News Release

What visitors can expect in D.C.-area national parks during the government shutdown

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Date: December 23, 2018
Contact: National Capital Region Communications

WASHINGTON— During the partial shutdown of the federal government, D.C.-area national parks will remain as accessible as possible, while still following all applicable laws and procedures.

Park roads, lookouts, trails, green spaces and open-air memorials, including the National Mall, will generally remain accessible to visitors, but emergency and rescue services will be limited, and no National Park Service (NPS) provided visitor facilities or services will be available. This includes restrooms, visitor centers, information kiosks, and ranger talks and education programs. Visitors should expect to find park areas closed that would normally be closed after dark.  

Several partner organizations will assist with trash collection while NPS staff are furloughed but this may not occur in all areas or at the same frequency as when the government is open.  

Park visitors are advised to use caution if they choose to enter NPS property. Any entry onto NPS property during the partial federal government shutdown is at the visitor’s sole risk.

NPS social media and websites are not being monitored or updated and may not reflect current conditions—access to NPS properties may change without notice.

Areas and sites closed during the shutdown include:

  • Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial (previous closure for rehabilitation)

  • Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument

  • Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site

  • Clara Barton National Historic Site

  • Daingerfield Island restaurant, Triple Craft (previous closure)

  • Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site (Ford’s Theatre Society will continue to offer performances in the theater as scheduled)

  • Fort Marcy

  • Fort Washington Park

  • Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

  • Great Falls (Md.) Visitor Center

  • Olmsted Island/Great Falls Overlook (Md.)

  • Great Falls (Va.) Visitor Center

  • Hains Point

  • Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

  • Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site

  • Oxon Hill Farm

  • Peirce Mill

  • Rock Creek Park Nature Center and Planetarium

  • Rock Creek golf course (seasonal closure)

  • Turkey Run Park (gated areas)

  • Washington Monument (previous closure for elevator modernization)

  • White House Visitor Center


Restrooms: All public restrooms are closed. However, concessioner Guest Services, Inc., has provided portable restrooms at the following locations for the duration of the shutdown:

  • Lincoln Memorial (south side)

  • Thomas Jefferson Memorial

  • Tidal Basin (between the Martin Luther King, Jr. and Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorials)

  • Washington Monument grounds (15th Street, between Madison Drive and Jefferson Drive)

  • West Potomac Park (between Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial)

  • World War II Memorial


Third-party operated services that will continue:

  • Food kiosk and concessions operated by Guest Services, Inc., will continue to operate, with the exception of food and retail operations at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion and the retail operation located in the basement of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, as that area is closed to the public.

  • Eastern National will continue to operate bookstores at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial (mezzanine level only), Washington Monument Lodge and the Old Stone House in Georgetown.

  • East Potomac and Langston golf courses are open.

  • East Potomac and Rock Creek tennis centers are open.

  • The Canal Quarters Program will continue.

  • Glen Echo Park will remain open.

  • The Women in Military Service for America Memorial at the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery will remain open.

  • All marinas on national park land in the D.C. metro area remain open (Belle Haven, James Creek, Columbia Island, Washington Sailing Marina, Fort Washington Marina).

Construction Projects that Continue

The following projects were funded by previous appropriations and will continue during the shutdown:

  • Arlington House rehabilitation

  • Arlington Memorial Bridge rehabilitation

  • Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Locks 3, 4 and 5-22

  • Conococheague Aqueduct

  • Dyke Marsh restoration

  • Lincoln Memorial roof replacement

  • National Mall and Memorial Parks water line

  • Beach Drive Reconstruction

  • United States Park Police District 1 Substation

  • Washington Monument elevator modernization/screening facility

  • Windy Run Bridge rehabilitation

Last updated: January 6, 2019

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