Friendship Hill is the historic home and property of Albert Gallatin. Albert Gallatin started construction of his home in 1789, and he would make several additions to it while he owned Friendship Hill. Later owners would add even more to the house, creating the complex of today. The Albert Gallatin House sits on 600+ acres of land that once served as farm, orchard, and forest for the Gallatin family.

Today, Friendship Hill’s iconic park setting draws thousands of visitors each year, many who create new memories here. And sometimes, those people wish to record their memories here by having photographs taken in the park. Many people use Friendship Hill National Historic Site as the backdrops to memories. But this can sometime lead to situations and problems that can easily be prevented by following the information below.

Anyone who anticipates their use of the park will be beyond what is generally allowed for the public must apply for a permit. For more information about acquiring a permit please consult the section “Ensuring filming or still photography is compliant” below.


Commercial and Non-commercial Filming

  • All commercial filming activities taking place within a unit of the National Park System require a permit. Commercial filming is defined as: “the film, electronic, magnetic, digital, or other recording of a moving image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience with the intent of generating income”.
  • Non-commercial filming may require a permit if it is necessary to manage the activity to protect park resources and values while minimizing conflict between user groups or to ensure public safety. Examples of non-commercial filming include, but are not limited to, filming for tourism bureaus, convention and visitor bureaus, and student filming. In most cases, a permit is not necessary for visitors engaging in casual, non-commercial filming.

Are Video filmers still required to pay fees to film in parks?

Under the interim guidance issued on January 22, 2021, the National Park Service is not collecting application or location fees, or cost recovery for filming activities.


Still Photography

Still photography may be done at Friendship Hill National Historic Site by both visitors and paid photographers. However, a permit is required if any of the following are needed:

  1. the activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed; or
  2. the activity uses model(s)*, set(s)**, or prop(s)**/*** that are not a part of the location's natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities; or
  3. the park service would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity.

*Model means: “a person or object that serves as the subject for commercial filming or still photography for the purpose of promoting the sale or use of a product or service. Models include, but are not limited to, individuals, animals, or inanimate objects, such as vehicles, boats, articles of clothing, and food and beverage products, placed on agency lands so that they may be filmed or photographed to promote the sale or use of a product or service. For the purposes of this part, portrait subjects such as wedding parties and high school graduates are not considered models, if the image will not be used to promote or sell a product or service”. (43 CFR 5.12)

**Sets and props means: “items constructed or placed on agency lands to facilitate commercial filming or still photography including, but not limited to, backdrops, generators, microphones, stages, lighting banks, camera tracks, vehicles specifically designed to accommodate camera or recording equipment, rope and pulley systems, and rigging for climbers and structures. Sets and props also include trained animals and inanimate objects, such as camping equipment, campfires, wagons, and so forth, when used to stage a specific scene. The use of a camera on a tripod, without the use of any other equipment, is not considered a prop”. (43 CFR 5.12)

***A bride holding a bouquet or a child holding a pumpkin is not a prop. The use of items such as: furniture, chairs, flowers, stands, stools in conjunction with other items may be considered creating a set.


Federal Public Lands, Federal Law, and the Superintendent’s Compendium

Friendship Hill National Historic Site is federal property and federal laws apply. Please make sure filming and still photography follows all applicable laws while at Friendship Hill National Historic Site. The Superintendent’s Compendium may further define limits to federal law, but may also outline variances from federal prohibitions at Friendship Hill National Historic Site and the reasons for the variance.

Examples of activities or items that are prohibited on Federal properties include (but not limited to):

  • Fireworks, incendiary devices, or fires
  • Launching, landing, or use of drones
  • Possession or consumption of alcohol.

Aside from Federal Laws, please also consult the Superintendent’s Compendium to ensure compliance. If you have any questions, please consult the section “Ensuring filming or still photography is compliant” below.

Friendship Hill National Historic Site’s visitor rules

  • Vehicles should be parked in marked parking lots only, not along the side of the road, in front of any gates, or in any of the fields. Please keep vehicles to the marked parking lots to avoid hindering the traffic of other visitors or emergency services, and to prevent damage the natural resources. Parking in the road to photograph a vehicle is prohibited. If photography equipment is needed for a photoshoot, it will need to be carried from the nearest designated visitor parking lot. Vehicle access on the knoll is allowed for visitors with disabilities, authorized personnel, and government vehicles. The vehicle gate at historic knoll at the Gallatin House is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The historic knoll is accessible by foot traffic in between the times of sunrise and sunset.
  • Commercial filming, non-commercial filming, and still photography should not hinder another group’s visit or park operations. This includes other film and still photography groups that may be on the property. Be mindful of the surroundings and other visitors. There are times when there will be large groups of people on the property having photos taken, such as the when the local schools have Prom and Homecoming. Visitor facilities are open on a first come, first served basis unless a permit has been issued.
  • Follow the Leave No Trace Principles during your visit. Please remove all equipment, materials, and refuse when leaving. This helps keep the park clean, but also helps to ensure that this land is preserved for future generations. Gender reveal photoshoots have gained a reputation for creating a lot of waste, please be mindful of the Leave No Trace Principles. Not only should Leave No Trace Principles be followed during the visit but kept in mind when planning the photography session.
  • Friendship Hill National Historic Site is opened to the public from sunrise until sunset.

If you have any questions, please consult the section “Ensuring filming or still photography is compliant” below.

Special Allowances for Permitted Weddings at Friendship Hill

The rules and regulations listed above apply for all wedding party photoshoots. However, weddings that are held at Friendship Hill National Historic Site and have been issued a Special Use Permit, there are some allowances:

  1. All of what is written above is to be followed unless explicitly written in this section.
  2. Two (2) vehicles may be allowed to be parked in the parking lot on the knoll for the photoshoot, the rest must be parked in the main visitor parking lot. The first allowed vehicle is for the photographer, the other is to be used to shuttle any party members or for vehicle access to a disabled person. Large vehicles such as limousines or “party buses” are not allowed on the historic knoll as the parking lot is small with very little room to turn around.
  3. Photos may not be taken inside the Gallatin House.

Ensuring filming or still photography is compliant

If you have any questions about an upcoming filming opportunity, photoshoot, or will require a Special Use Permit, please call 724-329-2501. You can also email the Special Use Permit Coordinator or Site Manager.


Application Forms

You can download Applications for Commercial Filming/Still Photography Permits here. We strongly suggest you contact the park before submitting the non-refundable application fee.

Last updated: September 14, 2023

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

c/o Fort Necessity NB
1 Washington Parkway

Farmington, PA 15437


724 329-2501

Contact Us