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City of Philadelphia

Rules & Regulations

The Philadelphia Parks & Recreation system belongs to all of us. We invite and encourage you to enjoy it, but please remember to clean up when you're done.

By following these rules and regulations, you'll help guide us in our efforts to keep our parks and recreation locations safe, clean and ready to use. So please, follow them.

Prohibited in all park areas

  • Littering and dumping
  • Driving on the grass or other non-vehicle areas
  • Wrecking, removing or defacing Park property
  • Removing any plants, animals or rocks
  • Vending, selling or soliciting anything
  • Lighting a fire, except in a stone fireplace or a metal barbecue stand
  • Using metal detector devices

Skiing, Skateboarding, Skating (rollerblading)

These activities are prohibited on roads and other paved areas in the park system unless the site is designated for recreational purposes.


Erecting a tent, shelter or campsite is prohibited in any area of the Park system.


A 1:00 AM curfew prevails throughout the Park system and a 10:00 PM curfew is in place at all playgrounds and recreation centers.  Earlier curfew hours may be in place at selected park areas.


All dogs/pets must be on a leash of not more than six (6) feet at all times.

Visit our Dog Regulations and Best Practices pages for additional information.


Fishing is permitted under the rules as outlined by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.


You are not allowed to hunt, trap, chase or capture any kind of wildlife, or disturb any nest(s) or egg(s).


Amplified sound is prohibited.

Meetings / Assemblies / Picnics

Any meeting or assembly with 75 people (or more) requires a permit.

Park users wishing to secure a date and location for picnics, family reunions, or other special events in the park must obtain a permit from the Special Events Office. Fees apply.

Please call (215) 685-0060 with any questions regarding picnics or special events.

Trail Use

All trail users shall observe a 7 miles per hour speed limit on all park trails.
  • Joggers - pedestrians have the right-of-way except during sanctioned and/or organized running races.
  • Bicyclists - all other trail users have the right-of-way, except during sanctioned bicycle races.
Bicycling is allowed on all roads within the Park, except as posted on Kelly Drive and Martin Luther King Drive (West River Drive).

Trail Users

All users of park trails shall use trails safely with common courtesy to all others in the Park. Users of park trails include all people using trails whether on foot, bicycle, horse, carriage, horse-drawn vehicle or any other permitted vehicle. The use of any motor vehicles, including but not limited to snowmobiles, motorcycles, motorbikes, motor-powered dirt bikes and motor-powered ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles) is prohibited on all park trails at any time.

All trail users over the age of sixteen (16) are required to have a permit. Permits are required when using: bicycles, horses, carriages, horse-drawn vehicles and other non-motorized, wheeled vehicles. Exemptions: Anyone using Forbidden Drive, Pennypack bike trail or designated access roads does not need a permit. Horse back riding and bicycling along Forbidden Drive and paved trails are exempt from this requirement.

Learn more about trail use.

Trail Hours

All trails are open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week. No person may ride a bicycle or horse in the park between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Horse-drawn Vehicles

Horse-drawn vehicles may be driven on Park trails of sufficient width to accommodate them safely. Travel by horse-drawn vehicles shall be single-file on all Park trails including Upper Wissahickon (Forbidden) Drive.


No person shall bathe or swim except at authorized pools and only when a lifeguard is present.


  1. No bicycles may be used in the Andorra Natural Area, except on Bell's Mill Trail, the driveway to the Tree House, and the bypass, which connects upper Northwestern Avenue with Forbidden Drive. Bikers are welcome to leave their bikes at the Tree House while on the trails.
  2. In those park areas where bicycles are permitted, bicycles are restricted to existing sidewalks, footwalks and designated trails. No person shall operate or place a bicycle on grass areas within the park. Bicyclists must relinquish the right-of-way to all other park trail users, except during bicycle races, which have been either sanctioned or organized by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.

Outdoor Sports Permits

  • Permit-holders are required to keep permit with them at all times during field use.
  • Permit fees are non-refundable and permits are non-transferable (to future dates or other user groups).
  • Cancellations must be reported promptly. Failure to use the field or report cancellations will result in revocation of the permit.
  • Permit-holder must leave the property on a daily basis in the same degree of cleanliness and orderliness as found.  Permit-holder shall be responsible for enforcement of this requirement on its guests and/or invitees.
  • Teams may not use fields in wet or muddy conditions. Doing so will forfeit the remainder of the permit.  Fields should be used in safe conditions only. Inspect fields before using and do not use the fields if an unsafe condition exists.
  • Loud, vulgar, confrontational language is not permitted on facility grounds or in its immediate vicinity.  Permit-holder is fully responsible for the conduct of all spectators, as well as participants, and will be required to provide identifiable adult supervision/security upon request by Parks & Recreation personnel.
  • No vehicles or heavy equipment on grassy areas.
  • Vending and sales of any kind are prohibited. This includes ALL food and beverages, and merchandise. 


Alcoholic beverages are prohibited in all areas of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation facilities and grounds except East and West Fairmount Park.


Smoking is not allowed on any Parks and Recreation  property including buildings, playgrounds, ice or skating rinks, fields or courts, pools, picnic areas, walking areas and parking lots. 

The smoke free policy will:
- Help protect children and adults from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke
- Reduce cigarette butt litter
- Reduce the risk of fire
- Lessen the frequency with which children see others smoking.

If you see someone smoking:
- Inform them about the new law
- Point to the nearest “No Smoking” sign and ask them to put out their cigarette
- Call 215-685-5681 to report a complaint