Permits & Reservations

Tour Reservations

For information on boat tours, mill & trolley tours, and other programs offered at the park, please visit our Guided Tours page. Reservations are recommended for most tours. Please call (978) 970-5000 for more information.

Special Park Use Permits

Lowell National Historical Park is a unique national park which which often hosts numerous events and activities. Most special events and activities held in the park require a special use permit, issued only after the National Park Service (NPS) determines that the activities involved will not impair park values and resources. Please note that there are usage limits for the number of people and vehicles for any special activity.

For more information on permits and applications, you can contact the park at (978) 275-1700, by email, or by mail: Special Use Permit Coordinator 67 Kirk Street, Lowell, MA 01852

Special Events

A special use permit is required for activities that provide a benefit to an individual, group, or organization rather than the public at large and that require some degree of management from the National Park Service to protect park resources and the public interest. Some examples of special events that require permits are:

  • non-competitive sporting events
  • public spectator attractions
  • festivals
  • concerts
  • ceremonies
  • cultural programs

Download Special Event Permit Application.

Commercial Photography

A permit may be required for photography involving models, sets, or props. There may be a non-refundable application fee, and permit issuance fee. Other fees may apply.

In most cases, still photography does not require a permit. A permit is required for still photography only when:

  1. the activity takes place in an area closed to the public; or
  2. the activity uses a model, set, or prop; or
  3. the National Park Service would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity.

A “model” means a person or object that serves as the subject for 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. 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.

Download Special Use Still Photography Permit
Download Special Use Still Photography Short Form Permit

For more information about commercial photography in the park, please contact the park by phone at (978) 275-1700 or by email.

Commercial Filming

Under federal law, all commercial filming that occurs within a unit of the National Park System requires a permit.

"Commercial filming" means 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. Examples include, but are not limited to, feature film, videography, and documentaries. Commercial filming may include the advertisement of a product or service, or the use of actors, models, sets, or props.

Federal law requires a permit for all commercial filming, no matter the size of the crew or the type of equipment. This includes individuals or small groups that don’t use much equipment, but generate revenue by posting footage on websites, such as YouTube and TikTok. The primary focus of the NPS, however, is on commercial filming that has the potential to impact park resources and visitors beyond what occurs from normal visitor use of park areas. Examples of this type of filming are productions that use substantial equipment such as sets and lighting, productions with crews that exceed 5 people, and filming in closed areas, wilderness areas, or in locations that would create conflicts with other visitors or harm sensitive resources.

All filmers, no matter the size, must comply with all rules that apply in park areas, just like other visitors.

For more information about commercial filming in the park, please contact the park by phone at (978) 275-1700 or by email.

First Amendment Activities

Freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly are constitutional rights. However, the courts have recognized that activities associated with the exercise of these rights may be reasonably regulated to protect park resources. Therefore, all first amendment activities require special use permits and the NPS may regulate the time, place, and manner in which they are conducted. Some examples of special events that require permits are:

  • distribution and/or sale of printed matter
  • religious services
  • public demonstrations or assemblies, etc.
  • collecting signature for petitions

Download First Amendment Permit Application

Miscellaneous Activities

Other activities may require permits if there is the potential for interference with visitor use, congestion of a highly visited area, or possible impact on park resources.

Download Activities Permit Application

Last updated: June 1, 2023

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Mailing Address:

67 Kirk Street
Lowell, MA 01852


978 970-5000

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