Rules & Regulations
Below is a selection of park rules and regulations. For more information, see the Superintendent's Compendium (PDF file). The compendium 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 Photography & Filming
All commercial photographers must get a special use permit before working in the park.
Firearms & Other Weapons
Legislation: As of February 22, 2010 federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws to legally possess firearms in this park. Refer to Section 512 of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, Public Law 111-24, 123 Stat. 1764-65.
Park User Responsibility: 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, please see the Iowa Code, Chapter 724.
Weapons Prohibited in Federal Facilities: Federal law also prohibits firearms in certain facilities in this park; those places are marked with signs at all public entrances. Refer to 18 U.S.C. § 930.
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.
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.
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.