Laws & Policies


Rules & Regulations

Below is a selection of park rules and regulations. For more information, see the Superintendent's Compendium which is a summary of park-specific rules implemented under the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 36, Chapter 1 which cover all National Park Service lands.

Violators are brought before the U.S. District Courts in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and are punishable by fine or imprisonment.


Taking nuts, berries, and apples for personal use only is permitted if gathered only by hand and do not exceed a half-gallon per person per day. Collecting mushrooms is prohibited.

No other natural, cultural, or archeological resources or features may be disturbed or removed from the park. Relic hunting is prohibited. Possession of a metal detector in the park is unlawful.

Commercial Filming / Still Photography /Audio Recording

For more information please visit this url: eCFR :: 43 CFR Part 5 -- Commercial Filming and Similar Projects and Still Photography on Certain Areas Under Department Jurisdiction

Firearms & Other Weapons

Firearms in national parks »

It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearm laws before entering this park. As a starting point for Iowa, please see the Iowa Code, Chapter 724.

Lost & Found

Property may not be left unattended longer than 24 hours. Found property must be turned in to the Visitor Center or nearest park ranger.


Pets are allowed in the park, but must be physically restrained at all times. Leashes may not exceed six feet in length. Pets, except service animals, are prohibited in buildings and may not be tied to objects and left unattended.

Pet excrement must be immediately collected by the pet handler and removed from the site or deposited in an appropriate waste container.


Certain activities, like commercial photography, weddings, or special events require a permit.

Recreational Activites

Organized activities prohibited in the historic core, loop road, and gravesite areas include, but are not limited to, kite-flying, ball-playing, Frisbee-throwing, sledding, tobogganing, tubing, etc.

Motor vehicles must remain on paved roads and parking areas. Bicycles are permitted on paved roads normally open to the public, sidewalks, boardwalks and parking areas. All trails and service roads are closed to bicycles.

Picnicking is allowed only at the park picnic shelters and on the Village Green.

Loud playing of radios, tape recorders, musical instruments, CD players, or other audio devices is prohibited. This also includes loud motor vehicles, motorized toys, generators, and other noise-making devices.

The use of skateboards, roller skates, roller skis, coasting vehicles or similar devices is prohibited throughout the park.


Smoking is prohibited in all park buildings and within the tallgrass prairie.

Trash & Littering

Littering or other dumping of refuse is prohibited. Use of park dumpsters for discarding household trash is prohibited.


Hunting, trapping, touching, feeding, teasing, or otherwise disturbing wildlife or fish is prohibited.

Last updated: February 14, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 607
West Branch, IA 52358


319 643-2541

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