We acknowledge your interest for a Special Use activity at Fort Donelson National Batttlefield. This site was established to preserve the resources of the Civil War battlefield and provide opportunities for historical and professional military study.

To provide for enjoyment of the park, activities are encouraged that are appropriate to the purpose for which the park was established and will foster an understanding of and appreciation for, park resources and values. The Service will not allow visitors to conduct activities that:

  • Will impair park resources or values;
  • Create an unsafe or unhealthful environment for other visitors or employees;
  • Are contrary and/or uncertain to the purposes for which the park was established; or
  • Unreasonably interfere with:
    • The atmosphere of peace and tranquility, or the natural soundscape maintained in natural, historic, or commemorative locations within the park;
    • NPS interpretive, visitor service, administrative, or other activities;
    • NPS concessionaire or contractor operations or services; or
    • Other existing, appropriate park uses.

If you have any questions or would like to request an application, call us Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at 931-232-0839. As conflicts with other events may occur, please allow at least four weeks to process your request.

Operating Hours: Grounds are open sunrise to sunset. **Starting December 7, 2015, Fort Donelson's visitor center will be closing for a much needed accessibility and energy sustainability rehabilitation. Our temporary home will be the Stewart County Visitor Center, at 117 Visitor Center Lane, Dover, TN, 37058** It is open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. The Dover Hotel/Surrender House follows the same operating schedule.

Activity Requiring Permit: A permit is normally required for any activity that is not a customary visitor use for which the park was established, and/or uncertain to foster an understanding of and appreciation for, park resources and values. (i.e. filming and photography used other than for private use; commercial filming and photography involving the use of a model (or any on-camera talent), set or prop (any addition or modification to the natural park landscape); when the possibility exists for damage to park resources; disruption of visitor services; research; and/or if the activity is to take place in areas not open to the public or before or after normal visitation hours).

Downloadable applications:

Special Use Application (newly revised)

First Amendment Right of Free Speech Guideline

Filming and photography (Short Form)

Commercial filming and photography (Long Form)

Wedding Guidelines (updated April, 2013)

Liability Insurance: You may be required to obtain necessary bond and/or or insurance certification with proof that the US Government is carried as "additional insured" on your liability insurance.

Endorsement: Identifiable NPS equipment, uniforms, or insignia may not be portrayed in any way that would imply NPS endorsement of the activity or product.

Limitations: Activities that cause injury or damage to park resources, impair the atmosphere of peace and tranquility of the battlefield, and interfere with interpretive or visitor services, or impinge on visitor access to park resources will not be permitted.

Services: The Park does not provide any equipment, materials or services to permittees.

Permit Period: The permit will be issued for the amount of time required to set up for, conduct, and clean up after the activity.

Costs: There is a non-refundable $50.00 application fee. Other potential charges include, but are not limited to monitoring by Rangers, clean up and site restoration, and recovery of administrative costs. You may also be required to post a performance bond.

Cost Recovery: When your event requires the scheduling of the park’s maintenance, interpretive, and law enforcement staffs to provide appropriate care for resources and visitors; therefore, park staff must be available to work an event before the event is permitted. The permittee will be charged $40.00 per hour for each National Park Service ranger assigned to work the special event.

Procedure: Information provided with your application will be used to determine whether a permit will be issued. Completed application must be accompanied by an application fee in the form of a cashiers check or money order in the amount of $50.00 made payable to National Park Service. Application and administrative charges are non-refundable regardless of approval or denial. This completed application and payment should be mailed to: Special Use Permit Coordinator, Fort Donelson National Battlefield, P.O. Box 434, Dover, TN 37058.

Note the above information does not serve as an application and does not serve as permission to conduct an activity or any other use of the park. If you decide to submit an application request and it is approved, a permit containing applicable conditions and regulations will be sent to the person designated on the application. The permit must be signed and returned to the park prior to the event.

IMPORTANT: Please include as much detail about the activity as possible, because if some aspect of your endeavor is not in the permit, it may not be allowed. Also include a copy of any preparation document you may have prepared.

You must have the permit with you during your activity.

Last updated: February 27, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

174 National Cemetery Drive
PO Box 434

Dover, TN 37058


931-232-5706 x0

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