Wellfleet – Site Guide

Site Information

North America

Wellfleet is the original hang gliding and paragliding site in the Northeast United States. It is a classic seaside soaring site with a stunning view of the Atlantic coastline. It has been flown by glider enthusiasts since the 1920s and is still a popular destination for pilots of all levels.

Location and Directions

The Wellfleet hang glider site is located at 740 Ocean View Dr, Wellfleet, MA 02667. The launch is a 70-foot high east/northeast facing cliff overlooking Whitecrest Beach. The GPS coordinates of the launch are 41.934225, -69.979792.

To get there, take Route 6 to Wellfleet and turn left onto Cahoon Hollow Road. Follow it until it ends at Ocean View Drive and turn right. The parking lot for the site is on the left after about half a mile.

Flying Conditions and Restrictions

The site is flyable when the wind direction is between 50 and 110 degrees (ENE to ESE) and the wind speed is between 8 and 25 mph depending on the type of glider and the skill of the pilot. The ideal wind direction is 70 to 90 degrees (E to ENE) and the ideal wind speed is 10 to 15 mph for paragliders and 15 to 20 mph for hang gliders.

The site has no airspace restrictions, but pilots should be aware of occasional low flying aircraft in the area. The site also has some hazards such as people and objects close to launch, high tide that can reduce the beach landing zone, rotors, venturi, wind gradients, accidental water landing, moving cars, town signs to the left of launch, and power lines at the rear of the parking area.

The town of Wellfleet allows flying only from October 2 until April 14. Pilots should check the town beach regulations before flying or contact the New England Paragliding and Hang Gliding Club (NEPHC) for exact dates. Flying during prohibited times can result in fines, jail time, or equipment confiscation.

Pilots should also follow the rules and regulations of the NEPHC, which include:

  • Having current USHPA and NEPHC memberships
  • Having at least a novice rating (H3/P3) or flying with a mentor if lower rated (H2/P2)
  • Not landing or walking on the dunes except on the paths down to the beach
  • Kiting only downwind of launch to avoid interfering with launching and landing pilots
  • Keeping a respectful distance from the cliffside houses to the south of launch
  • Not crowding or top-landing in front of launch when pilots are waiting to launch
  • Asking spectators and vehicles to stay clear of the launch area
  • Avoiding parking close to launch to allow room for hang glider setup
  • Flying with a high-vis streamer if a P2

Best Times to Visit and Fly

The best times to visit and fly at Wellfleet are during the fall and spring seasons when the wind conditions are more favorable and consistent. The summer season can be too hot, humid, and crowded for flying. The winter season can be too cold, windy, and snowy for flying.

The best time of day to fly at Wellfleet is usually in the morning or early afternoon when the sea breeze is stronger and smoother. The late afternoon or evening can be more turbulent or calm depending on the weather.

More Information

For more information about flying at Wellfleet, you can visit the following websites:

You can also contact the NEPHC at [email protected] or join their Facebook group.

Happy flying!

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