Level Up in Shenandoah County

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Hang gliding in Shenandoah County, VA. Courtesy of Shenandoah County Tourism.

Without hesitation, we can say the sky is the limit in Shenandoah County, Virginia. Freefalls, glides, hot air assists, and lifts offer views of the Shenandoah Valley most of us never see. Patchwork fields, the winding Shenandoah River, and glorious mountain ranges are something to behold. Now is your chance to level up in 2023. Now is your chance to take to the skies.

All or Nothing

You’ve heard the phrase “go big or go home,” and skydiving certainly fits. If your nerves can handle it, a tandem freefall experience is within reach at Skydive Shenandoah in New Market. The professional skydiving staff specializes in first-time dives and a camera crew is ready to capture YOUR first jump.

Don’t worry, everything you need – training, equipment, and encouragement – is included in your bucket list investment. Group rates are available, and discounts are offered for U.S. military, first responders, and students. Divers must be 18 years old and older without exception.

Skydive Shenandoah is open weekends March through November from 8 a.m. until sunset. Reservations are recommended.

Take it Easy

Not to make light of the fear of heights, but comparatively speaking, a ski lift ride is a cakewalk when you consider sky diving, yes?

When you want a great off-the-ground experience that’s only slightly above the treetops, a summer lift ride up the mountains at Bryce Resort in Basye is the way to go. It’s a short but scenic 10 minutes to the top and the fine folks at Shenandoah County Tourism caution that an equally scenic walk back down the mountain awaits you after your ride.

Summer chair lift rides are available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Hot air balloons are magical. Hot air balloons over the Shenandoah Valley are breathtaking – to both watch and experience. Valley Ballooning in Edinburg offers both 30- and 60-minute flights for up to four people. Swooping low and firing up to elevate once more, the vibrant balloons give a bird’s eye view of wineries, farms, the mountains, and more. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

Valley Ballooning operates daily year ‘round with flights offered just after sunrise and just before dusk.

Somewhere in the Middle

Admittedly, we don’t know how hard (or not hard) it is to hang glide or paraglide, but certainly there is some room for both error and exertion. Therefore, we stuck it “somewhere in the middle.” Hang gliding appears to be exhilarating. If you agree, check this out.

While there are not any outfitters for gliding, Shenandoah County does boast an incredible launch site. Those with equipment and know-how love taking off from the Woodstock Hang Gliding Site, located within the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. No access fee or permit is required.

Capital Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association is a wealth of knowledge for beginners.

Header image courtesy of Shenandoah County Tourism.

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