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Virginia offers some of the best views in the country while hang gliding if you know where to launch from. These are the best locations in the state.
Many people around the United States don’t know this, but Virginia is without a doubt one of the best states in the country for adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities. Whether you’re into hiking, rafting, or hang gliding, this state is perfect for you. But it’s important to know where to go so you get the best experience possible. What are the top gliding spots in Virginia?
Virginia’s top spots for hang gliding are:
- Virginia Hang Gliding
- Blue Sky Hang Gliding School (Blue Sky Flight Park)
- Shenandoah National Park
- Tobacco Row
- Woodstock Hang Gliding Site
- Eagle Rock, and Big Walker
Looking for the best hang gliding locations in Virginia? You've come to the right place! In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most amazing places to go hang gliding in the state. From picturesque views of the Blue Ridge Mountains to stunning overlooks of the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia has something to offer everyone who wants to experience hang gliding.
Flight Notch is here to provide hang gliding enthusiasts with as much helpful information as possible. So when we have a topic like this one, we make sure to thoroughly research and vet all of the locations that we find. To do this, we scour forums and get input from others who regularly fly in the area. This way, you’ll truly know where to glide in Virginia.
What Makes Virginia Good For Hang Gliding?
Before you start planning your next hang gliding trip, there are a couple of things to consider, no matter where you're planning on flying in the country (or heck, even the world). In order to have a great hang gliding experience, there are two main things that you want to think about: the weather and the views you'll get from above. You want the weather to be comfortable and conducive for hang gliding and you also want to have an unforgettable experience up in the air.
So what about Virginia? Is it good for hang gliding?
Let's start with the weather. In Virginia, the weather is pretty great for hang gliding most of the year, although the winters can be a little bit cold. Late March through mid-October are probably the best times to go hang gliding in Virginia, as the temperatures are more moderate and there is less chance for bad weather. Plus, you'll usually be able to find some pretty great thermals that will help you stay up in the air longer.
As far as views go, Virginia is definitely one of the best states for hang gliding. You can find some incredible views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah Valley, and even the Atlantic Ocean if you head out towards the Virginia Beach area. So you'll get to see mountains, rolling landscapes, and even the changing colors of the trees and leaves depending on what time of year you visit. In short, the views are pretty incredible!
What Are The Top Hang Gliding Locations In Virginia?
Now that we've gone on about how great Virginia is for hang gliding, let's talk about some of the specific locations that you should consider flying in. We'll start off with a couple of hang gliding schools and companies that will get you up into the air in no time, and then we'll focus on some of the best launch sites in the state where you can launch your own glider from as you please.
Without further ado, here are some of the best places to hang glide in the state.
Virginia Hang Gliding
If you're planning a trip to hang gliding, the first place on your list to check out should be Virginia Hang Gliding. They are located in the town of Painter on Virginia's Eastern Shore and they offer some of the most beautiful views in the state. You'll be able to see stunning landscapes that include the Chesapeake Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, and even Assateague Island (which is home to wild horses!).
As far as the weather goes, Virginia Hang Gliding is open year-round, although they do recommend flying between March and November if you want to avoid the coldest temperatures. During the warmer months, you'll be able to take advantage of thermal currents that will help you stay up in the air for longer periods of time.
Other than just hang gliding, there are lots of fun activities you can do in the area. It's right on the beach, so you can go swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and more. You can also explore the town of Painter and check out some of the local shops and restaurants.
Blue Sky Hang Gliding School
If you decide to skip on out Eastern Shore Virginia Hang Gliding, you should swing over to Blue Sky Flight Park and check out Blue Sky Hang Gliding School. This spot is great for those who want to experience a different kind of flying. Here you can find out what it's like to soar like a bird with their tandem flights.
The views here are quite different from the other locations, as you'll be surrounded by trees instead of open space. However, it's still an incredible experience that you won't want to miss. Plus, the instructors here are top-notch and will make sure you have a safe and enjoyable flight.
They have beginner hang gliding lessons starting at just $150 that are available to anyone of any skill level. This makes it a great place to start your hang gliding journey. Plus it's a popular place, so you're bound to meet some other enthusiasts that you can talk hang gliding with and grow your gliding network.
Shenandoah National Park
Now that we've talked about a couple of companies/hang gliding schools, let's get into the good stuff and take a look at some of the best places around the state where you can launch and fly a hang glider. First up on our list is Shenandoah National Park.
There are few places in Virginia that can compare to the views you'll find while flying through Shenandoah. The park is home to some of the most beautiful and varied landscapes in the state, including waterfalls, mountains, forests, and more. You'll also be treated to views of some of Virginia's most popular landmarks, such as the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive.
The weather in Shenandoah is generally pretty good for hang gliding, especially in the summer and spring months. However, it's worth noting that the park can be quite crowded during those times of year, so you may want to avoid the peak season if you're looking for a more relaxed experience.
When it comes to what else you can do in the area, Shenandoah National Park is home to numerous hiking trails, campgrounds, and other outdoor activities. You can also find a number of restaurants and shops in the park's visitor center.
Tobacco Row is another great place for hang gliding in Virginia. The views here are quite different from Shenandoah, as you'll be flying near the city of Richmond instead of a national park. However, there are still plenty of things to see, including the James River, the State Capitol Building, and numerous other landmarks.
The weather in Richmond is generally pretty good for hang gliding, although it can be a bit hot and humid in the summer months. Fall and spring are typically quite mild, making them ideal times to visit if you want to avoid the crowds. These times of the year also see the most thermals, which are great for staying in the air for longer.
There are also a number of other activities to do in the area, such as visiting the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts or taking a tour of the James River. Richmond is also a great place to eat, with a number of excellent restaurants to choose from. So you'll always have something to do and somewhere to go in addition to the great hang gliding.
Woodstock Hang Gliding Site
Next up on our list of the best spots in Virginia to take to the skies with your hang glider is the Woodstock Hang Gliding Site! This spot is perfect for anyone looking for amazing views, as you'll be able to see the Shenandoah Valley stretched out below you. From high in the air, you'll be able to see all sorts of beautiful landscapes, different terrains, and maybe even the changing of the leaves if you can during the fall.
As we've mentioned before, the weather in most of Virginia is usually pretty ideal for hang gliding. Although it can get a bit cold during the winter, the vast majority of the year is mild to warm, with spring and summer being the best times to fly. However, if you do decide to take a flight during the colder months, you'll be rewarded with some stunning views of a winter wonderland.
Woodstock is located in the northwestern part of the state, not too far from the West Virginia border. It's about a two-hour drive from Washington, D.C., making it a perfect weekend getaway if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. And if you need something to do after your hang gliding adventure, you can always check out some of the great hiking trails, wineries, and breweries that the Shenandoah Valley has to offer.
We're gonna take a step away from parks and hang gliding sites and look at one of my personal favorite spots in Virginia to go gliding: Eagle Rock. This spot is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which means you're in for some seriously stunning views. You'll be able to see the mountains stretching out for miles, as well as the valleys and rivers below.
The weather in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a bit different than in the rest of Virginia. In general, it's going to be a few degrees cooler, especially in the spring and fall. However, this also means that there are more opportunities for thermals, which is great news for hang gliders. With more thermals and a bit more wind, experienced pilots will be able to take their flight to the next level, but it might be a bit too unpredictable for novice pilots depending on the weather conditions.
Eagle Rock is also a great spot because it's relatively close to a few other popular cities and landmarks. It's about an hour from Roanoke, two hours from Charlottesville, and three hours from Richmond. So, if you're looking for a weekend getaway, heading out towards Eagle Rock is a great idea no matter what kinds of things you're into besides just hang gliding. Not that there really is much else besides hang gliding, let's be honest.
Rounding off our list of the best hang gliding spots in Virginia is Big Walker. This spot gets its name from the nearby Big Walker Lookout, which is a popular spot for hikers and nature lovers alike. The views from up here are incredible, especially in the fall when all of the leaves are changing color. You'll be able to see quite a few different views from above, such as the New River Gorge and the Appalachian Mountains.
The average weather for much of the year (especially during the warmer months) is perfect for hang gliding, although it can be a bit chilly in the winter. Since it's located around the mountains, the winds and weather in general can be a little bit hard to predict from time to time, so it's always best to check the forecast before heading out. Realistically, you should get into the habit of checking the forecast before every flight!
If you want to go hiking nearby, Big Walker Lookout is definitely worth checking out. There are also quite a few different hiking trails in the area that are perfect for exploring. All in all, Big Walker is a great spot for hang gliding and there's plenty to do nearby if you're looking for something to do after your flight.
So there you have it, that completes our list of the best hang gliding spots in Virginia. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, there's definitely a spot on this list that's perfect for you. Get out there and enjoy the incredible views that Virginia has to offer!