Events and Special Activities
Some events — such as weddings, athletic contests, company parties, etc. — may require a Special Activity Permit. If you are unsure whether such a permit is necessary for your event, please contact the park beforehand.
After filling out your Special Activity Permit application, please submit it to the park where you want to have your event, at least 14 days in advance of the date of your event. The park superintendent must approve your application before you can host your event.
Alcohol Supplement to the Special Activity Permit
The purpose of the Special Activity Permit Alcohol Supplement Application is to gather details from a group or business requesting to serve alcohol at a North Carolina state park as part of the event detailed in the Special Activity Permit Application. The Special Activity Permit Alcohol Supplement Application fee is $200 and is nonrefundable. The Special Activity Permit Alcohol Supplement Application, the Special Activity Permit Application, and fees associated with applications and reservations must be submitted at least 14 days in advance of the event.
The purpose of the Special Activity Permit Application is to provide details of the event and request the reservation of a certain area or facility, date, and time. The fee for the Special Activity Permit Application is nonrefundable and is dependent upon the type of event you are hosting and the expected attendance. Please note that if there are reservation fees associated with your event location — i.e. picnic shelter or community building — you will also need to pay that reservation fee in addition to the Special Activity Permit fee.
The purpose of the Special Activity Permit Alcohol Supplement application is to gather details from a group or business requesting to serve alcohol at a North Carolina state park as part of the event detailed in the Special Activity Permit application. The Special Activity Permit Alcohol Supplement Application fee is $200 and is nonrefundable. The $200 is charged in addition to the Special Activity Permit fee, any reservation fees, and any additional cost the park incurs in hosting the event.
The Special Activity Permit Alcohol Supplement Application, the Special Activity Permit Application, and fees associated with applications and reservations must be submitted at least 14 days in advance of the event date.
The Special Activity Alcohol Supplement includes special conditions that must be met by the applicant in order for the application to be approved. These are:
- Provide a North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission-issued permit;
- Provide a certificate of insurance for the event; and
- Submit the payment for application fees, reservation fees, and additional fees.
All fees must be paid upon submission of the application, at least 14 days prior to the scheduled event date. Approval to serve alcohol is contingent upon providing all required support documentation listed as attachments on the forms.
- Determine where and when you'd like to have your event. The Special Activity Alcohol Supplement Application must be submitted at least 14 days before the event. Details are available on each park page about reservable and otherwise available facilities at the park. Alcohol will not be permitted near swim beaches and between designated venues in the park during the event.
- Fill out the forms in full and prepare payments for both your Special Activity Permit Application ($45) and Special Activity Permit Alcohol Supplement Application fee ($200).
- Submit both applications as early as possible to the park superintendent.
- The park superintendent or designee will inform you of all required conditions for the approval of your permit and supplement based on your event type, the number of expected attendees, and the amount of alcohol that will be on site.
- Read all conditions carefully! Multiple conditions have to be met for the permit and supplement to be approved. Both application fees are nonrefundable.
- Request required documentation from your insurance provider, the Alcohol Beverage Commission, and any others needed to fulfill the conditions of your Special Activity Permit Alcohol Supplement Application.
- Gather documentation of all fulfilled conditions of the Special Activity Permit and Alcohol Supplement and submit it to the park superintendent or designee.
- The permittee is responsible for ensuring that all required alcohol beverage permits have been obtained and for ensuring compliance with all applicable statutes, rules, permits, and policies related to alcohol or the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.
- Alcohol must be kept in the approved designated area(s) only. ABC permit rules and regulations must be followed at all times. ABC permit must be openly and conspicuously displayed where alcohol is served.
- Temporary fencing may be required for outdoor areas where alcohol distribution and consumption occur. The applicant shall provide the required fencing at their own expense. Temporary fencing must be approved by the Division prior to use.
- The applicant must provide adequate security and staffing for the event, as approved by the Division. The applicant shall provide personnel to ensure that no alcohol will be served by or to, or possessed or consumed by, anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 years. Self-service of alcoholic beverages is prohibited. Open containers of alcoholic beverages may not leave the facilities or designated space.
- Based on the size and nature of the event, additional park staff presence may be necessary to support the event, at the Division's sole discretion. The applicant shall be responsible for all additional staffing and overtime costs associated with the event.
- The applicant agrees to procure and maintain the following insurance coverages and limits at their own sole cost and expense:
- General Liability insurance with a minimum amount of $1,000,000.00 per single occurrence and $3,000,000.00 aggregate. Defense costs shall be in excess of the limit of liability.
- Host Liquor Liability Insurance:
- Events Hosted by a private individual or nonprofit that are single-day or less, fewer than 200 people, and not a wedding: minimum amount of $1,000,000.00; or
- Corporate events, weddings, events with 200+ people, or multi-day events: minimum amount of $5,000,000.00.
- All such insurance shall meet all laws of the state of North Carolina. Such insurance coverage shall be obtained from companies that are authorized to do business in North Carolina. The applicant shall at all times comply with the terms of such insurance policies, and all requirements of the insurer under such insurance policies.
- The applicant shall provide documentation of adequate insurance coverage with a certificate of insurance listing N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation as "Additional Insured."
The name and address on the certificate shall read:
N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation
121 W. Jones St.
1615 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1615
All N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation rules and Special Activity Permit considerations apply.
There is a fee for the Special Activity Permit. The fee depends on expected attendance and how the park classifies your event. The fee schedule is available on the Fees page. If you have questions about how much the fee for your event would cost, please contact the park where you want to have your event.
Please note that additional expenses incurred by the park may be charged in addition to the fee. If you need to rent a facility (picnic shelter, community building, classroom, etc.) for your event, the reservation fee for that facility would also be charged in addition to the permit fee. If you are hosting your event at one of the reservoirs – Falls Lake, Jordan Lake, or Kerr Lake – when the per-vehicle entrance fee is charged, everyone attending your event (hosts, guests, vendors, etc.) will need to pay the entrance fee.
If you are applying to serve alcohol at your event, a $200 fee is charged for the Special Activity Permit Alcohol Supplement Application and is nonrefundable. The $200 is charged in addition to the Special Activity Permit fee, any reservation fees, any entrance fees, and any additional cost the park incurs in hosting the event.
Rock climbing, bouldering and rappelling are allowed at the following parks:
- Chimney Rock State Park
- Crowders Mountain State Park
- Hanging Rock State Park
- Pilot Mountain State Park
- Stone Mountain State Park
All climbers must register with park staff and must keep in their possession a valid climbing and rappelling permit. Permits are available at visitor centers or park offices and at the climbing accesses.
Organized private, commercial, or nonprofit groups must obtain a Special Activity Permit prior to the outing. The group climbing permit costs $45. The permit application and fee should be submitted to the park office. All climbers in the group must still fill out an individual climbing and rappelling permit.
Beach Vehicle Access
Four-wheel-drive vehicles are allowed to operate within a limited corridor along the beach at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, at certain times of the day and with a valid permit.
Drivers must follow designated routes, avoiding dunes, vegetation, and marked nesting areas. Only registered motor vehicles are allowed in the four-wheel-drive access area. No ATVs are allowed.
Research and Collection
A permit is required for any project involving the collection, removal, or disturbance of any natural or cultural resource of any state park unit and for projects that require placing monitoring equipment in any state park unit.
Drones, Unmanned Aircrafts, and Remote-Controlled Flying Machines
Park visitors are prohibited from ascending or taking off within or upon any state park area or state park water surface, of any airplane, flying machine (includes drones, unmanned aircrafts, and quadcopters), balloon, parachute, glider, hang glider (except with a permit at Jockey's Ridge State Park), or other apparatus for aviation.
In very limited circumstances, these machines may be operated under a Special Activity Permit, usually as part of a project conducted in conjunction with park staff.
Additionally, state law prohibits anyone from launching or recovering any unmanned aircraft systems from state property without consent.
Photography and Film Permits
Permits are required to conduct commercial film or photography in North Carolina state parks. Commercial photography includes paid professional photography sessions for events, such as engagements or weddings, and photographs that are intended to be sold.
If you would like to visit the park to scout for your filming or photography needs, please fill out the Request to Scout On State Park form and submit it to the park superintendent. The park superintendent will contact you to schedule a time for the visit.
DPR Special Activity Permit Application
After scouting, or if you do not need to visit the park and know where you want to shoot, the next step is to fill out a Special Activity Permit Application. This application must be submitted to the park superintendent at least 2 weeks in advance of your film date, and the exact location of filming within the park must be approved by the park superintendent, prior to moving to the next step.
DNCR Film Permit Application
Once you have an approved Special Activity Permit from the park, please fill out the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources' Film Permit Application. Submit a copy of the approved Special Activity Permit, along with the Film Permit Application, to the DNCR Procurement Specialist, Dennis Jimenez, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To expect to be approved by your target film date, the film permit should be submitted at least 1 week in advance of your film date.
DNCR will review the documentation submitted and draft a Film Agreement. DNCR may contact you if they need additional details and/or information. DNCR will send you the agreement via email for an electronic signature. Once you have signed the Film Agreement, the Agreement goes back to DNCR so it can be signed by the Department's Deputy Director for Natural Resources.
Once all the documentation is reviewed and signed by all parties, you may proceed with the filming schedule.