Laws & Policies

Superintendent's Compendium

The Superintendent's Compendium is the summary of park specific rules implemented under Title 36 CFR. It serves as a 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's Beaver Valley Unit and New Castle Sheriff's House locations.

The Compendium is reviewed annually and revised as necessary. The park welcomes comments about its programs and activities at any time. Written comments on the Compendium may be submitted to the park through the mail.

The Compendium is in effect as of December 12, 2016 and will remain effective until revised by the superintendent.
2017 Superintendent's Compendium

Aircraft & Drones

Operating or using aircrafts on any land or water within the boundary of the park is prohibited.

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Alcohol Use/Possessions

The consumption of alcoholic beverages, and/or the possession of a bottle, can, or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, has been opened, whose seal has been broken or the contents of which have been partially removed is strictly prohibited with in the boundaries of the park.

It is illegal to be in the park when under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. The possession of alcoholic beverages by a minor (less than 21 years old) is prohibited.

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The use of any off-highway vehicle (OHV), all-terrain vehicles (ATV), utility vehicles, or other motorized conveyance manufactures for recreational non-highway, off-road, or all-terrain travel regardless of registration status is prohibited off-road within the park boundaries.
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The use of bicycles is allowed within the park boundaries and must adhere to the following guidelines:
  • Maintain control of your bicycle at all times.
  • Be considerate to other trail users and yield to other users in the following manor
    • A bicyclist must yield to a pedestrian
    • A bicyclist must yield to an equestrian
    • A bicyclist traveling downhill must yield to a bicyclist traveling up hill
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Camping is only permitted at park sponsored events or by special use permits. The park closes at sunset, and no campsites are available within the park boundaries.

Carry In, Carry Out

There are no trash cans located within the boundaries of the park. We follow a "carry in, carry out" policy. This means that you are responsible to take any trash/litter you bring in, or create while in the park with you when you leave. Failing to take your trash with you is prohibited and may result in a fine.
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The lighting or maintaining of fires is prohibited within the park boundaries, except in contained grills, portable stoves, and portable barbecues at the Smith Bridge Picnic Area.
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Fishing is permitted in accordance with Delaware State Law. Fishing is prohibited in the park within 100ft of any swimmer.
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Hiking and Pedestrian Use

Hiking and pedestrian use is restricted to the trails and walkways designated and identified on the Beaver Valley Trail Map. Leaving the trail or walkway to shortcut between portions of the same trail or walkway is prohibited. Public use or entry into any enclosed horse pasture, or crossing agricultural fields is prohibited.
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Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is permitted on the designated trails and grass strips along the side of the road frontage throughout the boundaries of the park. However, there is no parking available for horse trailers within the park.


Hunting and trapping is prohibited within park boundaries.
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Parking is only available at a first come, first serve basis in the designated lots. Parking anywhere outside of the designated lots, or designated parking spaces is prohibited.

The northern end of Smith Bridge Parking lot is designated for unloading and loading watercrafts. Parking in this designated area longer then 15 minuets is prohibited, and may result being towed at the owners expense or fined.
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Pets must be leashed (six feet or less) or otherwise physically restrained at all times. Leaving your pet unattended or tied to an object is prohibited. You are responsible to pick up after your pet, failing to do so is prohibited and may result in a fine.
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Picnicking is permitted at the Smith Bridge Picnic Area and available on a first come, first served basis. Picnicking is prohibited on any land leased to a 3rd party, unless expressively identified as a picnic area. Gas generators are prohibited within park boundaries. There are no trash cans available at the picnic area or anywhere else within park boundaries. Visitors are required to follow a carry in, carry out policy meaning you are responsible to take any litter or trash with you when you leave, failure to do so is prohibited and may result in a fine.
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Resource Protection

Walking on, climbing, entering, ascending, descending, or traversing an archeological, cultural resource, monument, or statue is prohibited. All trail users are prohibited from going off the designated trial path.

The collecting of natural materials such as, edible species of fruits, nuts, mushrooms and berries by hand for daily consumption which does not exceed one pint, per person, per day is permitted. The collection of all other natural materials including but not limited to: fire wood, mica, and other minerals is strictly prohibited within the park boundaries.
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Things That Require a Permit

Permits are required for activities such as scientific research and collecting, commercial photography/filming, commercial tours and activities, etc. Please see the Superintendent's Compendium for a complete list of activities and events that require a permit.

Last updated: December 28, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

New Castle Court House Museum
Attn: First State NHP
211 Delaware Street

New Castle, DE 19720


(302) 544-6363
This phone number is not staffed. You can leave a message on the park's main phone number (302-544-6363) and we will return your call as soon as possible. If you are visiting one of the seven sites, and need specific information, please refer to the "Places to Go" page for phone numbers and addresses of each site.

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