Beginning January 1, 2021, the Blue Ridge Parkway will implement an updated policy that will allow the park to more accurately adhere to federal regulation and NPS policy regarding cost recovery for all costs associated with monitoring and managing Special Use Permit activity. This updated policy will not affect the application fee or administrative fee for processing permits. For more information about whether this policy will affect your proposed event, email the Permits Coordinator. Additional information about cost recovery legislation.
The park will not accept or process any applications for Special Use Permits that do not provide at least 30 days notice prior to the requested event date. Thank you for understanding.
Special Use Permits
Certain types of activities require a Special Use Permit. These include sports events, public spectator attractions, entertainments, ceremonies, and similar events, provided there is a “meaningful association between the park and the events, and the observance contributes to visitor understanding of the park area…” [36 CFR §2.50(a)] See the following definitions and examples to determine if your proposed use might require a permit.
A special park use is defined as an activity that takes place in a park area, and that:
provides a benefit to an individual, group or organization rather than the public at large
requires written authorization and some degree of management control from the National Park Service (NPS) in order to protect park resources and the public interest
is not prohibited by law or regulation
is not initiated, sponsored, or conducted by the NPS
is not managed under a concession contract, a recreation activity for which the NPS charges a fee, or a lease
Examples of activities that require a permit on the Blue Ridge Parkway include, but are not limited to:
For more information regarding Special Use Permits or to determine if your activity requires one, please e-mail the park with the subject line "Attn: Special Use Permits."
Special Use Permit Restrictions
Special Use Permits are not issued for any activity on federal holidays, federal holiday weekends, or during the entire month of October.
Special Use Permits are not issued for any activity at the following locations:
- MP 241.1 Bluffs Lodge and surrounding grounds
- MP 294.0 Bass Lake
- MP 302.8 Rough Ridge Overlook and boardwalk
- MP 305.2 Beacon Heights left fork trail (May be permitted at the end of the right fork trail)
- MP 316.4 – Linville Falls
- MP 339.5 Crabtree Falls
- MP 364.1 Craggy Gardens Pinnacle Trail, Pinnacle Scenic View, and Craggy Dome Parking Area (May be permitted at Craggy Flats Bald)
- MP 418.8 Graveyard Fields
- MP 422.4 Devil’s Courthouse
- MP 451.2 Waterrock Knob
All other locations are considered on a case-by-case basis
UAV/Drone use is prohibited within the boundary of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
As required by regulation (54 USC §103104), there are cost recovery fees for Special Use Permits. The current basic fees for permits on the Blue Ridge Parkway are as follows (fees subject to change):
- Wedding permits - $60 application fee, $40 administrative fee – total $100.00
- Other Special Use Permits - $60 application fee, $135 administrative fee – total $195.00
To Apply for a Special Use Permit
- Download the application for a Special Use Permit here.
- Pay application fee online at pay.gov. To pay fees at pay.gov:
- Search for “Blue Ridge Parkway”
- Click “Continue” under “Blue Ridge Parkway Special Use Permit Fees”
- Complete the form and submit payment
- A permit number is not required to pay the application fee
- After payment is made, e-mail the completed application to: BLRI_Permits@nps.gov
Permit applications must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the event date, to allow review and processing.
Other Activities That Require Use-Specific Permits
General Reservation Information
- Reservations for parkway campgrounds can be made at recreation.gov
- Information regarding backcountry campsites
- Reservations are not required, nor accepted, for any picnic area on the Blue Ridge Parkway. All picnic areas are first-come, first-served. A permit is not required for general family/group picnicking in a designated picnic area.
- Reservations for the Peaks of Otter Lodge or the Pisgah Inn must be made directly through their individual websites.