Activities in the park that benefit an individual, group or organization, rather than the public at large require permits. These activities are listed in the Superintendent's Compendium of park rules and regulations. Permits are usually needed for any activity that may
Contact us as far in advance of your proposed activity as possible to confirm if a permit is needed and how to apply.
Filming & Photography
Visitors using cameras for their own personal use are generally exempt from permit requirements. Still photography needs a permit when
Filming involving more than five persons and equipment beyond a camera and tripod requires the organizer to provide written notice to the park at least 10 days before to the start of the proposed activity. The park will then determine if the activity requires a permit.
Special park uses like weddings, large demonstrations, or similar events, require permits. The National Park Service may permit a special use if the activity will not derogate the park's resources or values, visitor experiences, or the purpose for which the park was established. Download an application form (Microsoft Word file) »
Conducting research, collecting specimens, or doing a scientific experiment in Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park requires a free research permit. Visit the NPS Research Permit & Reporting System for the park's rules for research and how to apply for a permit.
Reservations are not needed to visit any National Park Service properties or facilities at Cedar Creek & Belle Grove NHP.
Special park uses include, but are not limited to, weddings, large demonstrations, or similar events. The National Park Service may permit a special use if the activity will derogate the park's resources or values, visitor experiences, or the purpose for which the park was established.
First Amendment activities such as public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades and other public expressions of views and opinions are managed and regulated under 36 CFR § 2.51, DO/RM-53 and the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park Superintendent's Compendium. Freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly are rights protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. People may exercise these rights peacefully in national parks, but the National Park Service retains as its highest priority the protection of park visitors and resources. Therefore, the National Park Service requires a permit for most First Amendment activities in order to establish the location, time, number of participants, and other general conditions under which such events may occur. Demonstrations are allowed within park designated areas. The content of First Amendment activities is not regulated, and the opinions expressed by permittees do not necessarily reflect the vision, mission and/or policy of the National Park Service.
The following locations are designated as available for demonstrations:
A permit is required for First Amendment activities that meet any of the following criteria:
A group of 25 people or less is not required to obtain a First Amendment Permit if they do not meet the criteria above, but they are encouraged to get one as a permit will prevent another group from reserving the area.
The following types of filming activities may occur in areas open to the public without a permit and without advance notice to the NPS:
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:
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:
As regulations regarding commercial filming permits are being reassessed, those interested in commercial filming activities on land managed by the National Park Service are encouraged to contact the park directly for more information about filming in the park and to discuss how to minimize potential impacts to visitors and sensitive park resources.
Still Photography Permits
When photography activities occur in national parks, they must be consistent with the protection of park resources and avoid conflict with public use, the educational nature of the park, and the enjoyment of the park by all visitors.
Visitors using cameras for their own personal use are generally exempt from photography permit requirements.
When Do I Need a Permit?
Photographers need a permit when their activities
Photographers also need permits for
Allowed With a Permit
Photography equipment other than a camera and tripod are allowed only with a permit. For example:
Items that hurt the park's environment and impair visitor experience are not allowed. For example:
This list is not all-inclusive. When in doubt, contact the permit coordinator.
How do I apply for a permit?
Please contact us in order to apply for a permit. You should submit a completed application along with the application fee as far in advance of your planned date as possible. In addition, you should request a meeting with park staff if your proposed activity is unusual or complex. Early consultation with park staff will help them process the submitted application in a timely manner.
What fees will I have to pay?
The National Park Service will collect a cost recovery charge and a location fee for still photography permits. Cost recovery includes an application fee and any additional charges to cover the costs incurred by the National Park Service in processing your request and monitoring your permit. This amount will vary depending on the park and the size and complexity of your permit. The application fee must be submitted with your application.
In addition, the National Park Service has been directed by Congress to collect a fee to provide a fair return to the United States for the use of park lands. The National Park Service uses the following still photography fee schedule:
Last updated: February 13, 2023