Laws & Policies

Firearms and other weapons

Legislation – As of February 22, 2010, a new federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws to legally possess firearms in this park. Refer to Section 512 of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, Public Law 111-24, 123 Stat. 1764-65.

Park User Responsibility – It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering this park. As a starting point, please visit Missouri Revised Statutes, Chapter 571.

Weapons Prohibited in Federal Facilities – Federal law also prohibits firearms in certain facilities in this park; those places are marked with signs at all public entrances. Refer to 18 U.S.C. Sec. 930.

Federal facilities at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield include the visitor center, library, museum, historic Ray House, and park maintenance buildings.

Superintendent's Compendium (PDF)


Public Use Limits:
  • Equestrian parking in designated areas only.
  • Winter activities are prohibited at the Ray House, Bloody Hill, and the area around the Visitor Center.
  • The public entry point for the park is the main park entrance located at 6424 Farm Road 182.
  • The use of bicycles on the park tour road is confined to the designated lane except when passing a pedestrian or another bicycle. Bicycles must travel in the same direction as motor vehicles on the Tour Road.

  • The park is closed on the following Federal holidays: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
-The park is closed in observance of the above listed holidays. Park personnel are not available on these holidays to provide for public safety, resource protection, and visitor services.

  • Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield 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.
Determination: The use of unmanned aircraft is prohibited to protect the safety of the public. In addition, the use of unmanned aircraft is inconsistent with the memorial qualities of the battlefield.

  • Terrell Creek Addition is closed to public access.
    -This area is closed to the public to protect sensitive natural resources and to protect the safety of the public from hazards known to be present on the property.
  • Sweeny Creek Addition is closed to public access.
    -This area is an administrative use area and closed to the public to protect government facilities and property.
  • McElhaney Farmstead is closed to public access.
    -This area is an administrative use area and closed to the public to protect government facilities and property.
  • Wastewater treatment plant is closed to public access.
    -This area is an administrative use area and closed to the public to protect government facilities and property.
  • Habitat areas of the Missouri Bladderpod (Lesquerilla filliformis) are closed to public access.
    -The Missouri Bladderpod is a federally-listed, threatened plant species which occupies limestone glade areas of the park. This closure is necessary to protect this plant from visitor impacts.
  • Caves in the park are closed to public access.
    -Caves in the park are closed to protect federally endangered bat species that occupy the caves.
  • Technical rock climbing and rappelling is prohibited.

-The above activities are closed to the public to protect natural resources and to protect the safety of the public
  • Picnicking is prohibited in the following areas:
-Visitor Center lawn
-Ray House lawn and porch
-Picnicking at these locations is inconsistent with the memorial qualities of the battlefield.
  • Recreational activities such as throwing flying discs, ball games or sport activities are permitted only in the lawn area of the picnic area.
  • Kite flying is prohibited.

-Restrictions are necessary due to the incompatibility of these activities with the memorial qualities and cultural landscape of the park.
  • Power Driven Mobility Devices (PDMD): A PDMD is a mobility device powered by electricity or batteries, whether or not designed to be used primarily by individuals with mobility disabilities. Every PDMD shall be equipped with the following safety devices:
-Front, rear and side reflectors
-A system that enables the operator to bring the device to a controlled stop
-A sound emitting device that can be activated by the operator to alert nearby persons.
  • Using a PDMD by persons without mobility impairments is prohibited.
  • Use of PDMDs is permitted under the following conditions:
-Operators must be age 16 or older.
-Maximum speed is 5 mph.
-The device cannot exceed 36inches in width at its widest point.
-PDMD use is prohibited in undeveloped areas.
-Operators of PDMDs shall have the responsibilities applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances, except the PDMD operator shall yield to pedestrians.

-PDMDs provide a reasonable alternative to persons with mobility disabilities. PDMDs are permitted in developed areas where pedestrian access is allowed. The determinations are to enhance visitor safety

The following restrictions and/or conditions are in effect for the specific uses or activities noted:

Food and Beverages:

-Open containers of food or drink shall not be permitted in the Ray House, library, curatorial areas, and public portions of the visitor center (except at special events in which food and beverage are part of the event).
Consumption is prohibited to protect the historic objects housed in these facilities.


For permit information contact:

Chief Ranger’s Office
Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield
6424 West Farm Road 182
Republic, MO 65738
Phone: 417-732-2662 extension 225

(f) The following is a compilation of those activities for which a permit from the superintendent is required:
  • §1.5(d) The following activities related to Public Use Limits:
    • Pavilion reservations.
    • Weddings.
    • Group use of tour road.
    • Use of Multi-purpose Room in Visitor Center
  • §2.12 Audio Disturbances:
    • (a)(2) Operating a chain saw in developed areas
    • (a)(3) Operation of any type of portable motor or engine, or device powered by a portable motor or engine in non-developed areas
    • (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
  • §3.3 Use of a vessel
  • §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/Filming:
    • (a) Commercial filming of motion pictures or television involving the use of professional casts, settings or crews, other than bona fide newsreel or news television
    • (b) 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


(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:
  • Mushrooms, berries, apples and nuts.
-Mushrooms and berries not to exceed one gallon per person per day.
-Walnuts and apples not to exceed 5 gallons per person per day


Certain areas have been closed to picnicking and are listed in section 1.5(a)(1) “Closures”.

36 CFR 2.13 – FIRES

(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:

Designated Areas:
  • Within the provided containers in the picnic area near the Visitor Center.
  • Inside the provided containers behind the museum.
  • As part of a living history interpretive demonstration.

Receptacles Allowed:
  • Fire rings and grills provided by the park.

Established Conditions for Fires:
  • Must be extinguished upon termination of use.
(a)(2) The following restrictions are in effect for the use of stoves or lanterns:
  • May only be used in conjunction with living history events.
(b) Fires must be extinguished according to the following conditions:
  • Immediately upon termination of use. Ashes and fire remains will be cooled to the touch.

36 CFR §2.15 – PETS

(a)(1) The following structures and/or areas are closed to the possession of pets:
  • All buildings (unless pet is a service animal).
(a)(5) Pet excrement must be disposed of in accordance with the following conditions:
  • Should be removed from trails, paved areas, and developed areas by the person responsible for the pet.


(b) The use of horses or pack animals is allowed on the following trails, routes or areas:
  • Ray Cornfield Trail, Wire Road, Southwest Boundary Trail, and Manley Uplands Trail.
(g) Other conditions concerning the use of horses or pack animals:
  • The gate of horses should be at a walk or trot.
  • The person responsible for the horse shall remove excrement from trailer parking areas.

36 CFR §2.21 – SMOKING

(a) The following portions of the park, or all or portions of buildings, structures or facilities are closed to smoking as noted.
  • All buildings within the boundaries of the park.
  • The front porch of the Ray House.
  • Other areas as posted.
  • This closure applies to e-cigarettes.


(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:

Entrance Fee Areas:

The park is an entrance fee area under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. Entrance fees are collected at the Visitor Center during normal business hours. Fees are not collected when the Visitor Center is closed to the public. Fees are suspended in the public interest on August 10 annually. August 10 is the battle anniversary commemoration event.


(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:
Ray House
Visitor Center

Press Release Regarding Use of Unmanned Aircraft
at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield

August 20, 2014

For Immediate Release

Contact: Angela Pirotte, 417-732-2662, ext. 221



Superintendent T. John Hillmer, Jr. announced today that the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) is prohibited at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. The prohibition is consistent with a policy memorandum signed on June 19, 2014, by National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, directing superintendents nationwide to prohibit launching, landing, and operating unmanned aircraft on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service.

Director Jarvis has stated, "We embrace many activities in national parks because they enhance visitor experiences with the iconic natural, historical, and cultural landscapes in our care." He continued, "However, we have serious concerns about the negative impact that the flying unmanned aircraft is having in parks, so we are prohibiting their use until we can determine the most appropriate policy that will protect park resources and provide all visitors with a rich experience."

The NPS is taking this action in response to a proliferation of unmanned aircraft, including drones, and a number of incidents involving these devices that resulted in noise and nuisance complaints from park visitors, concerns for park visitor safety, and reported incidents in which park wildlife was harassed.

Last September, an unmanned aircraft flew above some evening visitors, seated in the Mt. Rushmore National Memorial Amphitheater. Park rangers, concerned for the visitors’ safety, confiscated the unmanned aircraft.

In April, visitors at the Grand Canyon National Park gathered for a quiet sunset, which was interrupted by a loud unmanned aircraft, flying back and forth and eventually crashing into the canyon. Later in the month, volunteers at Zion National Park witnessed an unmanned aircraft disturb a herd of bighorn sheep, reportedly separating adults from their young.

According to Supt Hillmer, there have been no reported incidents involving the use of unmanned aircraft at Wilson’s Creek NB.

Last updated: January 18, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

6424 W. Farm Road 182
Republic, MO 65738


(417) 732-2662 x227

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