Superintendent's Compendium


A signed copy of the Minute Man National Historical Park Superintnendent's Compendium can be requested by mail:

Superintendent, MInute Man National Historical Park
174 Liberty Street
Concord, MA  01742

The Superintendent’s Compendium is the summary of park specific rules implemented under 36 Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR).  It serves as 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.  The Superintendent’s Compendium does not repeat regulations found in 36 CFR and other United States Code and CFR Titles, which are enforced without further elaboration at the park level.

The regulations contained in 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, are the basic mechanism used by the National Park Service (NPS) to preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources of the park and to protect visitors and property within the park. Parts 1 through 6 are general regulations applicable to all areas of the National Park system, and Part 7 contains special regulations specific to individual parks. Each of these Parts has many sections and subsections articulating specific provisions. Within some of these Part 1-7 sections and subsections, the Superintendent is granted discretionary authority to develop local rules to be responsive to the needs of a specific park resource or activity, park plan, program, and/or special needs of the general public.

As an example, 36 CFR 1.5(a) Closures and Public Use Limits provides the Superintendent certain discretion in allowing or disallowing certain activities.  The authority granted by the Section, however, requires the Superintendent to comply with the Administrative Procedures Act (6 USC Section 551), which requires public notice on actions with major impact on visitor use patterns, park resources or those that are highly controversial in nature.

Another example is 36 CFR 1.6 Permits, which allows the Superintendent to require a permit for certain uses and activities in the park.  This Section, however, requires that a list of activities needing a permit (and a fee schedule for the various types of permits) be maintained by the park.

A final example is 36 CFR 2.1(c) (1) Preservation of Natural, Cultural and Archeological Resources, which provides the Superintendent the authority to designate certain fruits, nuts, berries, or unoccupied seashells which may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption.  This activity can occur, however, only if a written determination shows that the allowed activity does not adversely affect park wildlife, the reproductive potential of a plant species, or otherwise adversely affect park resources.

This Compendium should be used in conjunction with Title 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, to more fully understand the regulations governing the use and enjoyment of all the areas of the national Park System.

A copy of Title 36, CFR, can be purchased from the U.S. Government Printing Office at:

Superintendent of Documents
P.O. Box 371954
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954

The CFR is also available on the Internet at:


The National Park Service (NPS) is granted broad statutory authority under 16 United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 1 et.seq. (Organic Act of 1916, as amended) to “…regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments, and reservations…by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purposes of the said parks…which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment for future generations” (16 U.S.C. Section 1).  In addition, the NPS Organic Act allows the NPS, through the Secretary of the Interior, to “make and publish such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary or proper for the use and management of the parks, monuments, and reservations under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service” (16 U.S.C. Section 3).

In 1970, Congress amended the NPS Organic Act to clarify its intentions as to the overall mission of the NPS.  Through the General Authorities Act of 1970 (16 U.S.C. Sections 1a1-1a8), Congress brought all areas administered by the NPS into one National Park System and directed the NPS to manage all areas under its administration consistent with the Organic Act of 1916.

In 1978, Congress amended the General Authorities Act of 1970 and reasserted System-wide the high standard of protection defined in the original Organic Act by stating “Congress further reaffirms, declares, and directs that the promotion and regulation of the various areas of the National Park System, as defined by Section 1 of this Title, shall be consistent with and founded in the purpose established by Section 1 of this Title, to the common benefit of all people of the United States.”

16 U.S.C. Section 1c defines the National Park System as” …any areas of land and water now or hereafter administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the National Park Service for park, monument, historic, parkway, recreational, or other purposes.”

In addition to the above statutory authority, the Superintendent is guided by established NPS policy as found in the NPS Management Policies (2006).  The Superintendent is also guided by more specific policies promulgated by the Director, National Park Service, in the form of Director’s Orders.  As stated in the Management Policies, the primary responsibility of the NPS is to protect and preserve our national natural and cultural resources while providing for the enjoyment of these resources by visitor and other users, as long as use does not impair specific park resources or overall visitor experience.  The appropriateness of any particular visitor use or recreational experience is resource-based and will vary from park to park; therefore, a use or activity that is appropriate in one park area may not be appropriate in another.  The Superintendent is directed to analyze overall park use and determine if any particular use is appropriate.  Where conflict arises between use and resource protection, where the Superintendent has a reasonable basis to believe a resource is or would become impaired, then that Superintendent is obliged to place limitations on public use.

The Superintendent’s Compendium is not considered a significant rule requiring review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866.  In addition, this Compendium will not have a significant economic effect on a number of small entities nor impose a significant cost on any local, state or tribal government or private organization, and therefore does not fall under the requirements of either the Regulatory Flexibility Act or the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

The actions and requirements described in this Compendium are found to be categorically excluded from further compliance with the procedural requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in Department of the Interior (DOI) Guidelines 516 DM 6 and as such, an Environmental Assessment will not be prepared.

As outlined above, the NPS has broad authority and responsibility to determine what types of uses and activities are appropriate in any particular National Park System area.  The requirements of the Superintendent’s Compendium are developed through an analysis and determination process.  The decision criteria used during this process are:

Is there use or activity consistent with the NPS Organic Act and NPS policy?
Is the use or activity consistent and compatible with the park’s enabling legislation, management objectives, and corresponding management plans?
Will the use or activity damage the park’s protected natural and cultural resources and other protected values?
Will the use or activity disturb or be in conflict with wildlife, vegetation, and environmental protection actions and values?
Will the use or activity conflict with or be incompatible with traditional park uses and activities?
Will the use or activity compromise employee or public safety?

The rules contained in this Compendium apply to all persons entering, using, visiting or otherwise present on Federally owned lands, including submerged lands, and waters administered by the NPS within the legislative boundaries of the park.  This includes all waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including all navigable waters.

NPS Law Enforcement Park Rangers enforce the requirements of the United State Code, 36 CFR, and this Superintendent’s Compendium.

The Compendium is reviewed annually and revised as necessary. The park welcomes comments about its program and activities at any time.

The Superintendent’s Compendium is effective on the approval date listed on the first page of this document, and remains in effect until revised for a period up to one year.

Some of the terms used in this Compendium may have specific meaning defined in 36 CFR 1.4 Definitions.

Copies of the Compendium are available at 174 Liberty St. Concord, Ma. . It may also be found at

In accordance with regulations and the delegated authority provided in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (“36 CFR”), Chapter 1, Parts 1-7, authorized by Title 16 United States Code, Section 3, the following provisions apply to all lands and waters administered by the National Park Service, within the boundaries of Minute Man National Historical Park (NHP). Unless otherwise stated, these regulatory provisions apply in addition to the requirements contained in 36 CFR, Chapter 1, Parts 1-7.

Written determinations, which explain the reasoning behind the Superintendent’s use of discretionary authority, as required by Section 1.5(c), appear in this document identified by italicized print.



(a)(1)     The following visiting hours and public use limits are established for Minute Man National Historical Park. 

Visiting hours for the park, including all lands, trails facilities, and parking lots, are sunrise to sunset.  This includes all areas administered by the park including the North Bridge area and North Bridge Parking lot, the Wayside House area, and associated parking lot, and the areas and parking lots associated with the Battle Road unit which runs along both side of a stretch of Rt. 2A in Lexington and Lincoln, and along both sides of a stretch of Lexington Rd. in Concord.  Signs signify the Park entrances but are not exact boundary markers.

Determinations:  The park trails, grounds, and parking lots are closed sunset to sunrise, except under a permit from the superintendent, in order to protect historic structures, livestock, cultural resources, and natural resources made more vulnerable by the cover of darkness.  

Note:   The grounds and lots are “closed” regardless of whether the gates are physically closed or not. 

Visitor Centers are closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day and may be closed at other times.  The Schedule for the visitor centers will be posted on the park web site. Parking lots, trails, grounds, areas on the grounds, and buildings, may be temporarily closed as a result of: 

  • Public Safety conditions (usually associated with snow and ice)
  • Resource Protection conditions
  • Special Events
  • Construction or maintenance activities
Parking lots and pull-offs adjacent to park structures and monuments are closed to public use after sunset and before sunrise.   Lots may be physically closed off at night or during snow, or weather conditions, or projects, or events.   Parking lots closed due to these circumstances  will be indicated by gates, chains hanging across entrances, cones, signs, or by other physical means.

Agricultural areas, including fields, associated dirt roads, structures, and animal enclosures are closed to visitor access except as part of an organized park program or as part of program presented by another permitted or cooperating organization.  Taking of flowers, vegetables, and other crops is not permitted.  A Special Use Permit or official agreement is required to conduct programs or special events in the Park.

Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Minute Man NHP is prohibited except as approved in writing by the superintendent.

Definition:  The term “unmanned aircraft” means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links.)  This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g., model airplanes, quadcopters, drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.

Determinations: This condition is established to protect public health and safety, to protect environmental and scenic values, cultural landscape, and the visitor experience and is in compliance with the National Park Policy prohibiting a new park use until a determination has been made that it will not result in unacceptable impacts on park resources and values. 

(a)(2) The following sections have been designated for a specific use or activity, and/or conditions are in effect for the specific uses or activities noted: Face Covering/Mask Use for Public Health COVID Pandemic

When the COVID-19 Community Level is LOW or MEDIUM in the county or all the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals are not required to wear masks.

When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in the county or all the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the CDC, all individuals over the age of two must wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, in all common areas and shared workspaces in buildings owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the National Park Service, including, but not limited to, park visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift shops and restaurants.
When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in one or more, but not all, of the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the CDC, the superintendent will determine whether individuals are required to wear masks. The requirement, if any, will apply to all facilities within the park.

Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.

Regardless of the COVID-19 Community Level, individuals may wear masks if they choose to do so. Where a state, local, tribal, or territorial government where the park is located imposes more protective mask-wearing requirements than those indicated by the COVID-19 Community Level, individuals must follow those more protective requirements within the park. More protective state, local, tribal, or territorial mask-wearing requirements are hereby adopted as federal requirements in all units of the National Park System located within that state, locality, area subject to a federally recognized Indian tribe’s regulatory jurisdiction, or territory, regardless of a particular park’s jurisdictional status.


Hiking or walking in the park is encouraged on developed and designated trails which include the Battle Road trail, the Vernal Pool trail, the Fiske Hill trail, the historic road trace between Monument Street and Liberty Street, the trail between the Smith house and the Hartwell site, and the other walkways that run between the parking lots and structures.  

Dwellings, farm buildings, and areas that are in active agricultural use are not open to biking, hiking or walking except by invitation, Special Use Permit, or during an official program. 
Keep 100 yards away from occupied dwellings (or closer if a public path passes more closely than 100 yards).  Respect the privacy of residents within the park. 

Engines must be shut down when vehicles are not underway.

Emergency / Law Enforcement vehicles are exempt when in-service.

Note:   Idling is also prohibited for greater than 5 minutes in most cases by Massachusetts State Law (310CMR7.11(1)(b) and is enforceable within the park.

Determinations:  The idling of motor vehicle engines adds unnecessary exhaust fumes to the air and diminishes the peace and tranquility of the park for park visitors.  


  • Park Parking lots and pull-offs are provided for visitors to park their vehicles while visiting Minute Man NHP with the intent to use the developed park trails; explore a Visitor Center, contact station, or structure; or view a monument or area of cultural landscape; for employees or park volunteers; and for busses and other public conveyances in use bringing visitors to the park.  Use of the Minute Man NHP parking lots for construction vehicles and to temporarily keep construction equipment is permitted when such vehicles and equipment is associated with work being done on behalf of Minute Man NHP via contract, other agreement with Minute Man NHP, or by NPS permit.  Parking lots are open to use by emergency vehicles.  Other exceptions are prohibited except by NPS permit.  

    Determinations: This condition is established to protect the availability of parking space for visitors.  The parking lots are not provided as a place to leave a vehicle for a period of time while the occupants are doing something other than visiting the park as this limits the availability of parking for active park users.    

  • Picnicking is allowed in the park at the picnic area provided in the Hartwell Tavern area and at tables on the grounds of the Minute Man Visitor Center and at the North Bridge Parking lot. 
  • Picnicking is also permitted on most other public areas in the park provided that the activity does not interfere with park operations (such as Ranger Presentations or Maintenance operations) or block a path or route of travel.
  • Picnicking is not permitted on the Structure of the North Bridge, within the allee leading up to the North Bridge from Monument Street, or on the grounds of the Hartwell Tavern.
  • Use of Grills is not permitted in the park except by permit.  Determinations:  The restriction of grills is intended to protect park resources and structures, and to maintain the peace and tranquility for park visitors.  Permits for grill use are rarely granted and usually only when the grilling is associated with a Park sponsored event (when the use can be closely monitored).              
  • This is a “Carry in, Carry out”, Park.  There are no trash receptacles available. Visitors are asked to “Carry Out” their trash. 

  • Skiers and those using snowshoes are welcome to use the Battle Road trail when conditions are suitable.
  • The trail is not groomed for skiing.
  • Skiers are encouraged to create a track and other users are encouraged to stay out of that track, but it must be understood by skiers that the ski track will be damaged by foot traffic in many cases.
  • Skiers and Snowshoers must keep a respectful distance (100 feet) from occupied dwellings and structures.   An exception exists when an official trail brings them closer than 100 feet.   In these circumstances it is prohibited to approach any closer than on the trail.  

  • There are no playing fields or sports facilities within the Park.  Recreational sports and the use of sporting equipment as organized (i.e. competitive type sports) activities require a permit.  The use of sporting equipment for recreation must be conducted in such a way as to not spoil the contemplative, and educational, setting or cause a hazard to visitors.
  • The use of balls, Frisbees, etc. and other sporting/recreational equipment is prohibited within view of the North Bridge and within view of the Hartwell tavern as well as any place immediately adjacent to, or on, the Battle Road trail or any other path. (This prohibition does not apply to the riding of bicycles which is encouraged on the Battle Road trail). 

In accordance with National Park Service Law Enforcement Reference Manual 9 (RM-9), notice is hereby given that Minute Man NHP uses Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) security camera monitoring.

The park’s use of Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) for law enforcement and security purposes will only be to visually monitor public park areas and public activities where no constitutionally protected reasonable expectation of privacy exists. Such CCTV use – which will have adequate privacy and First Amendment safeguards – will be to help ensure public safety and security; facilitate the detection, investigation, prevention, and deterrence of terrorist attack and crime; help ensure the safety of citizens and officers; help assist in the proper allocation and deployment of law enforcement and public safety resources; and help facilitate the protection of the innocent and the apprehension and prosecution of criminals. (RM-9, 26.1)

This policy does not restrict the official use of CCTV in government administrative areas, including administrative buildings, jail holding facilities (RM-9, 26.3.7), revenue collection sites, etc., where the government may record/monitor its facilities. For example, the government may perform unrestricted video/audio recording at revenue collection points (entrance stations, visitor center counters, etc.). This policy does not restrict the use of an Audio/Visual Recording Device (AVRD) in patrol vehicles or officer-worn recording devices used by commissioned rangers.
 (RM-9, 26.1). 

Operation of CCTV cameras, maintenance of recorded images and use of recorded images will be in accordance with NPS and Department policy and applicable laws and regulations.  (RM-9, 26.1-26.4) No person will be targeted or monitored merely because of race, religion, gender, sex, disability, national origin, or political affiliation or views. (RM-9, 26.4.2)

Nothing in this policy statement is intended to create any rights, privileges, or benefits not otherwise recognized by law.

36 CFR §1.6: Activities that Require a Permit

 §1.5(d)   The following activities related to “Public Use Limits”: 
     Application for, and approval of locations for a special event use and group visitation                    (organized trips or tours, events, ceremonies, sporting events). 
§2.5(a)   Specimen collection (Taking of plant, fish, wildlife, artifacts, rocks, or minerals).   

§2.37     Soliciting or demanding gifts, money, goods, or services (Pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit issued under §2.50, §2.51 or §2.52).

§2.50(a) Sports events, pageants, regattas, public spectator attractions, entertainments, ceremonies, and similar events.

§2.51(a) Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades and other public expressions of views; “First Amendment Activities.”  
§2.52(c)     The sale or distribution of printed matter that is not solely commercial advertising 
                (Note:  Commercial advertising is prohibited without a Commercial Use Authorization). 

§2.60(b)    Livestock use                                

§2.61(a)     Residing on federal lands 

§2.62     Memorialization:
             (a) The installation of a monument, memorial, tablet, structure, or other commemorative                installation in a park area without the authorization of the Director is prohibited.
§5.1      Advertisements - (Display, posting or distribution)

§5.3         Engaging in or soliciting any business (Requires a permit, contract or other written agreement        with the United States or must be pursuant to special regulations).

§5.5        Commercial filming, still photography, and audio recording.  

§5.7            Construction of buildings, facilities, trails, roads, boat docks, path, structure, etc.                        
§5.10(a)  Operation of eating, drinking, or lodging establishments in park areas.
For more information on permit requirements please go to Permits - Minute Man National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service) ( or contact Minute Man NHP’s Special Park Use Office at 978-318-7828 (Voicemail). More information about Special Use Permits and Commercial Use Authorizations can be found at:

For more information on permit requirements please go to Permits - Minute Man National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service) ( or contact Minute Man National Historical Park’s Chief Ranger at 978-318-7828 (Voicemail). More information about Special Use Permits and Commercial Use Authorizations can be found at:

General Regulations

(b) Hiking, walking. climbing is restricted to the areas, and in the manners, listed in Section 1.5 of this document. 

(c)(1), (c)(2) The following fruits, nuts, and berries may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption, in accordance with the noted size, quantity, collection sites and/or use or consumption restrictions:

Picking Fruits, nuts, and berries (that are not produced by active agriculture) in a manner that does not injure or destroy the plant is permitted but limited to one US quart (~1 liter)) per person per day. 
Picking large fruit (i.e., wild apples) is permitted and is limited to one standard dry gallon or 4 quarts) per day. 
Picking any fruit, vegetable, flower, or green produced by active agriculture leases (i.e., farming) in the park is prohibited. 

Fungi (mushrooms), fiddleheads, edible greens, flowers and bulbs are not considered fruit, berries or nuts and may not be collected in any quantity.  Cutting and collecting of decorative plants, including but not limited to winterberry, is prohibited.  (36CFR 2.1(a)1(ii))

(c)(2)(ii) Picking of any kind is prohibited in wetlands.
The term "wetlands" means those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas.

Determinations: The unrestricted collection of native fruits, berries, nuts and fruiting bodies could adversely impact plant propagation and/or wildlife food sources in the park. Foot traffic and picking in wetland areas is destructive to sensitive plant populations. 


(d) The transporting of lawfully taken wildlife through the park is permitted under the following conditions and procedures: 

In accordance with state law and procedure.

NOTE:  No hunting is allowed within the boundaries of Minute Man NHP
NOTE:  All firearms must be carried or stored in compliance with Massachusetts State Law. Exemptions for hunting do not apply as hunting is not permitted within the boundaries of Minute Man NHP. Parking within the boundary of Minute Man NHP to hunt in an area outside the park may result in a charge of “illegal taking of wildlife” and/or a weapons violation.   

(e) The park is closed to the viewing of wildlife with the use of an artificial light:

No viewing of wildlife with the use of an artificial light within the park boundary

(a) Fishing in designated areas

For visitor safety, fishing is allowed from the banks of the Concord River within the park but not in areas that are near the heavily trafficked North Bridge and adjacent areas. Refer to the graphic on the following page to find suggested areas for fishing the Concord River from the banks in Minute Man NHP.   Fishing in the Concord River from a boat is regulated by Massachusetts law and is not regulated by this Compendium.    Fishing at all locations in Minute Man NHP is regulated by Massachusetts state law. 

Fishing is prohibited on and from the North Bridge

Fishing from the shore in the park is prohibited as indicated by the red line on the graphic below. 

The area suggested for fishing within the North Bridge Unit is indicated by the green line on the graphic below.

Image of designated fishing area

(2)(ii)      Discharging weapons in Minute Man NHP is not allowed. 

The possession of Firearms is regulated under Massachusetts State law.  Firearms are not permitted in Federal Facilities. 

Possession or use of trap or net is prohibited. 

Possession of other weapons (“edged” for example) is regulated under Massachusetts State Law. 


(a)    There are NO designated camping areas within Minute Man NHP.   

Camping is occasionally allowed by Special Use Permit when the camping helps to facilitate a Park Event. 

Conditions and restrictions for picnicking are listed under (a)(2) on a previous page.

(a)(2) Operating a power saw in developed areas is prohibited, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit.

(a)(3) Operating any type of portable motor or engine, or device powered by a portable motor or engine in non-developed areas is prohibited, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit.

(a)(4) Operating a public address system is prohibited, except in connection with a public gathering or special event for which a permit has been issued pursuant to §2.50 or §2.51.

(a)(1) The lighting or maintaining of fires is generally prohibited, except as provided for in the following designated areas and/or receptacles, and under the conditions noted:     

Fires are not permitted except under the conditions of a Special Use Permit or other official agreement.
Using a grill of any kind, except inside a trailer or RV, is not permitted except under the conditions indicated in a Special Use Permit or other official agreement. 

Determination: This condition is established in order to prevent wildland and structural fires, and to decrease conflicts in visitor use. Grilling at battlefield sites is not usually consistent with an atmosphere of quiet reflection and commemoration.

Minute Man NHP follows the national “Leave No Trace” program’s “Carry In and Carry Out trash” policy. Trash cans are not provided.  Park visitors must remove all trash, including pet waste, from the park.

Determination:  The Carry In and Carry Out trash policy helps the park focus resources on essential park functions that maintain the maximum benefit for park visitors.  

(a)(1) The following structures and/or areas are closed to the possession of pets:

No pets are allowed in Federal Facilities except “service” animals assisting a person with a disability or a dog used for Law Enforcement when conducting a Law Enforcement duty (example: bomb dog looking for explosives). 

(a)(5) Pet excrement must be disposed of in accordance with the following conditions:

Pet excrement must be picked up by the pet owner and removed from the park. 

Pet excrement must be disposed in a proper manner outside the park.

There are no receptacles for pet excrement within Minute Man NHP. 

Pet waste is especially hard and costly to collect and dispose of. To maintain access of dogs within the park, the park requires that all dog walkers collect and remove dog waste from the park.

(b)    The use of horses or pack animals is allowed on the following trails, routes, or areas:

Horses for law enforcement purposes are allowed on the park trails and lands.

Horses for interpretive purposes are allowed on the park trails and lands (only by Special Use Permit or as part       of a NPS sponsored program).      
Recreational use of horses is not allowed.
Pack animals and other livestock (oxen, cows, etc.)  are allowed in the park only by permit or as part of a Park program.  
Horses may be ridden on public roads running through the park under conditions established by State Law. 

Determinations: There is no designated area for the riding of horses in Minute Man NHP. This condition is established in order to prevent conflicts between horse riders and others and to protect park resources and trails which are not suitable for horses. 
(g) Other conditions concerning the use of horses or pack animals:

Horse riding within the park is not allowed unless by permit.   Such permits are granted only in conjunction with a park event, or to facilitate the park meeting mission goals.   Horseback riding is not permitted for recreational purposes.  

(c)(1) The removal of a downed aircraft, components, or parts thereof is subject to procedures established by the Superintendent through written authorization.

(c) Snowmobile use is not allowed within the park boundary.

(a) The Battle Road Trail may be used for skiing and snowshoe use.

(b) The towing of persons on skis, sled or other similar device by motor vehicle or snowmobile is not allowed.

Using roller skates, skateboards, roller skis, coasting vehicles, or similar devices is prohibited, except in designated areas.

The use of roller skates, skateboards, roller skis, coasting vehicles, or similar devices are allowed only in the following areas:

On public or private roads in accordance with State Law. 

There are no designated park areas for this purpose.    Use is prohibited.

Note: Hoverboards, Electric Scooters and other “similar devices” are prohibited by this regulation.    36 CFR 2.20 generally prohibits the use of roller skates/blades, skateboards (motorized and non-motorized), coasting vehicles (motorized and non-motorized), and similar devices which includes portable ramps and similar items used to perform tricks. These items are permitted, however, limited to roadways and sidewalks outside the management of the National Park Service (i.e. rights of way).    

(a) The following portions of the park, or all or portions of buildings, structures or facilities are closed to smoking as noted:

⦁    Inside all government buildings

⦁    Within fifty feet of buildings.   

ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems or Vaping Devices):

The use of ENDS is not permitted in any location where Smoking is not permitted.   For more information see 36 CFR §2.21 – SMOKING


(a)(2) Property may be left unattended for periods longer than 24 hours in the following areas and under the following conditions:

Vehicles and other property may be left unattended for periods longer than 24 hours in parking areas or other locations when a permit has been granted for that activity.  Doing so without a permit is prohibited.

The park’s Law Enforcement can be reached via NPS Dispatch at (617) 242-5659
In all other situations where property is left unattended for longer than 24 hours that property may be considered abandoned and will be removed. 

Geocaching is not currently allowed at Minute Man NHP.   Anyone wishing to make a case to allow geocaching is invited to present their case to the Chief Ranger and Superintendent for future consideration.
Determinations: Left property including vehicles detracts from the historic nature of the park.

(a)(3)(i) The following public use areas, portions of public use areas, and/or public facilities within the park are closed to consumption of alcoholic beverages, and/or to the possession of a bottle, can or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or has been opened, or whose seal has been broken or the contents of which have been partially removed:

All areas of Minute Man NHP are closed to the consumption of alcoholic beverages or the possession of an open container of an alcoholic beverage, with the following exceptions:
⦁    Park Residences
⦁    Park buildings under lease or rental agreements
⦁    By permit only (permits issued by the Chief Ranger’s Office)

(a) Using, possessing, storing, or transporting explosives, blasting agents or explosive materials is prohibited, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit.  

(c) Private use of fireworks and firecrackers is prohibited in the park.   All private use of fireworks (including sparklers) is also prohibited under Massachusetts State Law.

a) Sports events, pageants, regattas, public spectator attractions, entertainments, ceremonies, and similar events are allowed: Provided, however, there is a meaningful association between the park area and the events, and the observance contributes to visitor understanding of the significance of the park area, and a permit therefor has been issued by the superintendent. A permit shall be denied if such activities would: 

(1) Cause injury or damage to park resources; or 
(2) Be contrary to the purposes for which the natural, historic, development and special use zones were established; or unreasonably impair the atmosphere of peace and tranquility maintained in wilderness, natural, historic, or commemorative zones. 
(3) Unreasonably interfere with interpretive, visitor service, or other program activities, or with the administrative activities of the National Park Service; or 
(4) Substantially impair the operation of public use facilities or services of National Park Service concessioners or contractors; or 
(5) Present a clear and present danger to the public health and safety; or 
(6) Result in significant conflict with other existing uses. 

(c) As a condition of permit issuance, the superintendent may require: 
(1) The filing of a bond payable to the Director, in an amount adequate to cover costs such as restoration, rehabilitation, and cleanup of the area used, and other costs resulting from the special event. In lieu of a bond, a permittee may elect to deposit cash equal to the amount of the required bond. 
(2) In addition to the requirements of paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the acquisition of liability insurance in which the United States is named as co-insured in an amount sufficient to protect the United States. 
(d) The permit may contain such conditions as are reasonably consistent with protection and use of the park area for the purposes for which it is established. It may also contain reasonable limitations on the equipment used and the time and area within which the event is allowed. 

(e) Violation of the terms and conditions of a permit issued in accordance with this section is prohibited and may result in the suspension or revocation of the permit.

(b) Demonstrations of more than 25 people are allowed within park areas designated as available under paragraph (c)(2) when the superintendent has issued a permit for the activity.

(c)(2) The following locations are designated as available for demonstrations under the Small Group Exception:
⦁    The Hillside First Amendment Area, by the flagpole, on the hill, west of the North Bridge
⦁    Buttrick Mansion Ceremonial Lawn, to the west of the Buttrick Garden*
⦁    North Bridge Visitor Center First Amendment Area, to the north of the visitor center.
⦁    Minute Man Visitor Center First Amendment Area, at the outdoor amphitheater west of the visitor center building.

The Superintendent may designate additional areas as necessary.  See Appendix A for more details and for maps.
Note: First Amendment activities involving 25 people or fewer do not require a Special Use Permit to demonstrate or distribute or sell printed matter under our First Amendment rights. However, First Amendment activities without a permit are restricted to the designated first amendment sites listed above. Those sites were selected by the park for their high visibility and access to the public and for the physical nature of those sites to provide ample room for freedom of speech activities. Activities shall not cause injury or damage to park resources, unreasonably interfere with tranquility or interpretive activities, or create a clear or present danger to park visitors.
*The Buttrick Ceremonial Lawn may not be available when reserved under a Special Use Permit.  In those cases the alternative First Amendment sites may be used.

(a) The installation of a monument, memorial, tablet, structure, or other commemorative installation in a park area without the authorization of the Director is prohibited.

(b) The scattering of human ashes from cremation is prohibited. 

(a)(2) Launching a vessel is prohibited from the banks of the river at Minute Man NHP (other than those that had arrived by water)

Boats (including canoes and kayaks) may NOT be launched (i.e. carried from a vehicle down to the river) into the Concord River within the park boundary except from the boat house adjacent to the Old Manse with the permission of the Director of the Old Manse. (Note: The Old Manse is owned and operated separately from the Minute Man NHP).

Small boats may pull up on the shore of the river so that passengers may disembark and visit the Park except at any time or location where there is a sign on the shore prohibiting that activity.  (Example: a project to restore vegetation to the riverbank might require the area not be trampled thus canoes and kayaks would not be allowed to be dragged on to the shore in that location.

The prohibition on launching boats is to preserve the limited parking space in the North Bridge lot and to prevent conflicts and injuries resulting from boaters carrying their boats and equipment through areas often crowded with visitors.   There is a popular boat launch available just upstream at Lowell Rd. 

PWC (Jet Ski) use on the Concord River within the park boundary is prohibited.

No water skiing or towing on the Concord River within the park boundary.

This condition is established to protect the lives of skiers, boaters & visitors in the North Bridge area. These restrictions are necessary to achieve such protection.

(a)(1) The following areas are closed to swimming and bathing:

From the shoreline of the Concord River within the park boundary

(Note: Swimming from a canoe or boat is allowed in the Concord River within the park)

(a)(2) The following restrictions apply to all swimming and bathing activities:

No jumping off the North Bridge into the Concord River

No swimming from the shoreline of the Concord River

No swimming in all bodies or water located within the park, including the pond on the grounds of the Minute Man Visitor Center. 

Determinations: The “no swimming” from shoreline condition is established to protect the commemorative atmosphere of the grounds surrounding the physical location where individuals lost their lives during the conflict between British Troops and Colonial Minutemen on April 19, 1775. No swimming in bodies of water condition is established to protect resources and public safety,  and to protect the commemorative nature of the park.

(a) Park roads, open for travel by motor vehicle are those indicated below:

All town and state roads within the park boundary

“Emergency vehicles, park vehicles, and approved contractors may, under appropriate circumstances, operate vehicles on the Battle Road, and other, trails.
“Residents Only” may use the Old Bedford Road segment in Lincoln

“Residents Only” may use Manuel Drive in Concord. 

(a)(1)   15 miles per hour: within parking areas, utility areas, business or residential areas, other places of public assemblage and at emergency scenes.   
 (b)     The superintendent has designated the speed limit on roads within the boundary of the park at rates consistent with what has been posted by the applicable town or State of Massachusetts authority.   

The speed limit for Airport Road in Lexington, which is not otherwise posted, has been designated by the Superintendent to be 20 mph.     

For enforcement purposes, the posted limit, if different from the limit indicated in this compendium, shall be enforced.

Minute Man NHP speed limits designated by the superintendent are indicated on the graphic depictions found in Appendix B.

a)    Bicycles are allowed on park roads and in parking areas that are otherwise open for motor vehicle use by the general public.

d)    Bicycles are allowed in Minute Man NHP in the following areas and trails with special exceptions noted below.
⦁    North Bridge Trail
⦁    Battle Road Trail 

(f)    Closures and other use restrictions Minute Man NHP:

The speed limit for bicycle on the above trails is 10mph.

Riders must walk bikes on all boardwalks, on the North Bridge between the monuments, and on the Vernal Pool and Fiske Hill Loop Trails. Riding a bicycle in these areas is prohibited.

Riders must yield right of way to pedestrians.

Operation of bicycles must comply with Massachusetts law.

Bicycles may not be ridden in fields, on lawns, or in undeveloped areas or off-trail. 

The use of bicycles in the following areas and/or trails not designated for bike use is prohibited: 
⦁    Fiske Hill Trail
⦁    Vernal Pool Trail 
⦁    Buttrick Garden Paths
⦁    Buttrick Mansion/North Bridge Visitor Center Paths (with exception of the main North Bridge Trail)
Notes: Bicycle possession (walking a bike on a trail to access an area open to bike use) is permitted on trails within the park that are closed to bicycle use.

(h)    (4) Riding abreast of another rider is permitted on the Battle Road Trail as long as it does not impede other visitors, or otherwise create a hazardous condition.

 The Battle Road Trail was designated as a multi-use trail (which includes bicycle use) in 2003 after a planning process that evaluated the impacts of multiple use on the trail pursuant to 36 CFR 4.30 and other regulations. 

(i)    Electric bicycles. 
(1) The use of an electric bicycle (“e-bike”) is allowed on park roads, parking areas, and on the Battle Road Trail and North Bridge Trail with the below restrictions.
(2) The use of an electric bicycle is prohibited in locations not designated by the Superintendent under paragraph (i)(1) of this section. 
(3) Except where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, using the electric motor exclusively to move an electric bicycle for an extended period of time without pedaling is prohibited. 
(7) Closures, limits, restrictions Minute Man NHP:
All bicycle closures, limits and restrictions listed in 4.30(f) above apply to e-bikes with the addition of:

All e-bikes must utilize pedaling while riding the bike.

Using an E-bike without pedaling is Prohibited (i.e. Class 2 E-bike).

Notes: Bicycle possession (walking a bike on a trail to access an area open to bike use) is permitted on trails within the park that are closed to bicycle use.

Determinations: Class 1, 2 and 3 e-bikes are now defined in 36 CFR. These provisions protect the park’s natural, scenic, and aesthetic values, while contributing to minimal disturbance to wildlife or park resources. Allowing electric bicycles on public roads and in parking areas will create new opportunities for recreation and access within the park. It will not create any adverse impacts to park visitors, resources or values due to the existing use of these locations by motor vehicles and bicycles. 

Hitchhiking is not permitted within the park boundary

(a) Commercial filming and still photography activities are subject to the provisions of 43 CFR part 5, subpart A. Failure to comply with any provision of 43 CFR part 5 is a violation of this section.

(b) Audio recording does not require a permit unless:
(1) It takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed;
(2) It uses equipment that requires mechanical transport;
(3) It uses equipment that requires an external power source other than a battery pack; or
4) The agency would incur additional administrative costs to provide management and oversight of the permitted activity to:
(i) Avoid unacceptable impacts and impairment to resources or values; or
(ii) Minimize health or safety risks to the visiting public.

(c) Cost recovery charges associated with processing the permit request and monitoring the permitted activity will be collected.

(d) The location fee schedule for still photography conducted under a permit issued under 43 CFR part 5 applies to audio recording permits issued under this part.

Appendix A: First Amendment Areas

The NPS regulations create a small group permit exception that allows groups of 25 people or less to demonstrate or sell or distribute printed matter within parks’ designated first amendment areas without a permit.

Activities under the small group permit exception may not interfere with other permitted activities or park programs.  Permitted activities are given priority use of designated areas, after which the area is made available on a first-come basis.  Should more than one small group seek to use a designated area without a permit, and it is determined that the area cannot reasonably accommodate multiple groups, the later-arriving group will be directed to another designated area if available. 

Superintendents are directed to designate areas available for First Amendment activities using a set of regulatory criteria designed to protect park resources and values where individuals and group may express their views.  Superintendents may accept applications for First Amendment activities no more than one calendar year prior to the start of the event, including set-up.  Applications must be approved or denied within ten days.  

See the following pages for locations of designated “First Amendment” areas.   For groups larger than 25 people a permit is required.   If you have any questions regarding First Amendment activities, please call the Special Use Permits Office at: (978) 318-7828. 

Minute Man NHP, like other National Park units, has designated several areas within the park in order to accommodate the “small group permit exception.”  

What is a “small group permit exception” for “First Amendment” activities?

Under 36 CFR 2.51(b)(1), 2.52(b)(1) groups of 25 or fewer people may demonstrate, distribute or sell printed matter, or give away noncommercial, message-bearing, non-printed matter in designated, available areas without obtaining a permit.   Small groups may still apply for a permit in order to reserve their use of a particular area.

First Amendment Area:
North Bridge Unit
NPGallery Asset Detail (

North Bridge Visitor Center First Amendment Area:
The area begins on the west side in line with the crosswalk, runs 100 feet (length) along the sidewalk, and is 20 feet from the sidewalk. The area is 50 feet deep (top to bottom). Individuals or groups using this area must keep a distance of at least 20 feet from the parking lot sidewalk and remain within the boundaries of the designated area while conducting their activity.  This area, although it is a grass surface, is considered to be the most accessible First Amendment area for those with disabilities due to its proximity to the sidewalk and visitor center. 

The Buttrick Mansion Ceremonial Lawn, is also available for First Amendment “Free Speech” to occur without a permit under the Small Group Exception.  Please Note: that it is also used for special events (ceremonies) by NPS permit.  It may be reserved and therefore unavailable.  If this is the case, the other designated areas noted above may be used.

The North Bridge Hillside First Amendment Area
The North Bridge Hillside First Amendment “Free Speech” Area is located to the east of Liberty Street and to the west and uphill from the Old North Bridge. This is a relatively flat area that has limited accessibility from Liberty Street via a gate in the rock wall.   The designated space encompasses the area approximately 50 feet east west north and south of the flagpole.  It is approximately 80 feet wide by 100 feet long. It is not considered to be accessible for those with disabilities due to the rough nature of the ground on the approach from the trail and the road. 

The areas outside the designated area will not be mowed at the same level as the designated area and is rougher ground.

First Amendment “Free Speech” activities to occur without a permit under the Small Group Exception at the North Bridge.

First Amendment Area:
Minute Man Visitor Center:
The Minute Man Visitor Center is located along Rt. 2A in Lexington Massachusetts.   There is a small amphitheater on the grounds consisting of several rows of benches.  
The area immediately in front of those benches is designated as a First Amendment Area.  The area is 100 feet by 100 feet.  
That area is also used as a presentation space for NPS activities and occasionally as part of an area used by a Special Park Use Permit.  If that area is being occupied by the NPS for an NPS activity, or otherwise occupied by a permitted activity, that space is not, simultaneously available to be used for a First Amendment activity under the “Small Group Exception.”  
In that case there are other designated First Amendment areas in the park that are available for use. People using this area must keep back twenty feet from the pedestrian walkway.   The Superintendent may more specifically define the limits of this area if needed for public safety.  safety.

Appendix B: Speed Limits

Speed Limits in Minute Man NHP
North Bridge Unit

Speed Limits on Monument Street and Liberty Street in Concord within the boundary of the Park are 30mph.

The Superintendent has designated the speed limits on roads within the park. The designations do not conflict with posted limits. In any instance where a speed limit has been officially and legally posted by another jurisdiction in such a manner that conflicts with the designation in the compendium, the posted speed limit supersedes the designation for the purposes of speed enforcement by NPS officers.


Speed Limits in Minute Man NHP
Battle Road Unit: West

Concord on Lexington Road as indicated by sign: 40 mph except where posted at 30 mph.
Old Bedford Road as indicated by sign: 30mph
Lincoln on Rt. 2A (North Great Rd.) as indicated by sign: 40 mph except where posted 30mph
Lincoln on Rt. 2A (Bipass Rd). as indicated by sign: 30 mph

The Superintendent has designated the speed limits on roads within the park as indicated. The designations do not conflict with posted limits. In any instance where a speed limit has been officially and legally posted by another jurisdiction in such a manner that conflicts with the designation in the compendium, the posted speed limit supersedes the designation for the purposes of speed enforcement by NPS officers.


Speed Limits in Minute Man NHP
Battle Road Unit: East

Lincoln on Rt 2A (North Great Rd.) as indicated by sign: 40 mph
Lincoln on Airport Rd: 20 mph
Lexington on Airport Rd: 20 mph
Lexington on Rt 2A (Marrett Rd.) as indicated by sign: 35 mph
Lexington on Mass Ave as indicated by sign: 35 mph
Lexington on Old Mass Ave as indicated by sign: 35 mph

The Superintendent has designated the speed limits on roads within the park as indicated. The designations do not conflict with posted limits. In any instance where a speed limit has been officially and legally posted by another jurisdiction in such a manner that conflicts with the designation in the compendium, the posted speed limit supersedes the designation for the purposes of speed enforcement by NPS officers.


Last updated: March 29, 2023

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