Powerless Flight

paragliding over Lake Michigan shoreline

Launching and landing of powerless hang gliders and paragliders is permitted at the following areas:

  • Empire Bluff
  • Pyramid Point
  • Dune Climb (restricted to November 1 to March 31)
  • Lake Michigan Overlook on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive.

Effective May 1, 2023, the procedure to obtain a hang gliding or paragliding permit will change. Pilots will no longer be able to obtain a permit at the Phillip A. Hart Visitor Center Information Desk.

To obtain a permit, pilots must apply for a permit through the Permits Office. Pilots should be prepared to apply for their permit during the Permit’s Office business hours (Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm). Contacting the Permits Coordinator at 231-326-4741 ahead of time to ensure staff are on duty is advisable.

Hang Gliding
Powerless flight

Terry Phipps 2005

Hang Gliding/Paragliding
Pilots must have a current U.S. Hang Gliding Association proficiency rating of H-2 to P-2 or greater. Some designated launch sites require higher ratings than others. Identification is required to obtain a permit. Each permitee must sign an affidavit acknowledging that such flights may present a serious hazard to his/her personal safety, that his/her equipment is in safe operating condition and that he/she is in good physical condition.

Transporting equipment to launch sites will be done by hand carry on established trails.

Standards established by the U.S. Hang Gliding Association apply, as well as all applicable laws and regulations imposed by Federal and other governmental agencies. These include:

  1. Wear a safety helmet.
  2. Have launch assistance.
  3. Consider the Safety of everyone in the area.
  4. Do not fly if five gliders are already in the air.
  5. Report all accidents resulting in injury and/or damage to property to the National Park Service.
  6. Land only in designated landing zones.

Last updated: March 23, 2023

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

9922 Front Street
Empire, MI 49630


231 326-4700

Contact Us