Kite Flying off the Blue Ridge Parkway

When you’re high up on mountaintop in a town called "Blowing Rock," is it reasonable to expect some occasional wind? For sure. especially in the winter! 

I recently took advantage of the unseasonably warm January weather and a strong breeze to resurrect an old childhood pastime — kite flying. I took my son and his new kite to Thunder Hill Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, on the way from Blowing Rock to Blue Ridge Mountain Club. It’s one of the most scenic overlooks on the entire 469 miles of the Parkway and situated on a crest of the Eastern Continental Divide. The trail across from the parking area leads to a hilltop with an immense view and a perfect breeze for flying. It’s unfortunate that you don’t see as many hand-flown kites as in the good old days, because it’s an absolute blast! Judging from my son’s giggles as the strong breeze carried the kite and it’s long-fluttering tails high over the landscape, the kite spindle beat a Nintendo controller hands down.  

There are many scenic locations in the area to get reintroduced to this age-old family activity. Pandora’s Mailbox located at 1098 Main Street in historic Blowing Rock is the best local shop to get equipped with a new kite, whether you need a beginner model or an advanced stunt kite. For guaranteed smiles, hit the mountaintop and give it a try. Good luck, and happy flying!