Up, Up, and Away

  • Visit North Central

If the wild blue yonder fascinates you, Johnny Appleseed Country is a great place to visit.
Whether you dream of taking your very first parachute jump, or just enjoy watching the ‘chutes float through a deep-blue sky, a stop at Jumptown in Orange should be on your “must-do” list.

Located just off Routes 2 and 202 in Orange, Jumptown is a skydiving club and dropzone that offers both Tandem and Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) training.

On a nice afternoon, it’s not unusual to see cars pulled over on local roadsides as people watch the ‘chutes gliding gently down to earth. But you don’t have to sit by the road —spectators are welcome and encouraged at Jumptown! You’re invited to make yourself comfortable in the shaded spectator viewing area and watch the skydivers land right in front of you. If you’re in the Pepperell area, you can see parachutes floating through the sky at Skydive Pepperell, off Route 111.

And if you’ve always wanted to try this sport, you’re in luck. Jumptown has tandem packages geared to first-timers. It may just be the most amazing experience of your life!

Cool Your Jets
Neither pilots nor passengers can climb into the planes that will be flying over the Gardner Airport in August.

But the aircraft at the annual Jet Rally are amazing to watch. Remote control jet pilots come from as far away as Maine and Puerto Rico to strut their flying skills and display the gems of their hobby.

These aren’t your backyard, battery-operated, kid-manipulated planes. We’re talking about jets that cost thousands of dollars, are powered by turbine engines and hit speeds of more than 200 miles per hour. Even among radio-control pilots, these planes and pilots are an elite group; only a couple dozen people in Massachusetts, for example, hold the special license required for these jets.

How Does It Work?
If you’ve ever wondered just how planes stay aloft, or wanted to know more about the pioneers of aviation, be sure to visit the Top Fun Aviation Toy Museum in Fitchburg.
Along with an array of vintage aviation-related toys, the museum offers regular Sunday afternoon programs that will introduce you to the world of aviation. Topics range from the history of airmail to famous female pilots. There are hands-on workshops, too, that not only show you how to make a kite or paper airplane, but explain why they fly.

Love the wild blue yonder? Want to learn about man’s desire to spread his wings? You’ve come to the right place — in Johnny Appleseed’s backyard.