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Organized Activities in Natural Areas on Parkland

The use of natural areas is restricted in order to reduce impacts to the parks.  The Park Authority reserves the right to deny any requested activities that are prohibited under the Park Regulations.  Permission may also be denied if the requested activity conflicts with overall park management goals.


All organized activities occurring in natural areas require special permission, regardless of group size.  Additionally, groups of 25 persons or more on trails require special permission. 

Activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Scientific research
  • Scientific monitoring
  • Habitat enhancement (i.e. Nest Boxes)
  • Educational programs or classes
  • Orienteering
  • Geocaching
  • Search and rescue training
  • Athletic events or fitness training
  • Wedding
  • Any use after dark (i.e. stargazing or wildlife surveys)

Download the Park Use Permit Application

Download the Supplemental Form for Use of Natural Area

For Geocaching requests please visit: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/wp-geocaching.htm

Activities prohibited on park land

It should be noted that there are activities that are prohibited on park land and will not be approved under the special permit process. Most prohibited activities are legal violations that could result in fines and other penalties. Such activities include but are not limited to:

-hunting or trapping
-gathering or wild foods or plants
-metal detecting
-gold panning
-cutting firewood
-paint ball (note that paint ball guns, pellet and BB guns are prohibited on park land by county ordinance)
-disturbance of vegetation or animals
-removal of vegetation, animals or natural materials
-digging of any kind
-release or planting of any organism (animals, plants, etc.) in a park

For more information, you may also view the Park Authority Regulations.

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