First Amendment

First Amendment Activities

Freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly are constitutional rights. However, the courts have recognized that activities associated with the exercise of these rights may be reasonably regulated to protect park resources. The necessity of a permit to conduct First Amendment activities is determined by the group size.

A small group is defined as “25 people or less.” A small group is not required to obtain a First Amendment Permit if they are located within a park designated First Amendment site and have no more than leaflets, booklets and/or hand held signs. A permit is required for any small group that:

  • wants to hold a demonstration or distribute and/or sell printed matter somewhere outside a designated First Amendment area
  • wants to use equipment (i.e. tables, banners, platforms, etc.) even if it is within a designated area
  • is merely an extension of another group already availing itself of the 25 person maximum
  • wants to guarantee they will have priority for the use of a location, including the designated First Amendment areas

A large group is defined as “more than 25 people” and is required to obtain a First Amendment Permit even if they are utilizing a park designated First Amendment site.


Some examples of special events that fall under First Amendment Rules:

  • distribution and/or sale of printed matter
  • religious services
  • public demonstrations or assemblies, etc.

There are no permit fees associated with First Amendment permits. Application form

Locations that have a designated 1st Amendment Area for Small Groups of 25 or less along the Blue Ridge Parkway:

  • Humpback Rocks Visitor Center - Mile Post 5.8
  • James River Visitor Center - Mile Post 63.6
  • Peaks of Otter Visitor Center - Mile Post 85.9
  • Rocky Knob Visitor Center - Mile Post 169.0
  • Blue Ridge Music Center - Mile Post 212.8
  • Moses H. Cone Memorial Park - Mile Post 294.0
  • Linn Cove Visitor Center - Mile Post 304.4
  • Linville Falls Visitor Center - Mile Post 316.4
  • Museum of North Carolina Minerals - Mile Post 331.0
  • Crabtree Falls - Mile Post 339.5
  • Craggy Gardens Visitor Center - Mile Post 364.5
  • Folk Art Center - Mile Post 382.2
  • Parkway Headquarters and Visitor Center Locations - Mile Post 384.4
  • Waterrock Knob Visitor Center - Mile Post 451.2
Please review our Operating Hours & Seasons and our Real-time Road Closures pages as some locations may not be open, or may be inaccessible due to weather or construction.

Last updated: July 27, 2016

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Mailing Address:

199 Hemphill Knob Rd
Asheville, NC 28803

Phone:

(828) 348-3400

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