Firearms in National Parks
The law governing possession of firearms inside a national park changed on February 22, 2010.
Visitors may possess firearms within a national park unit provided they comply with federal, state, and local laws.
The role of the responsible gun owner is to know and obey the federal, state, and local laws appropriate to the park they are visiting.
Please remember that federal law prohibits firearms in certain park facilities and buildings. These places are marked with signs at public entrances.
2019 Park Compendium
Note: The Saratoga National Historical Park Compendium is available upon request as a PDF file, please e-mail our general inbox. If you need a PDF reader program, a free download is available.
I. 36 CFR §1.5 - VISITING HOURS, PUBLIC USE LIMITS, CLOSURES, AND AREA DESIGNATIONS FOR SPECIFIC USE OR ACTIVITIES
(a)(l) The following visiting hours and public use limits are established for all or for the listed portions of the park, and the following closures are established for all or a portion of the park to all public use or to a certain use or activity:
Since overnight use and camping is prohibited in the park, there is no valid reason for a vehicle to remain in the park overnight unless the Law Enforcement & Emergency Services division has given prior approval.
Public Use Limits:
Weather conditions in upstate New York are normally severe with heavy snow and cold temperatures. It is not feasible for the park to plow and maintain a ten-mile road under these conditions.
These conditions are necessary for the preservation of this 18th-century structure and for public safety in the event of fire.
Limits have been set in accordance with fire code as determined by the local fire department.
In order to provide for resource protection, avoid conflicts between groups wishing to use the same site, and to minimize the impact of such events on other visitors, a permit system is necessary.
Animals and pets are not allowed in buildings for public health and safety concerns.
Grounds are closed for the protection of the cultural and natural resources as well as the public.
Launching, landing or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Saratoga National Historical Park, 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 and or systems 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 and commerce.
Appropriate facilities are not available to allow this activity to occur safely.
Roads are closed to prevent destruction of historical resources. Surface conditions are not amenable to off road driving.
Bicycle use is subject to New York State motor vehicle law. Trail conditions are not suitable for off road bicycle use.
Snowmobile activity has a negative effect on park wildlife. Also there are no suitable facilities to support parking. Sufficient trail surface does not exist. Park Administrative, Law Enforcement, or Search & Rescue snow machines are exempt.
(a)(2) The following areas have been designated for a specific use or activity, under the conditions and/or restrictions as noted:
The following restrictions and/or conditions are in effect for the specific uses or activities noted:
Passenger Carrying Buses
The idling of bus engines adds unnecessary exhaust fumes to the air and diminishes the enjoyment by visitors of the peace and tranquility of the park. Due to the nature of the service provided by the Park sponsored shuttle buses, they are excluded from the requirement.
II. 36 CFR §1.6 - ACTIVITIES THAT REQUIRE A PERMIT
(f) The following is a compilation of those activities for which a permit from the superintendent is required:
A Special Use Permit may be obtained by first requesting an application from the Park's visitor center, or by downloading it from the park's website. All applications will be reviewed by the permit review committee and recommendations made to the Superintendent.
Ill. GENERAL REGULATIONS
(a)(4) Dead wood on the ground may be collected for use as fuel for campfires within the park in the following areas:
(a)(5) The following conditions are in effect for walking, climbing, entering, ascending or traversing the listed archeological or cultural resource, monuments or statues:
(b) Hiking or pedestrian traffic is restricted to the trail or walkway as listed in Section 1.5 of this document.
(c)(1), (c)(2) The following fruits, nuts, berries or unoccupied seashells 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:
These fruits are the most common, readily available, and easily identified. These should be limited to one quart or less per person.
36 CFR §2.2 - WILDLIFE PROTECTION
(d) The transporting of lawfully taken wildlife through the park is permitted under the following conditions and procedures:
(e) The following areas are closed to the viewing of wildlife with the use of an artificial light:
36 CFR §2.3 - FISHING
(a) The following State fishing laws and/or regulations, as noted, do not apply in the listed areas:
(d)(2) Possession or use of live or dead minnows or other bait fish, amphibian, non-preserved fish eggs or roe is permitted in the following fresh water areas:
(d)(4) In accordance with federal statutory law, commercial fishing is authorized in the following areas, under the conditions noted:
36 CFR §2.4 - WEAPONS, TRAPS, AND NETS
(a)(2)(i) Weapons, traps, or nets may only be carried, possessed or used at the following designated times and locations:
36 CFR §2.10 - CAMPING and FOOD STORAGE
(a) The sites and areas listed below have been designated for camping activities as noted. A permit system has been established for certain campgrounds or camping activities, and conditions for camping and camping activities are in effect as noted:
36 CFR §2.11 - PICNICKING
Conditions for Picnicking:
(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:
Established Conditions for Fires:
(a)(2) The following restrictions are in effect for the use of stoves or lanterns:
(b) Fires must be extinguished according to the following conditions:
See special use permit requirements listed under Section 1.5
High fire dangers will be in effect as determined by the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS) and protocol established by the State of New York.
(a)(2) The use of government refuse receptacles or facilities for dumping household, commercial or industrial refuse, brought as such from private or municipal property is allowed under the following conditions:
(c) Conditions for the disposal, containerization, or carryout of human body waste have been established as follows:
(a)(1) The following structures and/or areas are closed to the possession of pets:
(a)(3) Pets may be left unattended and tied to an object in the following areas, under the conditions noted:
(a)(5) Pet excrement must be disposed of in accordance with the following conditions:
(e) Pets may be kept by park residents under the following conditions:
(a) The following animals are designated as pack animals for purposes of transporting equipment:
(b) The use of horses or pack animals are allowed on the following trails, routes or areas:
(d) Free-trailing or loose-herding is allowed on the following trails/routes, subject to the conditions noted:
(g) Other conditions concerning the use of horses or pack animals:
The superintendent may require users to acquire a special use permit for horse related activities. Please refer to Section 1.5 regarding permits required.
(a)(1) Areas designated for operating or using aircraft:
(c)(1) The removal of a downed aircraft, components, or parts thereof is subject to procedures established by the Superintendent through written authorization.
36 CFR §2.18 - SNOWMOBILES
(c) Snowmobile operation:
(a) The following park roads and/or parking areas open to motor vehicle traffic may be used for skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, inner-tubing, tobogganing, and similar winter activities under the conditions noted:
(b) The towing of persons on skis, sled or other similar device by motor vehicle or snowmobile is allowed in the following areas and/or routes:
The use of roller skates, skateboards, roller skis, coasting vehicles, or similar devices are allowed only in the following areas:
Unlike bicycles, skating devices have a limited ability to stop. Therefore, we propose to also close all roads within Saratoga National Historical Park to skating devices. The roadway has numerous narrow and winding sections with limited visibility and a high volume of passenger vehicles, recreational vehicles, and buses.
(a) The following portions of the park, or all or portions of buildings, structures or facilities are closed to smoking as noted:
It has been determined that smoking is prohibited in all park buildings, structures, and facilities to protect park resources, reduce the risk of fire, and prevent conflicts among visitor use activities. Also, the park will comply with the provision of the "Clean Indoor Air Act-2003" sec.1399 of the State of New York which prohibits smoking in public buildings.
(a)(2) Property may be left unattended for periods longer than 24 hours in the following areas and under the following conditions:
(b) Recreation fees, and/or a permit, in accordance with 36 CFR part 71, are established for the following entrance fee areas, and/or for the use of the following specialized sites, facilities, equipment or services, or for participation in the following group activity, recreation events or specialized recreation uses:
(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:
There are no prohibited areas. The superintendent has not determined a need to close any area to alcohol consumption provided that no violations of federal or state regulations have occurred. These prohibitions would include:
(b) Fireworks may be possessed and/or used in the following areas, under the conditions noted:
(a) Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades, and other expressions of views are allowed providing a special use permit has been issued by the office of the superintendent.
(c) A permit is required for the scattering of ashes from cremated human remains, or in the following designated areas without a permit, in accordance with the following terms and conditions:
36 CFR §3.6 - BOATING OPERATIONS
(d)(1) Vessels may not create a wake or exceed 5 mph in the following areas:
(h) The following areas/sites are designated for the launching or recovery of vessels using a trailer:
(i) The following areas/sites are designated for the launching or recovery of vessels propelled by machinery:
(l) Vessels must meet the following size, length or width restrictions:
Authorized watercraft participating in Law Enforcement, Fire, Search and Rescue, or Resource Management activities will be exempt.
(a) The towing of persons by vessels is allowed in the following areas under the terms and conditions noted:
(a)(1) The following areas are closed to swimming and bathing:
(a) SCUBA diving and snorkeling is permitted in the following swimming, docking, and mooring areas under the terms and conditions noted:
(a) Park roads, open for travel by motor vehicle are those indicated below, and/or as indicated in the following publication or document (attached hereto):
(c)(1) Track-laying motor vehicles, or other motor vehicles equipped with a similar traction device may be operated on the following routes under the terms and conditions noted:
(a) The following load, weight and size limits, which are more restrictive than State law, apply to the roads indicated under the terms and conditions, and/or under permit as noted:
(a) The following speed limits are established for the routes/roads indicated:
Speed limits on some park roads have been reduced to allow for safer pedestrian use. Many SARA visitors come to the park to walk, run and bike. The roadway has numerous narrow and winding sections with limited visibility and a high volume of passenger vehicles, recreational vehicles, and buses.
(a) Park roads and parking areas that are closed to bicycle use are listed in section 1.5 of this document.
Hitchhiking is permitted in the following areas under the conditions noted:
Last updated: December 11, 2019