number one hang-gliding destination. So if you're going to be spending a lot of time in the area, then make sure you get familiar with Morningside Flight Park and everything it has to offer (which is a heck of a lot more than just hang gliding!).
So there you go; this has been your complete guide to the best hang gliding locations in Connecticut. I hope you enjoyed reading it and that it's given you some ideas about where to go for your next hang-gliding adventure. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you up in the air! Safe flying!