Castillo de San Marcos Compendium


Park Compendium-36 CFR 1.7 (b)

In accordance with regulations and the delegated authority provided in Chapter 36, Code of Federal regulations (36 CFR), Chapter 1, Parts 1-7, authorized by Title 54 United States Code, the following Superintendent’s Orders are established for this unit of the U.S. National Park Service. Unless otherwise noted, these orders apply besides the provisions contained in Parts 1-7 of Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations.

1.5 Closure and Public Use Limits.

COVID 19 Mask Requirement on NPS Property:

Individuals over the age of two, regardless of vaccination status, must wear masks, except when actively eating or drinking, in the following locations:
  1. All common areas and shared workspaces in buildings owned, rented or leased by the National Park Service, including the park administrative offices and Headquarters Building.
Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement. Regardless of vaccination status, all individuals must comply with all orders regarding masks issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
(Justification: These actions are being undertaken in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) by relying on the best available data and science-based public health measures. Such measures include wearing masks when around others, physical distancing, and other related precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets. The use of adequate face masks provide a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from reaching others.)

Occupancy Limits
The number of visitors in the following indoor locations may not exceed the maximum capacity identified for each location:
Indoor Location Maximum Occupancy
Fort 450

Entering or remaining in any of the indoor locations identified in the table above after being asked not to enter or leave the location because the maximum occupancy has been reached is prohibited.
(Justification: These actions are being undertaken in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus [COVID-19] by relying on the best available data and science-based public health measures. Such measures include wearing masks when around others, physical distancing, and other related precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]. COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets. The use of adequate face masks provides a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from reaching others.)

Managing Filming Activities:

The following types of filming activities may occur in areas open to the public without a permit and without advance notice to the NPS:

• Outdoor filming activities [outside of areas managed as wilderness]2 involving five persons or less and equipment that will be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras.

The organizer of any other type of filming activity must provide written notice to the Superintendent at least 10 days prior to the start of the proposed activity. Based upon the information provided, the Superintendent may require the organizer to apply for and obtain a permit if necessary to:

• maintain public health and safety;
• protect environmental or scenic values;
• protect natural or cultural resources;
• allow for equitable allocation and use of facilities; or
• avoid conflict among visitor use activities.

If the Superintendent determines that the terms and conditions of a permit could not mitigate the concerns identified above in an acceptable manner, the Superintendent may deny a filming request without issuing a permit. The Superintendent will provide the basis for denial in writing upon request.

The NPS will consider requests and process permit applications in a timely manner. Processing times will vary depending on the complexity of the proposed activity. If the organizer provides the required 10 day advance notice to the NPS and has not received a written response from the NPS that a permit is required prior to the first day of production, the proposed filming activities may occur without a permit.

The following are prohibited:

1. Engaging in a filming activity without providing advance notice to the Superintendent when required.

2. Engaging in a filming activity without a permit if [the activity takes place in areas managed as wilderness or if the Superintendent has notified the organizer in writing that a permit is required.

3. Violating a term and condition of a permit issued under this action.

Violating a term or condition of a permit issued under to this action may also result in the suspension and revocation of the permit by the Superintendent.

Hours of Visitation:

Hours of visitation within the Castillo will be from 9:00 AM – 5:15 PM daily. The last ticket entry to the Castillo is sold at 5:00 PM daily.
(Justification: To protect park resources when staff is not present.)

The monument grounds are closed from midnight to 6:00 AM.
(Justification: This is necessary to reduce vandalism, and discourage camping and other illegal activities.)

The headquarters buildings, sidewalks, benches and related structures, including any areas within 100 feet of entry doors are closed to the public at all times with the exception of park business hours, which are from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday not including Federal Holidays, when the headquarters are officially closed.

(Justification: To reduce vandalism, provide for a higher degree of employee safety for employees who work during hours other than 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM weekdays, and to reduce the likelihood of theft, camping, vandalism and other illegal activities.)

The fort is closed to all visitations on Thanksgiving and Christmas of each year.

Clothing & Food:

Shoes or appropriate footwear and shirts must be worn by those visitors entering the fort. (Justification: Uneven floors and coquina shell walls can present tripping hazards and may cause injury.)

Food and beverages other than water are prohibited inside the Castillo. Employees and volunteers are permitted to bring in items necessary for meal breaks and these items must be stored in designated areas.

(Justification: This is a historic structure, which is sensitive to damage. Additionally, food and trash attract scavengers that subsequently create damage to the site.)


The main visitor parking lot will be open 24 hours a day except when special events occur such as parades, races, fireworks or as administrative needs or repairs are necessary.

(Justification: Necessary lot closures occur under special circumstances to provide for the safety of the public.)

Vehicles, other than buses located in designated areas are limited to an overall maximum length of 21 feet, including trailers.

(Justification: The parking restriction is necessary to maintain a safe driving lane; to provide access to buses and provide safe loading and unloading of passengers.)

Buses are prohibited from idling their engines while parked in the Castillo parking lot unless loading and unloading passengers. Tour or school buses are limited to 10 minutes for unloading or loading of passengers. Double parking of buses is prohibited.

(Justification: The double bus parking blocks road access and idling cause’s fumes that may cause harm to visitors.)

Severe Weather Conditions:

During periods of severe weather conditions, all or portions of, the Castillo may be closed to the public in the interest of safety. The ranking Supervisor on duty is delegated the authority by the Superintendent to determine the need to close areas of the monument for this purpose.

(Justification: The closure of all or parts of the Monument during severe weather conditions are necessary for the protection of visitors and employees from injuries or death. Severe and sudden weather conditions can occur with little or no notice. Therefore, delegation for closure is given to the on-site supervisor so as not to needlessly endanger the visiting public from weather hazard.)

Unmanned Aircraft:

Launching, landing or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the

National Park Service within the boundaries of the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument is prohibited except as approved in writing by the superintendent. The term unmanned aircraft means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links). This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g., model airplanes, quadcopters, drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.

(Justification: Restrictions on unmanned aircraft are necessary to prevent damage to the historic fabric and to ensure the safety of the other visitors. Unmanned aircraft operation is prohibited under Policy Memorandum 14-05 until further guidance is issued by the agency.)

CCTV Use Policy:

The National Park Service's use of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) for law enforcement and security purposes will only be to visually monitor public park areas and public activities where no constitutionally protected reasonable expectation of privacy exists. Such CCTV use which will have adequate privacy and First Amendment safeguards - will be to help ensure public safety and security; facilitate the detection, investigation, prevention and deterrence of terrorist attack and crime; help ensure the safety of citizens and officers; help assist in the proper allocation and deployment of law enforcement and public safety resources; help facilitate the protection of the innocent and the apprehension and prosecution of criminals.

This policy does not restrict the official use of CCTV in government administrative areas including administrative buildings, revenue collection sites, etc, where the government may record/monitor its facilities. For example, the government may perform unrestricted video/audio recording at revenue collection points (entrance stations, visitor center counters, etc).

No person will be targeted or monitored merely because of race, religion, gender, sex, disability, national origin, or political affiliation or views (RM-9, 26.4.2).

(Justification: Security measures in place provide for the protection of facilities, people, and irreplaceable objects held in national trust. Utilizing guidance from the Department of the Interior for the safety and security of a location identified as a National Icon, and information provided by other agencies charged with the protection of valuable resources and people, the National Park Service provides these security measures to repel potential threats and present an educational and enjoyable opportunity for all that visit.)

Athletic Activities:

Organized athletic or recreational activities such as softball, football, soccer, Frisbee matches and other similar sports are prohibited within the boundaries of the monument. Other sporting or recreational activities, which would present a danger to other visitors, such as golf, archery, or similar activities are prohibited.

(Justification: This is necessary to maintain the historic scenery and avoid conflict with other visitors. Organized Athletic activities such as football, soccer, baseball, Frisbee, etc. endanger visitors using the same area, who are not participating in the sport activities. Adequate recreational facilities are available with-in one and a half blocks from the monument grounds. Golf, archery or similar activities’ present an obvious danger to the other visitors in a confined and heavily populated area. In addition, these activities disturb the historic atmosphere and can constitute impairment of park values.)

Jumping or diving from the seawall into the bay, the moat, or off the City Gate, Cubo Line and other historic structures is prohibited.

(Justification: Persons involved in such activities could severely injury themselves on the wall or objects under the surface of the water.)


Persons 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult while visiting the Fort.

(Justification: A minimum age requirement is necessary to insure that adult authorization is available in case of injury, and to insure proper adult supervision is available to children for their safety and the protection of resources.)


Mooring or docking of vessels to the seawall is prohibited.

(Justification: The docking of a vessel in an undesignated area is a danger to visitors. This activity presents a danger of damaging the historic fabric of the seawall.)

Kite Flying

The following restrictions apply to kite flying:

(aa)Kites may only be flown on the North green of the monument grounds (see map). Launching or flying a kite from any other portion of the monument is prohibited.\

(Justification: Restrictions on kites are necessary to prevent damage to the historic fabric and to ensure the safety of the other visitors.)

(bb)Prohibition of dual control line or “stunt” kites - Only kites controlled by a single control line may be flown in the designated area.

(Justification: Dual control line kites move much faster than single line kites and are therefore more dangerous upon descent, in addition to being more difficult to control.)

(cc)Prohibition of flying kites and other devices over the Castillo’s structures - never may any kite or unmanned aircraft device be flown so that it is over the Castillo structure, or so that if it were to lose altitude, it would land inside or on the Castillo structure. For purposes of this section, the Castillo structure means the area within the outer edge of the moat/seawall surrounding the coquina structures.

(Justification: Visitors and the historic structure could be at risk of injury or damage if the device was to land inside or on the fort.)

(dd)Other restrictions on Kite Flying - Each kite being flown must be under direct, constant control of a person. Kites may not be tied to trees, stakes in the ground, or other objects, or in any other manner that it could be left unattended.

(Justification: Kite string can get tangled in the trees and come crashing down to the ground endangering visitors.)
Map of Grounds

The following activities are prohibited within the monument’s boundaries:

Preservation of Natural, Cultural and Archeological Resources.

(a)(5)Climbing, walking, ascending, descending, jumping off of or traversing on the walls, structures or cannons of the Castillo, Ravelin, City Gate, Shot Furnace or other historic structures is prohibited.

(Justification: Historic fabric is fragile and even minor contact can damage sensitive portions of the structure.)

(a)(1)(ii) Possessing, destroying, injuring, defacing, removing, digging, or disturbing from its natural state: Plans or the parts or products thereof. Tying, stringing, chaining or locking bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles, hammocks, slacklines, clotheslines, anchor lines or tarps to trees is prohibited.

(Justification: These closures are in place to protect fragile natural resources, habitats and environments and to provide for a safe and memorable visitor experience.)


(a) Fishing will only be permitted along the North Green from North of the Boardwalk to the end of the park property. The designated fishing zone is highlighted in blue in the map above.

(Justification: Fishing is not allowed along other area of the sea wall due to the congestion of visitors to the park and to keep visitors safe from the possibility of casting hooks and other debris. This restriction is consistent with City of St Augustine regulations that prohibit fishing along the seawall walkways.)


(a)(1)(ii)It is prohibited to carry openly or concealed any weapon to include clubs, edged weapons, firearms or facsimile thereof inside any federal facility to include the fort. See also, Florida statute Chapter 790 and 18 U.S.C 930.

(Justification: Re-enactors and other costumed individuals frequently carry weapons and replicas that could create a hazardous condition. NPS trained individuals involved in or conducting living history programs are exempt from this prohibition while conducting official business for the NPS.)


(b)(10) Camping is prohibited. Camping is defined as the erecting of a tent or shelter of natural or synthetic material, preparing a sleeping bag or other bedding material for use, parking of a motor vehicle, motor home or trailer or mooring of a vessel for the apparent purpose of overnight occupancy. The Castillo de San Marcos does not have any designated camping areas.

(Justification: Recreational camping is not consistent with the Monument’s historical significance and limited size.)


(a)(1) Fires, other than for park administrative purposes, are prohibited within the monument boundaries.

(Justification: There are no areas designated as fire sites in the interest of fire safety and prevention, and to keep grounds maintenance costs to a minimum.)


(a)(1)Pets are prohibited within the Castillo structure except service dogs and trained commissioned K-9 teams. Service animals are defined as “a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. The rule states that other animals, whether wild or domestic, do not qualify as service animals. Dogs that are not trained to perform tasks that mitigate the effects of a disability, including dogs that are used purely for emotional support, are not service animals”.

(Justification: Pets can pose a danger and inconvenience to other visitors, while trained service animals provide protection and assistance.)

(a)(5)Any person or legal entity, who owns, is in charge of, responsible for or in control of any pet must, when within the monument grounds, collect and remove to a proper waste receptacle any excrement left by the pet.

(Justifications: Owners are required to clean up pet excrement and dispose of the excrement in a suitable trash receptacle. This is required due to the possibility of pet to human disease transmission.)

Skating, Skateboards, Roller Blades and similar devices.

The use of skates, skateboards, roller blades, or similar devices is prohibited within the monument boundaries.

(Justification: Operation of skates, skateboards, roller blades, or similar devices on the grounds of the monument can cause safety hazards for both participants and visitors.)


Smoking, including the use of E-cigarettes or similar devices is prohibited inside all park facilities. This includes the interior of the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.
Additionally, smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of main entrances, exits and operable windows.

(Justification: Smoking is prohibited to prevent the danger of fire, prevent conflicts among visitor use activities and to comply with government smoking regulations.)

Alcoholic Beverages

(3)(i)The use, sale, distribution, consumption, or possession of an open container of an alcoholic beverage, in any form, is prohibited within the monument boundaries.

(Justification: The consumption of alcohol beverages is prohibited since it is inappropriate to the uses of the park's mission. This prohibition is also consistent with city ordinances.)

Demonstrations and Designated Available Park Areas

Permits associated with First Amendment activities are necessitated by the group size. First Amendment Activities may include demonstrations, picketing, speechmaking, marching, holding vigils or religious services and all other like forms of conduct which involve the communication or expression of views or grievances, engaged in by one or more persons, the conduct of which is reasonably likely to draw a crowd of onlookers. Excluded from this definition is the casual park use by visitors which is not reasonably likely to attract a crowd or onlookers.

The Superintendent shall, within ten (10) days of receiving a complete and dully executed application, issue a permit or written denial.

(b) Permits and the small group exception: Demonstrations involving 25 persons or fewer may be held without a permit provided that the other conditions required for the issuance of a permit are met and provided further that the group is not merely an extension of another group already availing itself of the 25-person maximum under this provision. This group must not unreasonably interfere with other demonstrations, special events or park program activities. Individuals and small groups who take advantage of the permit exception may make use of hand-carried signs, but not stages, platforms, amplified sounds or structures. While it is not mandatory, the organizer is requested to provide reasonable notice of the proposed event to the park superintendent, including whether there is any reason to believe that there may be an attempt to disrupt, protest, or prevent the activity.

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 location. There are no fees associated with First Amendment right permits. No public assembly permits shall be issued for a period in excess of 14 days.

(c) Designated available park areas: Refer to the attached map (See Attachment A) for areas open to first Amendment activities. Any area not designated for these activities would require a permit regardless of size.

(Justification: 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 legitimate government interests such as: the protection of park resources, Therefore, in order to protect these resources, the NPS may regulate certain aspects of First Amendment activities, such as the time, the place and the manner in which they are conducted. It is the conduct associated with the exercise of these rights that is regulated and not the content of the message.)

Those groups or individuals using park land for activities protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution are subject to all applicable local, state and federal laws.
map of park grounds




(b)The scattering of human ashes from cremation is prohibited, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a Special Park Use Permit.
(Justification: A permit is required to conduct this activity in accordance with 36 CFR 2.62(b) and to control and regulate the scattering of ashes.)

Travel on park roads and designated routes.

(a)Operating a vehicle such as the Segway Human Transporter or Hover board inside the Castillo or on the property is prohibited. Segway’s are allowed on the sidewalk adjacent to A1A and the visitor parking lot for transport through the park. Additionally, driving, parking, or stopping on any portion of the City Gate is prohibited.

(Justification: These vehicles can travel at a high rate of speed and in a small confined space like the Castillo and it’s walkways, which have a high density of visitors of all ages and mobility limitations as well as high numbers of school-age children that sometimes run unsupervised, there is great potential for injury or harm to other visitors as well as operators. In addition, the presence of a mechanical device constitutes an impairment of the visual enjoyment of the character defining features of the National Monument. The use of motorized vehicles, other than those utilized for official government business, present a safety hazard to the fragile coquina City Gate.)

State Law Applicable-Unofficial Reserving of Parking Spaces Prohibited


(FL State Statue 316.130(3), 316.130(6), 316.130(10))

Unless specifically addressed by 36 CFR or other regulations, traffic and the use of vehicles within a park area are governed by State law. State law that is now or may later be in effect is adopted and made a part of the regulations in this part. Violating state traffic law is prohibited

FS 316.130(3) Where sidewalks are provided, no pedestrian shall, unless required by other circumstances, walk along and upon the portion of a roadway paved for vehicular traffic

FS 316.130(6) No Person shall stand on or in proximity to a street or highway for the purpose of soliciting the watching or guarding of any vehicle while parked or about to be parked on a street or highway

FS 316.130(10) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway

(Justification: The acts associated with saving a parking space can cause a hazard to the pedestrian and local traffic. Parking spaces are used on a first come first served


(a) Bicycles are prohibited inside the interior of the Castillo. Bicycles and “e-bikes” are permitted on all park roads and sidewalks in accordance with the regulations set forth in 36 CFR. 4.30 as

well as applicable state law. (The term “e-bike” means a two- or three-wheeled cycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.))

E-bikes are allowed in Castillo de San Marcos National Monument where traditional bicycles are allowed. E-bikes are prohibited where traditional bicycles are prohibited.

Except where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, using the electric motor to move an e-bike without pedaling is prohibited. A person operating an e-bike is subject to the following sections of 36 CFR part 4 that apply to the use of traditional bicycles: sections 4.12, 4.13, 4.20, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23, and 4.30(h)(2)-(5).

Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an e-bike within the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument is governed by State law, which is adopted and made a part of this Compendium. Any violation of State law adopted by this paragraph is prohibited.

(Justification: the use of a bicycle or e-bike inside the Castillo presents a significant safety hazard to park visitors and the resource)

Last updated: March 3, 2022

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