Superintendent's Compendium

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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.

2021 Superintendent's Compendium (PDF)

A. Introduction

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.
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, than 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.
A person who violates any provision of the regulations found in 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, or provisions of this Compendium, is subject to a fine as provided by law (18 U.S.C. 3571) up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations, or by imprisonment not exceeding six months (18 U.S.C. 3559), or both, and shall be adjudged to pay all court costs associated with any court proceedings. You may receive a list of fines associated with any particular provision by contacting the Chief Ranger at the park address found below.
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.

Abandonment means the voluntary relinquishment of property with no intent to retain possession.

Administrative activities means those activities conducted under the authority of the National Park Service for the purpose of safeguarding persons or property, implementing management plans and policies developed in accordance and consistent with the regulations in this chapter, or repairing or maintaining government facilities.

Airboat means a vessel that is supported by the buoyancy of its hull and powered by a propeller or fan above the waterline. This definition should not be construed to mean a “hovercraft,” that is supported by a fan-generated air cushion.

Aircraft means a device that is used or intended to be used for human flight in the air, including powerless flight.

Archeological resource means material remains of past human life or activities that are of archeological interest and are at least 50 years of age. This term includes, but shall not be limited to, objects made or used by humans, such as pottery, basketry, bottles, weapons, weapon projectiles, tools, structures or portions of structures, pit houses, rock paintings, rock carvings, intaglios, or any portion or piece of the foregoing items, and the physical site, location or context in which they are found, or human skeletal materials or graves.

Authorized emergency vehicle means a vehicle in official use for emergency purposes by a Federal agency or an emergency vehicle as defined by State law.

Authorized person means an employee or agent of the National Park Service with delegated authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

Bicycle means every device propelled solely by human power upon which a person or persons may ride on land, having one, two, or more wheels, except a manual wheelchair.

Boundary means the limits of lands or waters administered by the National Park Service as specified by Congress, or denoted by presidential proclamation, or recorded in the records of a state or political subdivision in accordance with applicable law, or published pursuant to law, or otherwise published or posted by the National Park Service.

Camping means the erecting of a tent or shelter of natural or synthetic material, preparing a sleeping bag or other bedding material for use, parking of a motor vehicle, motor home or trailer, or mooring of a vessel for the apparent purpose of overnight occupancy.

Carry means to wear, bear, or have on or about the person.

Controlled substance means a drug or other substance, or immediate precursor, included in schedules I, II, III, IV, or V of part B of the Controlled Substance Act (21 U.S.C. 812) or a drug or substance added to these schedules pursuant to the terms of the Act.

Cultural resource means material remains of past human life or activities that are of significant cultural interest and are less than 50 years of age. This term includes, but shall not be limited to, objects made or used by humans, such as pottery, basketry, bottles, weapons, weapon projectiles, tools, structures or portions of structures, or any portion or piece of the foregoing items, and the physical site, location, or context in which they are found, or human skeletal materials or graves.

Developed area means roads, parking areas, picnic areas, campgrounds, or other structures, facilities or lands located within development and historic zones depicted on the park area land management and use map.

Director means the Director of the National Park Service.

Dive flag means a flag not less than 12 inches square, red in color, with a white stripe running diagonally from the top of the staff to the opposite lower corner. The white stripe shall be one-fifth the width of the flag.

Downed aircraft means an aircraft that cannot become airborne as a result of mechanical failure, fire, or accident.

E-bike means two- or three-wheeled cycles with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.) that provides propulsion assistance.

Firearm means a loaded or unloaded pistol, rifle, shotgun or other weapon which is designed to, or may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the ignition of a propellant.

Fish means any member of the subclasses Agnatha, Chondrichthyes, or Osteichthyes, or any mollusk or crustacean found in salt water.

Fishing means taking or attempting to take fish.
Flat wake speed means the minimum required speed to leave a flat wave disturbance close astern a moving vessel yet maintain steerageway, but in no case in excess of 5 statute miles per hour.

Harbor means a natural or artificially improved body of water providing protection for vessels, which may include anchorage, mooring or docking facilities.

Hunting means taking or attempting to take wildlife, except trapping.

Legislative jurisdiction means lands and waters under the exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction of the United States.

Manned submersible means any vessel that carries or is capable of carrying passenger(s) within the confines of the vessel below the surface of the water.

Manual wheelchair means a device that is propelled by human power, designed for and used by a mobility-impaired person.

Motorcycle means every motor vehicle having a seat for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding a tractor.

Motorized wheelchair means a self-propelled wheeled device, designed solely for and used by a mobility-impaired person for locomotion that is both capable of and suitable for use in indoor pedestrian areas.

Motor vehicle means every vehicle that is self-propelled and every vehicle that is propelled by electric power, but not operated on rails or upon water, except a snowmobile and a motorized wheelchair.

National Park System (Park area) means any area 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.

Net means a seine, weir, net wire, fish trap, or other implement designed to entrap fish, except a hand-held landing net used to retrieve fish taken by hook and line.

Nondeveloped area means all lands and waters within park areas other than developed areas.

Operator means a person who operates, drives, controls, otherwise has charge of or is in actual physical control of a mechanical mode of transportation or any other mechanical equipment.

Other Federal reservations in the environs of the District of Columbia means Federal areas, which are not under the administrative jurisdiction of the National Park Service, located in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, and Stafford Counties and the City of Alexandria in Virginia and Prince Georges, Charles, Anne Arundel, and Montgomery Counties in Maryland, exclusive of military reservations, unless the policing of military reservations by the U.S. Park Police is specifically requested by the Secretary of Defense or a designee thereof.

Pack animal means horses, burros, mules or other hoofed mammals when designated as pack animals by the superintendent.

Park area. See the definition for National Park System in this section.

Park road means the main-traveled surface of a roadway open to motor vehicles, owned, controlled or otherwise administered by the National Park Service.

Permit means a written authorization to engage in uses or activities that are otherwise prohibited, restricted, or regulated.

Person means an individual, firm, corporation, society, association, partnership, or private or public body.

Personal watercraft refers to a vessel, usually less than 16 feet in length, which uses an inboard, internal combustion engine powering a water jet pump as its primary source of propulsion. The vessel is intended to be operated by a person or persons sitting, standing or kneeling on the vessel, rather than within the confines of the hull. The length is measured from end to end over the deck excluding sheer, meaning a straight line measurement of the overall length from the foremost part of the vessel to the aftermost part of the vessel, measured parallel to the centerline. Bow sprits, bumpkins, rudders, outboard motor brackets, and similar fittings or attachments, are not included in the measurement. Length is stated in feet and inches.

Pet means a dog, cat or any animal that has been domesticated.

Possession means exercising direct physical control or dominion, with or without ownership, over property, or archeological, cultural or natural resources.

Power-driven vessel means any vessel propelled by machinery.

Practitioner means a physician, dentist, veterinarian, scientific investigator, pharmacy, hospital or other person licensed, registered or otherwise permitted by the United States or the jurisdiction in which such person practices to distribute or possess a controlled substance in the course of professional practice.

Public use limit means the number of persons; number and type of animals; amount, size and type of equipment, vessels, mechanical modes of conveyance, or food/beverage containers
allowed to enter, be brought into, remain in, or be used within a designated geographic area or facility; or the length of time a designated geographic area or facility may be occupied.

Refuse means trash, garbage, rubbish, waste papers, bottles or cans, debris, litter, oil, solvents, liquid waste, or other discarded materials.

Regional Director means the official in charge of a geographic area of the National Park Service.

Sailing vessel means any vessel under sail provided, if propelling machinery is fitted, it is not being used.

Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior.

Services means, but is not limited to, meals and lodging, labor, professional services, transportation, admission to exhibits, use of telephone or other utilities, or any act for which payment is customarily received.

Sewage means human body waste or the waste from a toilet or other receptacle intended to receive or retain body waste.

Smoking means the carrying of lighted cigarettes, cigars or pipes, or the intentional and direct inhalation of smoke from these objects.

Snowmobile means a self-propelled vehicle intended for travel primarily on snow, having a curb weight of not more than 1000 pounds (450 kg), driven by a track or tracks in contact with the snow, and steered by ski or skis in contact with the snow.

State means a State, territory, or possession of the United States.

State law means the applicable and nonconflicting laws, statutes, regulations, ordinances, infractions and codes of the State(s) and political subdivision(s) within whose exterior boundaries a park area or a portion thereof is located.

Superintendent means the official in charge of a park area or an authorized representative thereof.

Take or taking means to pursue, hunt, harass, harm, shoot, trap, net, capture, collect, kill, wound, or attempt to do any of the above.

Traffic means pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, vehicles, and other conveyances, either singly or together while using any road, trail, street or other thoroughfare for purpose of travel.

Traffic control device means a sign, signal, marking or other device placed or erected by, or with the concurrence of, the Superintendent for the purpose of regulating, warning, guiding or otherwise controlling traffic or regulating the parking of vehicles.

Trap means a snare, trap, mesh, wire or other implement, object or mechanical device designed to entrap or kill animals other than fish.

Trapping means taking or attempting to take wildlife with a trap.

Underwater diving means the use of any apparatus, whether self-contained or connected to a distant source of air or other gas, whereby a person wholly or partially submerged in water, can obtain or reuse air or any other gas or gasses for breathing without returning to the surface of the water. Underwater diving would include, but is not be limited to use of SCUBA, surface supplied air, mixed gas, or re-breathers.

Underway means when a vessel is not at anchor, moored, made fast to the shore or docking facility, or aground.

Unloaded, as applied to weapons and firearms, means that:

(1) There is no unexpended shell, cartridge, or projectile in any chamber or cylinder of a firearm or in a clip or magazine inserted in or attached to a firearm;

(2) A muzzle-loading weapon does not contain gun powder in the pan, or the percussion cap is not in place; and

(3) Bows, crossbows, spear guns or any implement capable of discharging a missile or similar device by means of a loading or discharging mechanism, when that loading or discharging mechanism is not charged or drawn.

Un-manned submersible means any device operated by remote control, used or capable of being used, to search or collect below the surface of the water. This definition does not apply to a device being used lawfully for fishing.

Vehicle means every device in, upon, or by which a person or property is or may be transported or drawn on land, except snowmobiles and devices moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or track.

Vessel means every description of watercraft, or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on the water. This definition does not apply to a seaplane on the water.

Weapon means a firearm, compressed gas or spring-powered pistol or rifle, bow and arrow, crossbow, blowgun, speargun, hand-thrown spear, slingshot, irritant gas device, explosive device, or any other implement designed to discharge missiles, and includes a weapon the possession of which is prohibited under the laws of the State in which the park area or portion thereof is located.

Wildlife means any member of the animal kingdom and includes a part, product, egg or offspring thereof, or the dead body or part thereof, except fish.

(b) In addition to the definitions in paragraph (a), for the purpose of the regulations contained in parts 3 and 7 of this chapter, the definitions pertaining to navigation, navigable waters and shipping enumerated in title 14 United States Code, title 33 Code of Federal Regulations, title 46 Code of Federal Regulations, title 49 Code of Federal Regulations, the Federal Boating Safety Act of 1971, and the Inland Navigational Rules Act of 1980, shall apply for boating and water activities.

Copies of the Compendium are available at Valley Forge National Historical Park, 1400 North Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia, PA 19406. It may also be found here.

B. Superintendent's Compendium

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 Valley Forge National Historical Park. 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.

 

I. 36 CFR §1.5 – Visiting Hours, Public Use Limits, Closures, and Area Designations for Specific Use or Activies


(a)(1) 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:

  • The Valley Forge Visitor Center is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm 7 days a week. The Visitor Center is open during most of the summer from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm, check nps.gov/vafo/planyourvisit/hours.htm for the operating dates each summer season
  • The following seasonal hours of operations apply to Washington's Headquarters:
    - January and February: Open on weekends only from 10AM-4PM
    - (Exceptions in Jan and Feb: HQ is open on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and President's Day from 10AM-4PM)
    - March through Mid-June: Open daily from 10AM-5PM
    - Mid-June through Mid-August: Open daily from 10AM-6PM (Extended summer hours)
    - Mid-August through November (before Daylight Savings Time ends/the first Sunday in Nov): Open daily from 10AM-5PM
    - November (once Daylight Savings Time ends/the first Sunday in Nov) through the end of December: Open daily from 10AM-4:30PM
    Note: Washington's HQ may be closed due to inclement weather, particularly snow/ice. When snow and ice conditions are present, please call the Visitor Center at (610) 783-1099 to confirm the status of Washington's Headquarters.
  • The park library is available for use by appointment only.
  • All park buildings are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
  • The park or portion thereof may close at any time due to hazardous weather conditions, power outages or for emergency reasons in order to protect the welfare of staff, visitors, and park resources.
  • Park grounds, waterways, trails, parking lots, roads and all other areas unless otherwise designated, should be considered a Day Use Area, open from 7:00 am until dark (1/2 hour after sunset).

Exceptions:

  • The Chapel Lot and Knox Lot are open for parking beginning at 6 am with a Special Use Permit.
  • State-owned roadways: Pawlings Road, Route 252 (Valley Creek Rd), Yellow Springs Road, Gulph Road, County Line Road and Route 23 (Valley Forge Park Road) are exempt from this closure.
  • The maximum number of occupants permitted in the park Theater (formerly known as the Auditorium) is 295.
  • The maximum number of occupants permitted in the lower level of the Visitor Center is 533.
  • The maximum number of occupants permitted in the Meeting Room is 188. If the Meeting Room is set up with tables and chairs, the maximum occupancy is 88. If the main room of the Meeting Room is divided into Room A and Room B, each of those rooms has a maximum capacity of 94 occupants. If those rooms are set up with tables and chairs, the maximum occupancy is 44.

    The maximum occupancies for the buildings listed above were determined by the fire marshal’s office and are in place for reasons of life safety.
  • In order to manage impacts to the resources and operations of the park, any organized group of 20 or more is required to have a permit.

The following locations are closed to public access at all times:

  • Wayne’s Woods Area

    This area is located on South Outer Line Drive and is fenced and marked with signage. The area has received heavy visitor use over time and as a result has sustained significant damage. The area is closed to allow the resource to rest and be reclaimed.
  • Wayne’s Woods restrooms are closed from December 1 to April 1.

    During the winter months there is little to no visitor activity in this area. Due to the lack of use during the winter months, and to promote the efficient operation of the park, this area is closed between the above dates.
  • Varnum’s Picnic Area and restrooms are closed from December 1 to April 1.

    During the winter months there is little to no visitor activity in this area. Due to the lack of use during the winter months, and to promote the efficient operation of the park, this area is closed between the above dates.
  • All trails are closed to motor vehicles with the exception of emergency and/or authorized vehicles.

    These closures are in place for visitor safety.
  • Sullivan’s Bridge (a pedestrian bridge connecting park areas on both side of the Schuylkill River) is closed to motor vehicles with the exception of emergency and/or authorized vehicles.

    These closures are in place for visitor safety.
  • Catfish Island, located on the Schuylkill River between the 422 Bridge and Pawlings Road Bridge, is closed between March 15 and June 1.

    Canada Geese and Herons nest on the Island during this period. Human activity will disrupt their nesting habits which could be fatal to their offspring.
  • Areas of the park located south of the Schuylkill River are closed to races, “a-thons”, fundraisers, athletic or sporting events, shows or exhibitions, with the exception of one park-sponsored race known as the Revolutionary Run, to be held annual as a part of National Park Week.
  • Active construction areas and fenced quarries located within the park are closed to the public.

    These closures are for the safety of the general public due to the steep banks and loose rocks.

The following activities are prohibited in all areas of the park:

Model Rockets:

  • All areas of the park are closed to the launching of model rockets.

    This closure is based on the determination that the launching of model rockets is inappropriate in the park due to the historic setting and also to reduce the potential for fire. Falling rockets are also hazards to visitors using the park.

Kite Skiing:

  • All areas of the park are closed to Kite Skiing and other activities involving an individual attached by harness to a kite or parachute.

    Due to the nature of the activity, this is a safety concern and is also very distracting (large kite/parachute) to the visitor experience of an 18th Century Encampment Area.

Segways:

  • Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices (EPAMD)

    Segways and other brands of EPAMD are considered motor vehicles as defined under 36 CFR §1.4. Therefore, pursuant to 36 CFR §4.10(a) the recreational use of Segways and other EPAMD on park sidewalks and trails is prohibited.

Idling of Motor Vehicles:

  • All motor vehicles that are parked for more than 1 minute must have the engine shut down.
  • The above prohibition does not apply to law enforcement patrol operations, fire or emergency search and rescue missions or training exercises.

    The purpose of this restriction is to reduce public exposure to diesel, exhaust particulate matter and other toxic air contaminants by limiting the idling of buses, trucks and other motor vehicles. Additionally, this restriction will also limit the noise impact on visitors enjoying the natural and historical setting within the park.

Boating in Valley Creek:

  • Boating in Valley Creek is prohibited.

    The creek is shallow and difficult to navigate in certain locations. A dam, low hanging covered bridge and water level gauges on the creek make navigation dangerous.

 

(a)(2) The following areas have been designated for a specific use or activity, under the conditions and/or restrictions as noted:

E-bikes are allowed in Valley Forge National Historical Park where traditional bicycles are allowed. E-bikes are prohibited where traditional bicycles are prohibited. Except on park roads and other locations where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, operators may only use the power provided by the electric motor to assist pedal propulsion of an e-bike.

Please refer to the most current version of the parks trail map for these locations, which can be found at https://www.nps.gov/vafo/planyourvisit//maps.htm

A person operating an e-bike is subject to the following sections of 36 CFR part 4 that apply to the use of traditional bicycles: sections 4.12, 4.13, 4.20, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23, and 4.30(h)(2)-(5).

Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an e-bike within Valley Forge National Historical Park is governed by State law, which is adopted and made a part of this Compendium. Any violation of State law adopted by this paragraph is prohibited.

Launching, landing or operating unmanned aircraft systems from lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Valley Forge National Historical Park is prohibited except as approved in writing by the park superintendent.

Exception:

  • The use of unmanned aircraft systems is restricted to the field (known as the Airplane Field) located on Valley Creek Road (Rte 252) at the park’s South entrance.
  • All persons using this area for unmanned aircraft flight are required to be a member of the Valley Forge Signal Seekers or obtain a day use pass from a member of the Valley Forge Signal Seekers. Day use passes will only be available when a member of the Valley Forge Signal Seekers is present at the field and can confirm the requirements of field use are met by signing and issuing the day pass. The one-day flight permit is valid only for the day it is issued. Safety rules to govern the use of the Airplane Field have been developed in cooperation with Valley Forge Signal Seekers and have been adopted as regulation for Valley Forge National Historical Park. This regulation document and the AMA National Model Aircraft Safety code will be posted in the bulletin board located at the field.
  • Unmanned aircraft are prohibited from flying over the roads or parking areas surrounding the field.
  • The Betzwood Boat Ramp is the only authorized boat launch area in the park. There is a ramp available for boat trailers and trailer parking available at Betzwood. The operation of personal watercraft (jet skis) are prohibited within the park boundary.
  • Engaging in activities that interfere with or detract from the use and appreciation of park resources is prohibited.

    This closure is in place to assure that visitors to the historic sites are not distracted by activities that could detract from the visitor’s appreciation of the historic scene.

All individuals over the age of two, regardless of vaccination status or local community transmission levels, must wear masks except when actively eating or drinking, in the following locations:

(1) All common areas and shared workspaces in buildings owned, rented, or leased by the National Park Service, including, but not limited to, park visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift shops and restaurants.

(2) The following outdoor areas, when others are present, where the superintendent has determined that physical distancing (staying at least six feet apart) cannot reasonably be maintained:

  • All facilities, including but not limited to historic and reproduction structures, contact stations, picnic areas, pavilions and bathrooms that are open to the public.

  • All designated trailheads, trails, and parking lots.

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 vaccination status, all individuals must comply with all orders regarding masks issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC prevention measures continue to apply to all travelers on public transit, regardless of vaccination status. Masks remain required on all forms of public transit that operate within parks, including busses, trains, and boats/ferries, and in transportation hubs.

Park staff should not ask visitors whether or not they have been vaccinated. Absent evidence to the contrary, park staff should operate as though non-masked visitors are fully vaccinated.

In accordance with National Park Service Law Enforcement Reference Manual 9 (RM-9), notice is hereby given that Valley Forge National Historical Park 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.

 

II. 36 CFR §1.6 – Activities That Require a Permit

§1.5 Relating to Public Use Limits:

(d) To implement a public use limit, the superintendent may establish a permit, registration, or reservation system. Permits shall be issued in accordance with the criteria and procedures of 36 CFR §1.6.

§1.6(a) Scientific Research

§2.4(d) Carry or possess a weapon, trap, or net

§2.5(a) Specimen collection (Take plant, fish, wildlife, rocks or minerals)

§2.12 Audio Disturbances

(a)(4) Operation of a public address system in connection with a public gathering or special event for which a permit has been issued pursuant to §2.50 or §2.51.

§2.17 Aircraft & Air Delivery

(a)(3) Delivery or retrieval of a person or object by parachute, helicopter or other airborne means.

(c)(1) Removal of a downed aircraft.

§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)

§2.38 Explosives

(a) Use, possess, store, transport explosives, blasting agents.

(b) Use or possess fireworks.

§2.50(a) Conduct a sports event, pageant, regatta, public spectator attraction, entertainment, ceremony, and similar events

§2.51(a) Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades and other public expressions of views

§2.52(c) Sale or distribution of printer matter that is not solely commercial advertising

§2.60(b) Livestock use

§2.61(a) Residing on federal lands

§2.62 Memorialization

(a) Erection of monuments (Requires approval from Regional Director).

(b) Scattering ashes from human cremation.

§4.11(a) Exceeding of established vehicle load, weight and size limits

§5.1 Advertisements (Display, posting or distribution)

§5.2(b) Sale of intoxicants on private lands

§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 Photography

(a) Still photography of vehicles, or other articles of commerce or models for the purpose of commercial advertising.

§5.6(c) Use of commercial vehicles on park area roads (The superintendent shall issue a permit to access private lands within or adjacent to the park when access is otherwise not available)

§5.7 Construction of buildings, facilities, trails, roads, boat docks, path, structure, etc.

§6.9(a) Operation of a solid waste disposal site.

Activities requiring a permit are listed above, under Public Use Limits and throughout this document under the specific 36 CFR Section that authorizes or requires the issuance of a permit.

Parties interested in obtaining special use permits may learn more about permits and about how to obtain a permit application by visiting https://www.nps.gov/vafo/planyourvisit/permits.htm. One may also call 610-783-1000 and choose option #4 for more information.

 

III. General Regulations

Jump to a Section

Preservation of Natural, Cultural, and Archaeological Resources
Wildlife Protection
Fishing
Weapons, Traps, and Nets
Research Specimens
Camping and Food Storage
Picnicking
Audio Disturbances
Fires
Pets
Horses and Pack Animals
Aircraft and Air Delivery
Snowmobiles
Winter Activities
Skating, Skateboards, and Similar Devices
Smoking
Property
Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances
Explosives
Special Events
Demonstrations
Sale or Distribution of Printed Matter
Residing on Federal Lands
Memorialization
Boating and Water Use Activities
Water Skiing
Swimming and Bathing
Travel on Park Roads and Routes
Load, Weight and Size Limits
Speed Limits
Bicycles
Advertisements
Business Operations
Still Photography, and Audio Recording
Commercial VehiclesConstruction of Buildings or Other Facilities

36 CFR §2.1 – Preservation of Natural, Cultural, and Archaeological Resources

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the following is prohibited:

(1) Possessing, destroying, injuring, defacing, removing, digging, or disturbing from its natural state:

(i) Living or dead wildlife or fish, or the parts or products thereof, such as antlers or nests.

(ii) Plants or the parts or products thereof.

(iii) Nonfossilized and fossilized paleontological specimens, cultural or archeological resources, or the parts thereof.

(iv) A mineral resource or cave formation or the parts thereof.

(2) Introducing wildlife, fish or plants, including their reproductive bodies, into a park area ecosystem.

(3) Tossing, throwing or rolling rocks or other items inside caves or caverns, into valleys, canyons, or caverns, down hillsides or mountainsides, or into thermal features.

(4) Using or possessing wood gathered from within the park area: Provided, however, That the superintendent may designate areas where dead wood on the ground may be collected for use as fuel for campfires within the park area.

(5) Walking on, climbing, entering, ascending, descending, or traversing an archeological or cultural resource, monument, or statue, except in designated areas and under conditions established by the superintendent.

(6) Possessing, destroying, injuring, defacing, removing, digging, or disturbing a structure or its furnishing or fixtures, or other cultural or archeological resources.

(7) Possessing or using a mineral or metal detector, magnetometer, side scan sonar, other metal detecting device, or subbottom profiler.

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36 CFR §2.2 – Wildlife Protection

(d) Any wildlife legally taken from outside the park boundary that needs to be removed from within the park is permitted under the following conditions and procedures:

  • A law enforcement ranger must accompany the removal of the wildlife.

(e) The following areas are closed to the viewing of wildlife with the use of an artificial light:

  • All park areas are closed to spotlighting.

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36 CFR § 2.3 – Fishing

(a) Except in designated areas or as provided in this section, fishing shall be in accordance with the laws and regulations of the State within whose exterior boundaries a park area or portion thereof is located. Nonconflicting State laws are adopted as a part of these regulations.

(d) The following are prohibited:

(1)Fishing in fresh waters in any manner other than by hook and line, with the rod or line being closely attended

(3) Chumming or placing preserved or fresh fish eggs, fish roe, food, fish parts, chemicals, or other foreign substances in fresh waters for the purpose of feeding or attracting fish in order that they may be taken.

The Use of Live Bait is prohibited in Valley Creek

There has been a plethora of issues surrounding the introduction and spread of non-native species to Valley Creek. Among other species, Rusty crayfish are invasive crustaceans spreading to lakes, rivers, and streams in several areas of North America. They are more aggressive than other native crayfish, better able to avoid fish predation, and can harm native fish populations by eating their eggs and young. They can displace native crayfish, hybridize with them, and graze on and eliminate aquatic plants.

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36 CFR §2.4 – Weapons, Traps and Nets

  • 18 U.S.C. § 930 prohibits the possession of firearms in “federal facilities,” which are defined as “buildings or parts thereof owned or leased by the federal government, where federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.” These places are marked with signs at public entrances.

  • Park visitors who can legally possess and carry firearms under federal, state, and local law are allowed to carry them in the park. 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.

  • Weapons cannot be used in the park except by authorized federal, state, local law enforcement officers or cooperating officials in the performance of their official duties.

  • Traps and nets are not permitted in the park.

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36 CFR §2.5 – Research Specimens

(a) Taking plants, fish, wildlife, rocks or minerals is prohibited except in accordance with other regulations of Chapter I of 36 CFR or pursuant to the terms and conditions of a specimen collection permit. Applications for research permits are available here.

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36 CFR §2.10 – Camping and Food Storage

(a) The superintendent may require permits, designate sites or areas, and establish conditions for camping.

Camping is only permitted at park sponsored events.

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36 CFR §2.11 – Picnicking

Conditions for picnicking:

  • Permit required for groups of 30 or more.

  • Trash must be disposed of properly and packed out when no trash receptacles are available.

  • Picnicking is on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Grills are provided only at the Betzwood Picnic Area.

  • Groups larger than 20 people are required to use a “designated picnic area” – i.e. Varnum’s, Wayne’s Woods, or Betzwood Picnic Areas.

  • Certain areas have been closed to picnicking and are listed under Recreational Activities.

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36 CFR §2.12 – Audio Disturbances

(a) The following are prohibited:

(1) Operating motorized equipment or machinery such as an electric generating plant, motor vehicle, motorized toy, or an audio device, such as a radio, television set, tape deck or musical instrument, in a manner:

(i) That exceeds a noise level of 60 decibels measured on the A-weighted scale at 50 feet; or, if below that level, nevertheless;

(ii) makes noise which is unreasonable, considering the nature and purpose of the actor's conduct, location, time of day or night, purpose for which the area was established, impact on park users, and other factors that would govern the conduct of a reasonably prudent person under the circumstances.

(2) In developed areas, operating a power saw, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit.

(3) In nondeveloped areas, operating any type of portable motor or engine, or device powered by a portable motor or engine, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit. This paragraph does not apply to vessels in areas where motor boating is allowed.

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

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

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36 CFR 2.13 – Fires

(a) The following are prohibited:

(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:

Designated Areas:

  • Fires are permitted in all picnic areas. Grills are only provided at Betzwood Picnic Area.

Receptacles Allowed:

  • All fires must be in self-contained charcoal grills or UL approved propane or gasoline stoves/grills.

Established Conditions for Fires:

  • All grill accoutrements and used charcoal must be packed out of the park by the user.

  • Open fires and ground fires are not permitted except in conjunction with Park approved living history demonstration and activities.

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36 CFR 2.14 – Pets

(a) The following are prohibited:

(1) Possessing a pet in a public building, public transportation vehicle, or location designated as a swimming beach, or any structure or area closed to the possession of pets by the superintendent. This subparagraph shall not apply to guide dogs accompanying visually impaired persons or hearing ear dogs accompanying hearing-impaired persons.

(2) Failing to crate, cage, restrain on a leash which shall not exceed six feet in length, or otherwise physically confine a pet at all times.

(3) Leaving a pet unattended and tied to an object, except in designated areas or under conditions which may be established by the superintendent.

(4) Allowing a pet to make noise that is unreasonable considering location, time of day or night, impact on park users, and other relevant factors, or that frightens wildlife by barking, howling, or making other noise.

(5) Failing to comply with pet excrement disposal conditions which may be established by the superintendent.

  • Owners or persons having custody or control of any animal(s) will immediately remove and dispose of excrement voided by an animal(s) under their control. Excrement will be properly disposed of in outdoor trash containers

(b) In park areas where hunting is allowed, dogs may be used in support of these activities in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws and in accordance with conditions which may be established by the superintendent.

(c) Pets or feral animals that are running-at-large and observed by an authorized person in the act of killing, injuring or molesting humans, livestock, or wildlife may be destroyed if necessary for public safety or protection of wildlife, livestock, or other park resources.

(d) Pets running-at-large may be impounded, and the owner may be charged reasonable fees for kennel or boarding costs, feed, veterinarian fees, transportation costs, and disposal. An impounded pet may be put up for adoption or otherwise disposed of after being held for 72 hours from the time the owner was notified of capture or 72 hours from the time of capture if the owner is unknown.

(e) Pets may be kept by residents of park areas consistent with the provisions of this section and in accordance with conditions which may be established by the superintendent. Violation of these conditions is prohibited.

  • Breeding operations shall not be conducted on park property.

  • Wildlife shall not be kept in violation of state or federal law.

  • The keeping of farm animals (which include but are not limited to: horses, burros, goats, or potbellied pigs) is prohibited.

  • Excessive noise or offensive conditions created by any pet are prohibited.

(f) This section does not apply to dogs used by authorized Federal, State and local law enforcement officers in the performance of their official duties.

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36 CFR §2.16 – Horses and Pack Animals

The following are prohibited:

(b) The use of horses or pack animals outside of trails, routes or areas designated for their use.

The use of horses or pack animals is allowed on certain trails, routes or areas, please refer to the most current version of the parks trail map for these locations.

(g) Violation of conditions which may be established by the superintendent concerning the use of horses or pack animals.

Horse excrement must be removed (by owner or person having custody of animal) from all paved walkways, roads and parking areas.

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36 CFR §2.17 – Aircraft and Air Delivery

(a) The following are prohibited:

(1) Operating or using aircraft on lands or waters other than at locations designated pursuant to special regulations.

(c)

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, the owners of a downed aircraft shall remove the aircraft and all component parts thereof in accordance with procedures established by the superintendent. In establishing removal procedures, the superintendent is authorized to:

(i) Establish a reasonable date by which aircraft removal operations must be complete.

(ii) Determine times and means of access to and from the downed aircraft.

(iii) Specify the manner or method of removal.

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36 CFR § 2.18 - Snowmobiles

(c) The use of snowmobiles is prohibited, except on designated routes and water surfaces that are used by motor vehicles or motorboats during other seasons. Routes and water surfaces designated for snowmobile use shall be promulgated as special regulations. Snowmobiles are prohibited except where designated and only when their use is consistent with the park's natural, cultural, scenic and aesthetic values, safety considerations, park management objectives, and will not disturb wildlife or damage park resources.

All snowmobile use is prohibited in the park.

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36 CFR § 2.19 – Winter Activities

(a) Skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, sledding, tubing, tobogganing, and similar winter sports are prohibited on park roads and in parking areas open to motor vehicle traffic.

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36 CFR § 2.20 - Skating, Skateboards, and Similar Devices

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

  • Schuylkill River Trial

  • Betzwood Parking area, only to immediately access the Schuylkill River Trail.

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36 CFR § 2.21 – Smoking

Smoking and the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) is prohibited in all Government buildings except single occupancy/single family park quarters. Smoking and the use of ENDS is prohibited in dormitory style housing.

The superintendent has determined that this restriction is necessary to protect park resources, protect employees and the public and reduce the risk of fire on government property. This measure is deemed to be the minimum necessary to achieve such protection.

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36 CFR §2.22 – Property

(a) The following are prohibited:

(1) Abandoning property.

(2) Leaving property unattended for longer than 24 hours, except in locations where longer time periods have been designated or in accordance with conditions established by the superintendent.

All areas in the boundaries of Valley Forge National Historical Park are closed to overnight parking with the exception of park residences, lease premises, and functions approved by the superintendent.

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36 CFR §2.35 – Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances

(a)Alcoholic beverages.

(3)

(i) The superintendent may close all or a portion of a public use area or public facility within a park area to the consumption of alcoholic beverages and/or to the possession of a bottle, can or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or that has been opened, or whose seal is broken or the contents of which have been partially removed. Provided however, that such a closure may only be implemented following a determination made by the superintendent that:

(A) The consumption of an alcoholic beverage or the possession of an open container of an alcoholic beverage would be inappropriate considering other uses of the location and the purpose for which it is maintained or established; or

(B) Incidents of aberrant behavior related to the consumption of alcoholic beverages are of such magnitude that the diligent application of the authorities in this section and §§ 1.5 and 2.34 of this chapter, over a reasonable time period, does not alleviate the problem.

All areas in the boundaries of Valley Forge National Historical Park are closed to alcohol consumption with the exception of park residences, lease premises, and functions approved by the superintendent.

The park is close to highly populated areas and heavily traveled public roads traverse the park. For these reasons some users may come to the park for the sole purpose of consuming alcohol. The park staff has noticed that behavior induced by the consumption of alcohol by some persons may at times destroy the enjoyment of the park by others. This restriction is consistent with the Pennsylvania state park restriction on alcohol.

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36 CFR §2.38 – Explosives

(a) Using, possessing, storing, or transporting explosives, blasting agents or explosive materials is prohibited, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit. When permitted, the use, possession, storage and transportation shall be in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws.

(b) Using or possessing fireworks and firecrackers is prohibited, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit or in designated areas under such conditions as the superintendent may establish, and in accordance with applicable State law.

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36 CFR §2.50 – Special Events

(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.

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36 CFR §2.51 – Demonstrations

(a) Demonstrations. The term “demonstrations” includes demonstrations, picketing, speechmaking, marching, holding vigils or religious services, and all other like forms of conduct that involve the communication or expression of views or grievances, engaged in by one or more persons, the conduct of which is reasonably likely to attract a crowd or onlookers. This term does not include casual park use by visitors or tourists that is not reasonably likely to attract a crowd or onlookers.

(b) Permits and the small group permit exception. Demonstrations are allowed within park areas designated as available under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, when the superintendent has issued a permit for the activity, except that:

(1) Demonstrations involving 25 persons or fewer may be held without a permit within designated park areas, provided that:

(i) None of the reasons for denying a permit that are set out in paragraph (f) of this section are present;

(ii) The group is not merely an extension of another group already availing itself of the small group permit exception under this provision;

(iii) They will not unreasonably interfere with other permitted demonstrations and special events, or park program activities; and

(iv) Hand-carried signs may be used, but stages, platforms, or structures may not be used.

(2) While it is not mandatory, the organizer is requested to provide reasonable notice of the proposed event to the park superintendent, including whether there is any reason to believe that there may be an attempt to disrupt, protest, or prevent the activity.

(3) The 25-person maximum for the small group permit exception may be reduced for a designated available area, but only if:

(i) A written determination that a 25-person group cannot be reasonably physically accommodated within that area is approved by the regional director; and

(ii) The written determination is made available at the office of the superintendent and by public notice under § 1.7 of this chapter.

(4) In the event that two or more groups taking advantage of the small group permit exception seek to use the same designated available area at the same time, and the area cannot reasonably accommodate multiple occupancy, the superintendent will, whenever possible, direct the later-arriving group to relocate to another nearby designated available area.

(c) Designated available park areas.

(1) Locations may be designated as available for demonstrations under this section, and for the sale or distribution of printed matter and the free distribution of other message-bearing items under § 2.52, only if these activities would not:

(i) Cause injury or damage to park resources;

(ii) Unreasonably impair the atmosphere of peace and tranquility maintained in wilderness, natural, historic, or commemorative zones;

(iii) Unreasonably interfere with interpretive, visitor service, or other program activities, or with the administrative activities of the National Park Service;

(iv) Substantially impair the operation of public use facilities or services of National Park Service concessioners, holders of commercial use authorizations, or contractors;

(v) Present a clear and present danger to the public health and safety; or

(vi) Be incompatible with the nature and traditional use of the particular park area involved.

(2) The superintendent must designate on a map, which must be available in the office of the superintendent and by public notice under § 1.7 of this chapter, the locations designated as available for demonstrations, the sale or distribution of printed matter, and the free distribution of other message bearing items.

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36 CFR § 2.52 – Sale or Distribution of Printed Matter

(a) Printed matter and other message-bearing items. The term “printed matter” means message-bearing textual printed material such as books, pamphlets, magazines, and leaflets, provided that it is not solely commercial advertising. The term “other message-bearing items” means a message-bearing item that is not “printed matter” and is not solely commercial advertising. Other message-bearing items include, but are not limited to: Readable electronic media such as CDs, DVDs, and flash drives; clothing and accessories such as hats and key chains; buttons; pins; and bumper stickers.

(b) Permits and the small group permit exception. The sale or distribution of printed matter, and the free distribution of other message-bearing items without asking for or demanding payment or donation, is allowed within park areas if it occurs in an area designated as available under § 2.51(c)(2) and when the superintendent has issued a permit for the activity, except that:

(1) Sale or distribution activity by 25 persons or fewer may be conducted without a permit within designated park areas, provided that:

(i) None of the reasons for denying a permit that are set out in paragraph (e) of this section are present;

(ii) The group is not merely an extension of another group already availing itself of the small group permit exception under this provision;

(iii) The sale or distribution will not unreasonably interfere with other permitted demonstrations and special events, or program activities; and

(iv) Hand-carried signs may be used, but stages, platforms, or structures may not be used.

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36 CFR §2.61 – Residing on Federal Lands

(a) Residing in park areas, other than on privately owned lands, is prohibited except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit, lease or contract.

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36 CFR §2.62 – Memorialization

(b) The scattering of human ashes from cremation is prohibited, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit, or in designated areas according to conditions which may be established by the superintendent.

  • Scattering must be done so that the ashes are not recognizable as the remains of a human.

  • Ashes must be scattered a minimum of 100 feet from any water source or developed area.

  • Nothing may be buried, planted or left in the park as a memorial with the exception of trees donated and planted by park staff.

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36 CFR §3.8 – Boating and Water Use Activities

(a) The following operations are prohibited:

(2) Launching or recovering a vessel, except at a launch site designated by the superintendent.

  • The only area designated area launch a boat is the Betzwood Boat Ramp

(b) The following operations are inherently unsafe and therefore prohibited:

(4) Operating a vessel in excess of flat wake speed within 100 feet of:

(i) A downed water skier;

(ii) A person swimming, wading, fishing from shore or floating with the aid of a flotation device;

(iii) A designated launch site; or

(iv) A manually propelled, anchored or drifting vessel. If the park is located within a State specifying different conditions, then that State law is adopted in lieu of this paragraph.

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36 CFR §3.12 – Water Skiing

The towing of persons by vessels is allowed in the following areas under the terms and conditions noted:

  • Water skiing is permitted in the Schuylkill River under the conditions imposed by this section and as permitted by state regulations regarding no wake areas.

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36 CFR §3.16 – Swimming and Bathing

Swimming is allowed in waters, subject to closures or restrictions designated by the superintendent in accordance with §1.5 and 1.7 of this chapter.

The following areas are closed to swimming:

  • Valley Creek

  • Schuylkill River within 200 feet of its confluence with Valley Creek

  • Schuylkill River within 500 feet of the Betzwood boat launch ramp

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36 CFR §4.10 – Travel on Park Roads and Routes

(a) Operating a motor vehicle is prohibited except on park roads, in parking areas and on routes and areas designated for off-road motor vehicle use.

  • All state through-ways and tour roads are open for vehicle travel.

  • All trails, maintenance roads, or fire breaks are not open to the public for vehicle travel.

  • Travel around closed park gates is not permitted.

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36 CFR §4.11 – Load, Weight and Size Limits

  • Vehicles exceeding established state size limits require a permit issued by the superintendent, and appropriate state highway permits.

  • The covered bridge is closed to all trucks and busses.

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36 CFR §4.21 – Speed Limits

(b) The following speed limits are established for the routes/roads indicated:

  • North and South Outer Line Drive 25 mph

  • North, East, South and West Inner Line Drive 25 mph

  • State roads within the park are posted 35 mph with the exception of a small section of Rt. 252 (Valley Creek Road) which is posted at 40 mph

  • Road to main Visitor Center parking area. 15 mph

  • River Road (Washington’s HQ) 15 mph

  • Joseph Plumb Martin Trail 15 mph for bicyclists

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36 CFR §4.30 – Bicycles

(a) The use of bicycles is allowed on certain trails, routes or areas.

Please refer to the most current version of the park's trail map for these locations.

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36 CFR §5.1 – Advertisements

Commercial notices or advertisements shall not be displayed, posted, or distributed on federally owned or controlled lands within a park area unless prior written permission has been given by the Superintendent. Such permission may be granted only if the notice or advertisement is of goods, services, or facilities available within the park area and such notices and advertisements are found by the Superintendent to be desirable and necessary for the convenience and guidance of the public.

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36 CFR §5.3 – Business Operations

Engaging in or soliciting any business in park areas, except in accordance with the provisions of a permit, contract, or other written agreement with the United States, except as such may be specifically authorized under special regulations applicable to a park area, is prohibited.

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36 CFR §5.5 – Still Photography and Audio Recording

(a) 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.

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36 CFR §5.6 – Commercial Vehicles

(b) The use of government roads within park areas by commercial vehicles, when such use is in no way connected with the operation of the park area, is prohibited, except that in emergencies the Superintendent may grant permission to use park roads.

(c) The Superintendent shall issue permits for commercial vehicles used on park area roads when such use is necessary for access to private lands situated within or adjacent to the park area, to which access is otherwise not available.

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36 CFR §5.7 – Construction of Buildings or Other Facilities

Constructing or attempting to construct a building, or other structure, boat dock, road, trail, path, or other way, telephone line, telegraph line, power line, or any other private or public utility, upon across, over, through, or under any park areas, except in accordance with the provisions of a valid permit, contract, or other written agreement with the United States, is prohibited.

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Last updated: August 19, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1400 North Outer Line Drive
King of Prussia , PA 19406

Phone:

610 783-1000

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