Firearms in National Parks
The law governing possession of firearms inside a national park changed on February 22, 2010.
In areas administered by the National Park Service, an individual can possess a firearm if that individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the firearm and if the possession of the firearm complies with the laws of the state where the park area is located. 54 U.S.C. 104906.
It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable Federal, state and local firearms laws and regulations, including laws authorizing or prohibiting concealed carry, before entering a national park.
Unless expressly authorized, Federal law prohibits the possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon in National Park Service facilities. These buildings include, but are not limited to, government offices, visitor centers, ranger stations, fee collection buildings, and maintenance facilities. 18 U.S.C. 930.
Additional information on firearms in national parks is available at www.nps.gov.
Here you will find the 2023 Superintendent’s Compendium Of Designations, Closures, Permit Requirements and Other Restrictions Imposed Under Discretionary Authority. Approved by David Moore, Superintendent of Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.
1. Superintendent’s Compendium Described
The Superintendent’s Compendium is the summary of park specific rules implemented under 36 Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR). It serves as public notice, identifies areas closed for public use, provides a list of activities requiring either a special use permit or reservation, and elaborates on public use and resource protection regulations pertaining specifically to the administration of the park. The Superintendent’s Compendium does not repeat regulations found in 36 CFR and other United States Code and CFR Titles, which are enforced without further elaboration at the park level.
The regulations contained in 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, are the basic mechanism used by the National Park Service (NPS) to preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources of the park and to protect visitors and property within the park. Parts 1 through 6 are general regulations applicable to all areas of the National Park system, and Part 7 contains special regulations specific to individual parks. Each of these Parts has many sections and subsections articulating specific provisions. Within some of these Part 1-7 sections and subsections, the Superintendent is granted discretionary authority to develop local rules to be responsive to the needs of a specific park resource or activity, park plan, program, and/or special needs of the general public.
As an example, 36 CFR 1.5(a) Closures and Public Use Limits provides the Superintendent certain discretion in allowing or disallowing certain activities. The authority granted by the Section, however, requires the Superintendent to comply with the Administrative Procedures Act (6 USC Section 551), which requires public notice on actions with major impact on visitor use patterns, park resources or those that are highly controversial in nature.
Another example is 36 CFR 1.6 Permits, which allows the Superintendent to require a permit for certain uses and activities in the park. This Section, however, requires that a list of activities needing a permit (and a fee schedule for the various types of permits) be maintained by the park.
A final example is 36 CFR 2.1(c) (1) Preservation of Natural, Cultural and Archeological Resources, which provides the Superintendent the authority to designate certain fruits, nuts, berries or unoccupied seashells which may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption. This activity can occur, however, only if a written determination shows that the allowed activity does not adversely affect park wildlife, the reproductive potential of a plant species, or otherwise adversely affect park resources.
This Compendium should be used in conjunction with Title 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, to more fully understand the regulations governing the use and enjoyment of all the areas of the national Park System.
A copy of Title 36, CFR, can be purchased from the U.S. Government Printing Office at:
Superintendent of Documents
P.O. Box 371954
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954
The CFR is also available on the Internet at:
2. Laws and Policies Allowing the Superintendent to Develop This Compendium
The National Park Service (NPS) is granted broad statutory authority under 54 United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 100101 et. seq. (Organic Act of 1916, as amended) to "the Secretary, acting through the Director of the National Park Service, shall promote and regulate the use of the National Park System by means and measures that conform to the fundamental purpose of the System units, which purpose is to conserve the scenery, natural and historic objects, and wildlife in the System units and to provide for the enjoyment of the scenery, natural and historic objects, and wildlife in such manner and by such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." (54 U.S.C. Section 100101). In addition, the NPS Organic Act allows the NPS, through the Secretary of the Interior, to “prescribe such regulations as the Secretary considers necessary or proper for the use and management of System units.” (54 U.S.C. §100751a).
54 USC 100101(b) reaffirms the original intent of Congress in the establishment of the National Park Service by recognizing “…these areas, though distinct in character, are united through their interrelated purposes and resources into one National Park System as cumulative expressions of a single national heritage….”
54 USC 100101(2) reaffirms the high standard of protection defined in the original Organic Act by stating “Congress reaffirms, declares and directs that the promotion and regulation of the various System units shall be consistent with and founded in the purpose established by subsection (a) to the common benefit of all the people of the United States. “
54 U.S.C. § 100501 defines the National Park System as”…any area of land and water administered by the Secretary, acting through the Director, for park, monument, historic, parkway, recreational, or other purposes.”
In addition to the above statutory authority, the Superintendent is guided by established NPS policy as found in the NPS Management Policies (2006). The Superintendent is also guided by more specific policies promulgated by the Director, National Park Service, in the form of Director’s Orders. As stated in the Management Policies, the primary responsibility of the NPS is to protect and preserve our national natural and cultural resources while providing for the enjoyment of these resources by visitor and other users, as long as use does not impair specific park resources or overall visitor experience. The appropriateness of any particular visitor use or recreational experience is resource-based and will vary from park to park; therefore, a use or activity that is appropriate in one park area may not be appropriate in another. The Superintendent is directed to analyze overall park use and determine if any particular use is appropriate. Where conflict arises between use and resource protection, where the Superintendent has a reasonable basis to believe a resource is or would become impaired, then that Superintendent is obliged to place limitations on public use.
3. Consistency of This Compendium with Applicable Federal Law and Requirements
The Superintendent’s Compendium is not considered a significant rule requiring review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866. In addition, this Compendium will not have a significant economic effect on a number of small entities nor impose a significant cost on any local, state or tribal government or private organization, and therefore does not fall under the requirements of either the Regulatory Flexibility Act or the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
The actions and requirements described in this Compendium are found to be categorically excluded from further compliance with the procedural requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in Department of the Interior (DOI) Guidelines 516 DM 6 and as such, an Environmental Assessment will not be prepared.
4. Development of the Requirements of the Superintendent’s Compendium
As outlined above, the NPS has broad authority and responsibility to determine what types of uses and activities are appropriate in any particular National Park System area. The requirements of the Superintendent’s Compendium are developed through an analysis and determination process. The decision criteria used during this process are:
- Is there use or activity consistent with the NPS Organic Act and NPS policy?
- Is the use or activity consistent and compatible with the park’s enabling legislation, management objectives, and corresponding management plans?
- Will the use or activity damage the park’s protected natural and cultural resources and other protected values?
- Will the use or activity disturb or be in conflict with wildlife, vegetation, and environmental protection actions and values?
- Will the use or activity conflict with or be incompatible with traditional park uses and activities?
- Will the use or activity compromise employee or public safety?
5. Applicability of the Compendium
The rules contained in this Compendium apply to all persons entering, using, visiting or otherwise present on Federally owned lands, including submerged lands, and waters administered by the NPS within the legislative boundaries of the park. This includes all waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including all navigable waters.
6. Enforcement of Compendium Requirements
NPS Law Enforcement Park Rangers enforce the requirements of the United State Code, 36 CFR, and this Superintendent’s Compendium.
7. Penalties for Not Adhering to the Compendium Requirements
A person who violates any provision of the regulations found in 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, or provisions of this Compendium, is subject to a fine as provided by law (18 U.S.C. 3571) up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations, or by imprisonment not exceeding six months (18 U.S.C. 3559), or both, and shall be adjudged to pay all court costs associated with any court proceedings. You may receive a list of fines associated with any particular provision by contacting the Chief Ranger at the park address found below.
8. Comments on the Compendium
The Compendium is reviewed annually and revised as necessary. The park welcomes comments about its program and activities at any time.
9. Effective Date of the Superintendent Compendium
The Superintendent’s Compendium is effective on the approval date listed on the first page of this document, and remains in effect until revised for a period up to one year.
10. Additional Information
Some of the terms used in this Compendium may have specific meaning defined in 36 CFR 1.4 Definitions.
Copies of the Compendium are available at: https://www.nps.gov/fomc/
B. SUPERINTENDENT’S COMPENDIUM
In accordance with regulations and the delegated authority provided in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations ("36 CFR"), Chapter 1, Parts 1-7, authorized by Title 16 United States Code, Section 3, the following provisions apply to all lands and waters administered by the National Park Service, within the boundaries of Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. Unless otherwise stated, these regulatory provisions apply in addition to the requirements contained in 36 CFR, Chapter 1, Parts 1-7.
Written determinations, which explain the reasoning behind the Superintendent's use of discretionary authority, as required by Section 1.5(c), appear in this document identified by italicized print.
36 CFR §1.5 — VISITING HOURS, PUBLIC USE LIMITS. CLOSURES. AND AREA DESIGNATIONS FOR SPECIFIC USE OR ACTIVITIES
(a)(1) The following visiting hours, public use limits, and closures are established:
- The park, or a portion of the park, may be closed at any time for emergency or security reasons in order to protect the welfare of staff and visitors.
- Entering or remaining in the park outside of posted hours is prohibited
- Winter Hours: 9 am to 5 pm (first Saturday in October to first Sunday of the second full week of May).
- Summer Hours: 7 am to 6 pm (Monday of the second full week of May to the first Friday in October).
- These dates will be posted on the park website, main gate, and park events brochure.
- The park will be closed to the public on Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November), Christmas Day (Dec 25), and New Year's Day (Jan 1).
The above visiting hours are based upon a determination that such hours are necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, the protection of natural and cultural resources, and the implementation of management responsibilities.
CCTV Policy Statement
In accordance with National Park Service Law Enforcement Reference Manual 9 (RM-9), notice is hereby given that Fort McHenry NM&HS uses Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) security camera monitoring.
The park’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; and help facilitate the protection of the innocent and the apprehension and prosecution of criminals. (RM-9, 26.1)
This policy does not restrict the official use of CCTV in government administrative areas, including administrative buildings, jail holding facilities (RM-9, 26.3.7), 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.). This policy does not restrict the use of an Audio/Visual Recording Device (AVRD) in patrol vehicles or officer-worn recording devices used by commissioned rangers. (RM-9, 26.1).
Operation of CCTV cameras, maintenance of recorded images and use of recorded images will be in accordance with NPS and Department policy and applicable laws and regulations. (RM-9, 26.1-26.4) 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)
Nothing in this policy statement is intended to create any rights, privileges, or benefits not otherwise recognized by law.
Public Use Limits:
- The maximum speed for bicycles, e-bikes, non-motorized scooters and authorized vehicles on the Seawall Trail is 10 mph.
- To provide for public safety all persons and vehicles entering the park are subject to search for explosive or terrorist devices and illegal weapons.
- Competitive events are only permitted under a permit issued by the Superintendent in accordance with §2.50(a).
- Eating, drinking, chewing gum, and the use of smokeless tobacco products are prohibited in all buildings with the following exceptions:
- Established employee break rooms
- Education Room
- During activities under permit issued by the Superintendent.
The above public use limits are based upon a determination that such limits are necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety and the protection of natural and cultural resources.
- Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine is prohibited, except as approved in writing by the superintendent.
Definition: 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.
- The seawall is closed to all entry into or exit from the park. Standing on, sitting on, boat docking, fishing from, launching watercraft, crabbing, swimming or beachcombing from the seawall is prohibited.
- All administrative roads and trails are closed to motorized vehicles unless their operators have received appropriate authority from the Superintendent or his/her representative. This includes mopeds, motorized scooters and e-bikes that are operating under power of a motor. Handicapped visitors are authorized to use motorized wheelchairs or segways in these areas.
- Employee residences located at Fort McHenry NM&HS are closed to public access.
- Maintenance facilities and areas are closed to public access.
- Parking areas are closed to all buses other than those arriving loaded, with Fort McHenry NM&HS as a destination for their occupants.
- Parking areas are closed to all vehicles whose passengers leave the grounds for more than one hour.
- The Visitor Center, Star Fort, and grounds may be closed to entry by the general public carrying backpacks, daypacks, large handbags, packages, coolers, or other large containers. These items are subject to search and inspection for weapons or items hazardous to visitors or staff. These provisions address terrorist concerns following the attacks of September 11, 2001 and recent terrorist activity.
- The use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (VAPES, E-cigs, etc) is prohibited anywhere smoking is prohibited within the park (Buildings, Historic Zone, within 25 ft of any doorway)
- The park is closed to the following activities:
- Roller Skating (including inline skating)
- Motorized scooters
- Rock climbing
- Launching, landing or operating all unmanned aircraft
- Volleyball, badminton, soccer, lacrosse, and other net games
- Golf practice
- Lawn darts
- Winter Activities including sledding, skiing, snow boarding
- Organized games or team sports such as baseball, football, soccer, or variations of such games using Frisbees or similar devices
- Recreational type activities that involve leaving property behind or affixing items to park property for other visitors to discover. Ex- Geo-caches, letterboxing, munzee barcodes, etc. See also 36 CFR §2.22
- Other games or activities that damage park resources or present public safety hazards
- Competitive events are only permitted under a permit issued by the Superintendent in accordance with §2.50(a)
The above closures are based upon a determination that such closures are necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, the protection of environmental values, the protection of natural and cultural resources, the implementation of management responsibilities, the equitable allocation and use of facilities and the avoidance of conflict among visitor use activities.
(a)(2) The following areas are designated for a specific use or activity and/or the following conditions or restrictions are imposed on a specific use or activity:
- For purposes of regulation of activities within the Historic Zone as indicated on the attached map, the historic zone will be defined as the following: "The area within the split rail fence encompassing the Star Fort." Within the Historic Zone, the following activities are prohibited:
- Recreational Activities
- Using Bicycles/e-bikes or scooters/e-scooters
- Winter Activities
- Kite flying is restricted to the West Lawn as indicated on the attached map. Kite flyers and kites must remain in this area. Kites may not be tied to any cultural resource, natural resource, or any other object or left unattended. Kites must be under the physical control of the operator at all times.
- Ball throwing, Frisbee throwing, ball kicking and other similar activities are restricted to the West Lawn as indicated on the attached map. No nets, teams, bases, or goals are allowed to be in use while engaged in these activities.
- Non-motorized scooters are only permitted in the designated areas listed under 36 CFR §2.20 and prohibited within the historic zone as designated on the attached map.
- Motor vehicles must shut down their engines when not underway. This condition is adopted from Maryland State Vehicle Code § 21-1101 -- Unattended motor vehicle.
1. 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 involving five persons or fewer and equipment that will be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras.
2. 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 filming 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 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.
The above designations are based upon a determination that such conditions are necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, protection of environmental values, protection of natural or cultural resources and the equitable allocation and use of facilities.
Mask Wearing Requirements
Consistent with CDC guidance, masks are not required but you may choose to wear one. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask.
(a)(3) The following restrictions, limits, closures, designations, conditions, or visiting hour restrictions imposed under §(a)(1) or (2) have been terminated:
- Opening and closing hours have been modified to allow more time to visit the park.
36 CFR §1.6 — ACTIVITIES THAT REQUIRE A PERMIT
Activities requiring a permit are listed above under Public Use Limits and throughout this document under the specific 36 CFR Section that authorizes or requires the issuance of a permit.
Special events may be permitted provided there is a meaningful association between the park area and events, the observance contributes to visitor understanding of the significance of the park area and a permit has been issued by the superintendent. A special use permit may be permitted only if the activity has been judged by the superintendent not to cause any derogation of the values and purposes for which the park was established, unless directly and specifically authorized by Federal Law.
Special Recreation Permit Fee (Such as but not limited to, group activities, recreation events, and the use of motorized recreation vehicles):
- Special Use Permit Application Fee - $100
- Land use for parades, rallies, ceremonies, celebrations, and pageants. Initial or renewal requests to conduct an activity will be denied if the superintendent determines that the activity will be in derogation of the values and purposes for which the park was established or will be inconsistent with the park’s enabling legislation.
- All proposals for special events will be evaluated for:
- Consistency with applicable laws, executive orders, regulations and policies.
- Consistency with the existing plans for public use and resource management.
- Actual and potential effects on park resources and values.
- Total costs to the Service.
- Whether there is a meaningful association between the park area and the events.
- Whether the public interest will be served.
- When considering requests to hold special events such as but not limited to parades, meetings, entertainments, exhibitions, fairs, festivals, lectures, conferences, etc. The superintendent will be guided by 36 CFR parts 1 and 2, Directors Order #53 and the Management Policies for the NPS issued August 2006.
- Further the superintendent will consider the following factors before approving a special event:
- The effect of the proposed event on resources, operations and mission of the park.
- Park visitation at the time of the proposed event.
- The location requested
- Public safety considerations
- The time of year requested.
- The duration of the proposed event.
- The size (number of participants and/or observers) of the proposed event and associated equipment.
- Other, previously approved events
The primary concern of the superintendent is the impact of the proposed event on the cultural and natural resources and the impact on normal visitor operations and visitor experience. It may be possible to accommodate events at certain locations only before or after the public hours of the building. It may also be necessary to limit the size and/or duration of the proposed event in order to not interfere with public use or threaten park resources.
Past approval of similar special events by the park will not have a bearing on the approval process. Each request received must be evaluated individually for impacts to park resources and values and compliance with current statutes, regulations and policies.
(b) Entering designated entrance fee areas or using specialized sites, facilities, equipment or services, or participating in group activities, recreation events, or other specialized recreation uses for which recreation fees have been established without paying the required fees and possessing the applicable permit is prohibited. Violation of the terms and conditions of a permit issued in accordance with part 71 is prohibited and may result in suspension or revocation of the permit.
(c) The superintendent may, when in the public, interest, prescribe periods during which the collection of recreation fees shall be suspended.
Applications for Special Use permits can be obtained by emailing the Permit Office at e-mail us
Or by contacting the park at
Fort McHenry NM&HS
c/o: Permit Office
2400 East Fort Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21230
36 CFR §2.1 — PRESERVATION OF NATURAL, CULTURAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCES
(a)(4) Using or possessing wood gathered from within the park area is prohibited.
(a)(5) Walking on, climbing, entering, ascending, descending, or traversing an archaeological or cultural resource, monument, or statue is prohibited except in designated areas.
(a)(7) Possessing or using a mineral or metal detector, magnetometer, side scan sonar, other metal detecting device, or sub-bottom profiler is prohibited.
Under §2.1(a), collecting natural materials from the park is generally prohibited. However, pursuant to §2.1(c), the following fruits, nuts, berries or unoccupied seashells may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption, in accordance with the noted size, quantity, collection sites and/or possession and consumption restrictions:
- Crab apples, acorns, and pinecones may be gathered by hand from the ground for personal consumption. Two pecks per person per day may be gathered. Leaves and pinecones may be collected from the ground for educational purposes. Tree climbing is prohibited.
36 CFR §2.2 - WILDLIFE PROTECTION
(a) The following are prohibited:
(1) The taking of wildlife is prohibited.
(2) The feeding, touching, teasing frightening or intentional disturbing of wildlife nesting, breeding or other activities.
(b) Hunting and trapping is prohibited.
(c) Hunting restrictions are to be coordinated with appropriate State agency.
(d) Transporting wildlife through the park is prohibited.
(e) Use of an artificial light for purposes of viewing wildlife is prohibited.
36 CFR §2.3 — FISHING
(a) Fishing is not allowed within the boundaries of the park.
36 CFR §2.4 — WEAPONS, TRAPS, AND NETS
Pursuant to 18 USC § 930, firearms are prohibited in Federal facilities. Federal facilities are marked with signs at public entrances.
Pursuant to 54 USC 104906, park visitors may carry firearms in the park if they are otherwise in compliance with Federal, State, and local laws.
Traps and nets are prohibited except as permitted by the Superintendent or his/her designee.
CFR §2.5 — RESEARCH SPECIMENS
Taking plants, fish, wildlife, rocks or minerals is prohibited except in accordance with 36 CFR chapter 1 or the terms and conditions of a specimen collection permit pursuant to § 2.5(a).
36 CFR §2.10 — CAMPING and FOOD STORAGE
Camping is not allowed within the boundaries of the park.
36 CFR §2.11 — PICNICKING
As listed in 36 CFR § 1.5 of this document, picnicking is prohibited within the Historic Zone (designated on the attached map) of the park.
36 CFR §2.12 — AUDIO DISTURBANCES
The following are prohibited:
(1) Operating motorized equipment, machinery, audio device, or musical instrument in a manner that makes unreasonable noise. Idling bus engines when parked is prohibited.
(2) Operating a power saw in developed areas is prohibited, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit.
(3) Operating any type of portable motor or engine, or device powered by a portable motor or engine in non-developed areas is prohibited, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit.
(4) Operating a public address system is prohibited, except in connection with a public gathering or special event for which a permit has been issued pursuant to §§ 2.50 or 2.51.
36 CFR §2.13 — FIRES
The following are prohibited
(1) Lighting or maintaining of fires is prohibited, except when authorized by the Superintendent.
(2) Use of stoves or lanterns is prohibited, except when authorized by the Superintendent.
36 CFR §2.14 — SANITATION and REFUSE
(a)The following are prohibited
(1) Disposing of refuse in other than refuse receptacles.
(2) Using park refuse receptacles or facilities for dumping household, commercial or industrial refuse is prohibited.
(b) Conditions for the disposal, containerization, or carryout of human body waste have been established as follows:
- All waste must be disposed of in designated human waste facilities.
36 CFR §2.15 — PETS
(a) The following are prohibited.
(1) Possessing pets in public buildings, public transportation vehicles, swimming beaches, and the following structures and/or areas is prohibited.
- Pets are not permitted in the Historic Zone. Pets may be walked in other parts of the park, including the Seawall Trail, but must be kept on a leash not to exceed six feet in length.
- This restriction does not apply to service animals. The NPS will use the same definition of service animal currently found in DOJ regulations 28 CFR 36.104 and will not rely on 36 CFR 2.15. Service animals will be allowed wherever visitors or employees are allowed when accompanying a person with a disability.
(2) Failing to crate, cage, restrain on a leash which shall not exceed six feet in length, or otherwise physically confine a pet at all times.
(3) Leaving a pet unattended and tied to an object is prohibited.
(4) Allowing a pet to make noise that is unreasonable considering location, time of day or night, impact on park users, and other relevant factors, or that frightens wildlife by barking, howling, or making other noise.
(5) Pet excrement must be disposed of in accordance with the following conditions.
- Owners/handlers shall collect and place pet excrement in an appropriate refuse container.
(b) The use of dogs in support of hunting is not allowed within the park.
(c) Pets or feral animals that are running-at-large and observed by an authorized person in the act of killing, injuring or molesting humans, livestock, or wildlife may be destroyed if necessary for the public safety or protection of wildlife, livestock, or other park resources.
(d) Pets running-at-large may be impounded, and the owner may be charged reasonable fees for kennel or boarding cost, feed, veterinarian fees, transportation cost, and disposal. An impounded pet may be put up for adoption or otherwise disposed of after being held for 72 hours from the time the owner was notified of capture or 72 hours from the time of capture if the owner is unknown.
(e) Pets may be kept by park residents under the following conditions:
- Pets may be kept by residents of government quarters in accordance with park pet policy
36 CFR §2.16 — HORSES and PACK ANIMALS
The use of horses or pack animals is prohibited except with written permission from the Superintendent. No trails, routes, or areas are designated for their use.
36 CFR §2.17 — AIRCRAFT and AIR DELIVERY
The removal of a downed aircraft, components, or parts thereof is subject to procedures established by the Superintendent through written authorization.
36 CFR §2.18 — SNOWMOBILES
The use of snowmobiles is prohibited.
36 CFR §2.19 — WINTER ACTIVITIES
(a) Skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, sledding, inner tubing, tobogganing, and similar winter sports are prohibited on park roads and in parking areas open to motor vehicle traffic.
- Winter Activities are prohibited within the Historic Zone
(b) The towing of persons on skis, sleds, or other sliding devices by motor vehicle or snowmobile is prohibited.
36 CFR §2.20 — SKATING, SKATEBOARDS and SIMILAR DEVICES
Using roller skates, skateboards, roller skis, coasting vehicles, or similar devices is prohibited. Non-motorized scooters are permitted on administrative roads, sidewalks and or gravel areas except as noted under closed areas. Limitations are necessary for visitor safety along roadways and to avoid conflicts with other park users.
- As listed under 36 CFR § 1.5(a)(2) of this document, non-motorized scooters are prohibited in the Historic Zone.
Non-motorized Scooter use is permitted on the following administrative roads and trails:
- Seawall Trail
- Orpheus Trail
36 CFR §2.21 — SMOKING
(a) The superintendent may designate a portion of a park area, or all or a portion of a building, structure or facility as closed to smoking when necessary to protect park resources, reduce the risk of fire, or prevent conflicts among visitor use activities. Smoking in an area or location so designated is prohibited.
In accordance with Executive Order #13058, the smoking of tobacco products and the use of ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems) is prohibited within all interior spaces owned, rented, or leased by the federal government, including visitors and visitor contact stations, and in any outdoor areas within 25 feet of air intake ducts (including doors, windows, etc.). In addition, the following portions of the park are closed to smoking as noted:
The following portions of the park, or all or portions of buildings, structures or facilities are closed to smoking as noted:
- Smoking and ENDS use is prohibited within of all park buildings, including in the Star Fort buildings.
- Smoking and ENDS use is prohibited while attending interpretive programs.
- Smoking and ENDS use is prohibited at fuel and flammable storage areas.
These restrictions are consistent with federal law and have been determined to protect park resources, reduce the risk of fire, and prevent conflicts among visitor use activities.
36 CFR §2.22 — PROPERTY
(a) The following are prohibited.
(1) Abandoning property.
(2) Leaving property unattended for longer than 24 hours is prohibited, except with the permission of the Superintendent.
(3) Failing to turn in found property to the superintendent as soon as practicable.
(b) Impoundment of property.
(1) Property determined to be left unattended in excess of an allowed period of time may be impounded by the superintendent.
(2) Unattended property that interferes with visitor safety, orderly management of the park area or presents a threat to park resources may be impounded by the superintendent at any time.
(3) Found or impounded property shall be inventoried to determine ownership and safeguard personal property.
(4) The owner of record is responsible and liable for charges to the person who has removed, stored, or otherwise disposed of property impounded pursuant to this section; or the superintendent may assess the owner reasonable fees for the impoundment and storage of property impounded pursuant to this section.
36 CFR §2.23 — RECREATION FEES
(a) Recreation fees, and/or a permit, in accordance with 36 CFR part 71, are established for the following entrance fee areas, and/or for the use of the following specialized sites, facilities, equipment or services, or for participation in the following group activity, recreation events or specialized recreation uses:
Entrance Fee Areas:
• The 2004 Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) is the authority under which a recreation fee is authorized to be charged to enter the historic area of Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.
- Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine may collect fees in the following ways in accordance with RM-22:
- On site transactions occur in the park visitor center where guests intending to enter the historic zone will be screened individually to determine their category for entrance fee purposes.
- Online Payments are accepted through Recreation.gov, which allows for the digital sale of daily entrances and annual Fort McHenry passes.
- Credit cards and mobile payments are the only accepted payments at Fort McHenry. Credit cards include VISA, MASTERCARD, DISCOVER, AMERICAN EXPRESS, and JCB for payment of entrance fees and purchase of passes.
- Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine has entered into a third-party agreement to allow the Evelyn Hill Inc. to sell daily park entry passes in the park bookstore. Visitors wishing to pay cash may use this option for their daily entry.
Types of Entry:
- Adult Daily Fee (16 years of age and older) - $15.00 — (Seven-day pass)
- Children (15 years of age and younger) — free
- Fort McHenry Annual Pass (pass covers the pass holder, plus three additional adults for one calendar year after purchase) - $45.00
America The Beautiful Pass Program:
- In accordance with FLREA and RM-22, Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine may accept America The Beautiful (ATB) passes as forms of entry into the Historic Zone. ATB passes cover the daily entry for the pass holder plus three adults. In addition, Fort McHenry is authorized to sell ATB passes at the following prices:
- Senior Pass — Lifetime - (62 years of age+) - $80.00
- Senior Pass --- Annual – (62 years of age +) - $20.00
- Access Pass — Lifetime — free
- Interagency Annual Pass - $80.00
- Military Annual Pass — Active-Duty Military and Spouses — free
- Military Lifetime Pass – Veterans and Gold Star Families – free
- Every Kid Outdoors Pass – 4th Grade Students with Approved Voucher – free
Fee Exemptions, Waivers, and Suspensions:
- Fee Exemptions
- Per 2006 NPS Management Policies, Section 8.2.6.I Recreation Fees, those who lawfully enter or us a park for activities not related to recreation will not be charged an entrance fee, expanded amenity fee, or special recreation permit fee. The park superintendent can determine when visitors are eligible for a fee exemption.
- Academic Fee Waivers
- Educational groups may apply for an Academic Fee Waiver to receive a fee exemption. Through the park’s fee waiver process, educational groups will have to prove three criteria: eligibility (that the group is a bona fide academic institution), educational purpose, and relevance of park resources/facilities. The park superintendent or employees given written authority by the superintendent may approve these fee waivers.
- Fee Suspensions
- Per Director’s Order 22, Section 8.2 Fee Suspensions, the Superintendent may suspend fees in an emergency, natural disaster, planned event, or whenever it is not feasible to collect fees.
- Fee Free Days
- Per Director’s Order 22, The NPS will annually observe National Public Lands Day and Veterans Day as fee-free days. Other fee-free days may be designated by the President or Department of the Interior.
- All groups that enter the Historic Zone at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine are subject to $15 per-person fee for all adults 16 and older. ATB and park annual passes are accepted per the instructions on the pass.
Commercial Tour Groups:
- Commercial tour groups are defined as groups that consist of one or more persons traveling on an itinerary that has been packaged, priced, or sold for leisure or recreational purposes by an organization that realizes financial gain through the provision of the service.
- Commercial tour groups may operate in the park if they have been approved through the park’s Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) process for that calendar year.
- Commercial tour groups that enter the Historic Zone at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine are subject to $15 per-person fee for all adults 16 and older. ATB and park annual passes are accepted per the instructions on the pass. So long as the group is operating under a valid CUA, the tour group employees (tour guides, bus drivers, etc.) are not charged the admission fee.
36 CFR §2.35 —ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES and CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
The following public use areas, portions of public use areas, and/or public facilities within the park are closed to consumption of alcoholic beverages, and/or to the possession of a bottle, can or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or has been opened, or whose seal has been broken or the contents of which have been partially removed:
- The Historic Zone as designated on the attached map
This closure is implemented following the determination that the consumption and possession of alcohol in the Historic Zone would be inappropriate considering other uses of the location and the purpose for which it is maintained and was established.
36 CFR §2.37 — NONCOMMERCIAL SOLICITING
Soliciting or demanding gifts, money, goods or services is prohibited except pursuant to the terms and conditions or a permit that has been issued under §2.50, §2.51, or §2.52.
36 CFR §2.38 — EXPLOSIVES
(a) Using, possessing, storing, or transporting explosives, blasting agents or explosive materials is prohibited, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit. When permitted, the use possession, storage and transportation shall be in accordance with applicable Federal and State law.
(b) Fireworks, firecrackers, and sparklers may be possessed and/or used in the following areas, under the conditions noted:
- Using, possessing, storing, or transporting explosives, blasting agents or explosive materials is prohibited, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit. When permitted, the use, possession, storage and transportation shall be in accordance with applicable Federal, state, and local laws.
36 CFR §2.50 — SPECIAL EVENTS
(a) Sports events, pageants, regattas, public spectator attractions, entertainments, ceremonies, and similar events are allowed, provided there is a meaningful association between the park area and the events, and the observance contributes to visitor understanding of the significance of the park area, and a permit therefor has been issued by the Superintendent.
36 CFR §2.51 -- DEMONSTRATIONS
(b) Demonstrations of more than 25 people are allowed within designated park areas when the Superintendent has issued a permit for the activity.
(c)(2) The following locations are designated as available for demonstrations:
- The area of West Lawn, as indicated on the attached map. This area is in prominent view of the visiting public and will not interfere with public access to the park.
- The area of the East Lawn adjacent to the Star Fort Trail, as indicated on the attached map. This area is in prominent view of the visiting public and will not interfere with public access to the park.
36 CFR §2.52 — SALE OR DISTRIBUTION OF PRINTED MATTER
(a) Printed Matter. The term “printed matter” means message-bearing textual printed material such as books, pamphlets, magazines, and leaflets, provided that is not solely commercial advertising.
(b) The sale or distribution of printed matter by 25 people or less is allowed within the park areas designated as available under §2.51(c)(2) . The sale or distribution of printed matter by more than 25 persons is allowed within designated park areas when the Superintendent has issued a permit.
- These activities are allowed in the areas designated for first amendment activities; West Field and the area east of the Visitor Center, as indicated on the attached map.
(c) Application for permit. (See full 36 CFR §2.51(c) for permit requirements).
(2) The date, time, duration, nature, and place of the proposed event.
36 CFR §2.61 — RESIDING ON FEDERAL LANDS
(a) Residing in park areas, other than on privately owned lands, is prohibited except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit lease or contract.
36 CFR §2.62 — MEMORIALIZATION
(b) The scattering of human ashes from cremation is prohibited at Fort McHenry NM&HS, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit issued by the Superintendent.
36 CFR 3.3 — VESSEL PERMITS
No access to the park via water vessel is allowed except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit.
36 CFR 3.17 — SWIMMING AND BATHING
(a) No access to the water for swimming, bathing, or other aquatic recreation is allowed from the park.
36 CFR §4.2 — STATE LAW APPLICABLE
(a) Unless specifically addressed by regulations in this chapter, 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.
(b) Violating a provision of State law is prohibited.
36 CFR §4.10 TRAVEL ON PARK ROADS AND DESIGNATED ROUTES
(a) Operating a motor vehicle is prohibited except on park roads, in parking areas and on routes and areas designated for off-road motor vehicle use.
(b) Routes and areas designated for off-road motor vehicle use shall be promulgated as special regulations. The designation of routes and areas shall comply with § 1.5 of this chapter and Executive Order 11644 (3 CFR, 1971-1975 Comp., p. 666). Routes and areas may be designated only in national recreation areas, national seashores, national lakeshores and national preserves.
(c) The following are prohibited:
(1) Operating a motor vehicle not equipped with pneumatic tires, except that a track-laying motor vehicle or a motor vehicle equipped with a similar traction device may be operated on a route designated for these vehicles by the superintendent.
(2) Operating a motor vehicle in a manner that causes unreasonable damage to the surface of a park road or route.
(3) Operating a motor vehicle on a route or area designated for off-road motor vehicle use, from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise, without activated headlights and taillights that meet the requirements of State law for operation on a State highway.
36 CFR §4.11 – VEHICLE LOAD, WEIGHT AND SIZE LIMITS
(a) The following load, weight and size limits, which are more restrictive than State law, apply to the roads indicated under the terms and conditions, and/or under permit as noted:
- Seawall Trail – 19,000 pound gross vehicle weight limit
36 CFR §4.12 — TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES
Failure to comply with the directions of a traffic control device is prohibited unless otherwise directed by the superintendent.
36 CFR §4.13 — OBSTRUCTING TRAFFIC
(a) Stopping or parking a vehicle upon a park road, except as authorized by the superintendent, or in the event of an accident or other condition beyond the control of the operator is prohibited.
(b) Operating a vehicle so slowly as to interfere with the normal flow of traffic is prohibited.
36 CFR §4.20 — RIGHT OF WAY
An operator of a motor vehicle shall yield the right of way to pedestrians, saddle and pack animals and vehicles drawn by animals. Failure to yield the right of way is prohibited.
36 CFR §4.21 — SPEED LIMITS
(b) The following speed limits are established for the roads indicated:
- Main Road — 15mph
- Seawall Trail — 10mph (Seawall Trail is the name of the administrative road)
36 CFR §4.22 — UNSAFE OPERATION
(a) The elements of this section constitute offenses that are less serious than reckless driving. The offense of reckless driving is defined by State law and violations are prosecuted pursuant to the provisions of section 4.2 of this chapter.
(b) The following are prohibited:
(1) Operating a motor vehicle without due care or at a speed greater than that which is reasonable and prudent considering wildlife, traffic, weather, road and light conditions and road character.
(2) Operating a motor vehicle in a manner which unnecessarily causes its tires to squeal, skid or break free of the road surface.
(3) Failing to maintain that degree of control of a motor vehicle necessary to avoid danger to persons, property or wildlife.
(4) Operating a motor vehicle while allowing a person to ride:
(i) On or within any vehicle, trailer or other mode of conveyance towed behind the motor vehicle unless specifically designed for carrying passengers while being towed; or
(ii) On any exterior portion of the motor vehicle not designed or intended for the use of a passenger. This restriction does not apply to a person seated on the floor of a truck bed equipped with sides, unless prohibited by State law.
36 CFR §4.30 — BICYCLES
(a) The use of a bicycle/e-bikes is permitted on park roads and in parking areas that are otherwise open for motor vehicle use by the general public.
- As listed under 36 CFR § 1.5(a)(2) of this document, bicycles are prohibited in the Historic Zone.
(b) Bicycle use is permitted on the following administrative roads and trails:
- Seawall Trail
- Orpheus Trail
(d) Adding bicycle use to existing trails (N/A – bicycle use is established at Fort McHenry NM&HS)
(e) Adding bicycle use to new trails (N/A -see 36 CFR §4.30 for new trail requirements)
(f) Closure and use restrictions.
(1) Bicycles and E-Bikes are allowed on the following administrative roads and trails.
- Main Road
- Seawall Trail (administrative road)
- Orpheus Trail
(2) Bicycles and E-Bikes are prohibited on the following trails
- Ravelin Trail
- Visitor Center-Star Fort Trail
(g) Other Requirements.
(1) A person operating a bicycle on any park road, parking area, administrative road or designated trail is subject to all sections of this part that apply to an operator of a motor vehicle, except §§ 4.4, 4.10, 4.11, 4.14, and 4.15.
(2) Unless specifically addressed by regulations in this chapter, the use of a bicycle within a park area is governed by State law. State law concerning bicycle use that is now or may later be in effect is adopted and made a part of this section.
(h) Prohibited Acts. The following are prohibited:
(1) Bicycle riding off of park roads and parking areas, except on administrative roads and trails that have been authorized for bicycle use.
(2) Possessing a bicycle in a wilderness area established by Federal statute.
(3) Operating a bicycle during periods of low visibility, or while traveling through a tunnel, or between sunset and sunrise, without exhibiting on the operator or bicycle a white light or reflector that is visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and with a red light or reflector that is visible from at least 200 feet to the rear.
(4) Operating a bicycle abreast of another bicycle except where authorized by the superintendent.
(5) Operating a bicycle while consuming an alcoholic beverage or carrying in hand an open container of an alcoholic beverage.
(6) Any violation of State law adopted by this section.
(i) Electric Bicycles
(1) The use of an electric bicycle may be allowed on park roads, parking areas, and administrative roads and trails that are otherwise open to bicycles. The Superintendent will designate the areas open to electric bicycles, or specific classes of electric bicycles, and notify the public pursuant to 36 CFR 1.7.
- Main Road
- Seawall Trail
- Orpheus Trail
(2) The use of an electric bicycle is prohibited in locations not designated by the Superintendent under paragraph (i)(1) of this section.
(3) Except where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, using the electric motor exclusively to move an electric bicycle for an extended period of time without pedaling is prohibited.
(4) Possessing an electric bicycle in a wilderness area established by Federal statute is prohibited.
(5) A person operating or possessing an electric bicycle is subject to the following sections of this part that apply to bicycles: §§ 4.12, 4.13, 4.20, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23, and 4.30(h)(3)-(5).
(6) Except as specified in this chapter, the use of an electric bicycle is governed by State law, which is adopted and made a part of this section. Any act in violation of State law adopted by this paragraph is prohibited.
(7) Superintendents may limit or restrict or impose conditions on electric bicycle use, or may close any park road, parking area, administrative road, trail, or portion thereof to such electric bicycle use, or terminate such condition, closure, limit or restriction after:
(i) Taking into consideration public health and safety, natural and cultural resource protection, and other management activities and objectives; and
(ii) Notifying the public through one or more methods listed in 36 CFR 1.7, including in the superintendent's compendium (or written compilation) of discretionary actions referred to in 36 CFR 1.7(b).
36 CFR §4.31 — HITCHHIKING
Hitchhiking or soliciting transportation is prohibited.
36 CFR §5.1 - ADVERTISEMENTS
Commercial notices or advertisements shall not be displayed, posted, or distributed on federally owned or controlled lands within a park area unless prior written permission has been given by the Superintendent.
36 CFR §5.3 — BUSINESS OPERATIONS
Engaging in or soliciting any business in park areas requires a permit, contract or other written agreement with the United States, or must be specifically authorized under special regulations
36 CFR §5.5 – COMERCIAL FILMING, STILL PHOTOGRAPHY AND AUDIO RECORDING
(a) Commercial filming and still photography activities are subject to the provisions of 43 CFR part 5, subpart A. Failure to comply with any provision of 43 CFR part 5 is a violation of this section.
(b) Audio recording does not require a permit unless:
(1) It takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed;
(2) It uses equipment that requires mechanical transport;
(3) It uses equipment that requires an external power source other than a battery pack; or
(4) The agency would incur additional administrative costs to provide management and oversight of the permitted activity to:
(i) Avoid unacceptable impacts and impairment to resources or values; or
(ii) Minimize health or safety risks to the visiting public.
(c) Cost recovery charges associated with processing the permit request and monitoring the permitted activity will be collected.
(d) The location fee schedule for still photography conducted under a permit issued under 43 CFR part 5 applies to audio recording permits issued under this part.
(e) Information collection. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirements associated with National Park Service commercial filming permits and assigned OMB Control Number 1024-0026. Your response is required to obtain or retain a benefit. We may not collect or sponsor and you are not required to respond to an information collection unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. You may send comments on this information collection requirement to the Information Collection Clearance Officer, National Park Service, 1849 C Street, Washington, DC 20240.
36 CFR §5.6 - COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
(a) The term “Commercial vehicle” as used in this section shall include, but not be limited to trucks, station wagons, pickups, passenger cars or other vehicles when used in transporting movable property for a fee or profit, either as a direct charge to another person, or otherwise, or used as an incident to providing services to another person, or used in connection with any business.
(b) The use of government roads within park areas by commercial vehicles, when such use is in no way connected with the operation of the park area, is prohibited, except that in emergencies the Superintendent may grant permission to use park roads.
(c) The Superintendent shall issue permits for commercial vehicles used on park area roads when such use is necessary for access to private lands situated within or adjacent to the park area, to which access is otherwise not available.
36 CFR §5.7 — CONSTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS OR OTHER FACILITIES
Such activities, including the use of tents, canopies, and other ground penetration, are prohibited, except in accordance with the provisions of a valid permit, contract, or other written agreement with the United States.