Rules + Permits

park rules

Guidelines for keeping the Park fun and safe for everyone.

In order to ensure that everyone can have a safe and enjoyable experience at Shelby Farms Park,  we ask that you respect the following rules.

Quick Links:

General Park Rules
Water + Fishing | Dogs | Shelby Farms Greenline
Woodland Discovery Playground | Water Play Sprayground
Photo + Video | RC Planes | Drones



  • No cutting of trees or removal of flora of any kind
  • Please do not approach, disturb or feed any wildlife
  • ATVs, four-wheelers and Go Karts are not allowed.
  • Off-road driving is not allowed
  • No alcoholic beverages allowed
  • Hunting is not allowed
  • Music must not be played loud enough to be heard outside the vehicle or outside the footprint of your event area. Music content must be family-friendly and must not include profanity or offensive or vulgar language. 
  • No parking on grass in any areas
  • No overnight camping. 
  • Pavilions and picnic areas must be reserved in advance. 
  • No moon bounces, space walks, inflatables, water slides, dunk tanks, petting zoos or climbing walls
  • No balloons of any kind including water balloons. No confetti or glitter. 
  • Speed limit is 20 MPH
  • No personal grills
  • No littering
  • No metal detectors
  • All pets must be on-leash. Owner must hold leash in-hand and pet must be under owner's control
  • Drone use is only permitted in the designated "Drone Zone" and requires a permit
  • No fireworks, poppers or sparklers
  • No swimming or wading
  • No solicitation or unauthorized vending. 
  • Bird scooter users must obey regular traffic + bike rules.  Scooters must remain on paved roads + trails (keep right); no off-road use.  Scooters will disable within close proximity of Woodland Discovery Playground, Water Play Sprayground, Hyde Lake Boat House.  Free helmets are available in the Lake's Edge Gift Shop.  Questions or concerns about Bird scooters and their use may be sent to


  • No swimming or wading
  • Non-motorized boats only
  • Remote control boats are allowed, but must keep respectable distance from other water craft
  • A valid Tennessee fishing license is required (for those 13 and over), and Tennessee fishing rules and regulations apply on all lakes. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency enforces fishing license regulations
  • Fishing is permitted in all lakes. Shore fishing at Hyde Lake is allowed in the designated areas on the southern side of the lake.
  • All boats, including canoes and kayaks, must be equipped with one wearable personal flotation device for each person on board.  All persons 12 years or under are required to wear a personal flotation device.  According to TWRA regulations, those not following this requirement may be subject to a fine.
  • Carp may not be taken.  They must be returned to the water. 
  • For more information, including fishing license qualifications, creel limits and safety regulations, visit


  • Local leash laws apply in the Park and on Park trails--dogs must be on-leash, leash in hand at all times in Shelby Farms Park and on Shelby Farms Greenline, including unpaved forest trails
  • No bluetooth, "invisible" leashes
  • Dogs may not enter the Woodland Discovery Playground
  • Pick up and properly dispose of solid pet waste (waste bags and trash cans are available throughout the Park)
  • Dogs may only be off-leash in The Outback
    • Rules for The Outback:
      • Make sure your dog is responsive to your verbal commands
      • One dog per person, please
      • Don’t let your dog disturb or interfere with wildlife or other Park users
      • Recognize that your dog may not get along with all other dogs
      • Supervise your pup at all times and interrupt any rough play
      • Think carefully about bringing treats to the park and use them only when other dogs aren’t around


  • Trail open sunrise to sunset
  • Remain on trail at all times
  • Travel at a reasonable speed in a consistent and predictable manner
  • Slower traffic keep right
  • No motorized vehicles except electric wheelchairs and bicycles
  • No drugs or alcohol
  • Leash and pet waste clean-up laws will be enforced
  • Shelby County Policy prohibits all private connections to the Shelby Farms Greenline.  Under this County Policy only public connections to the Shelby Farms Greenline shall be allowed.  Presently all public connections are allowed at street intersections with the Shelby Farms Greenline.  Under this County Policy, all other public connections, away from street intersections, must first be favorably reviewed and recommended by the County Engineer’s Office and the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy; and thereafter, approved by the County Commission via a Resolution if necessary (i.e. to grant a connection easement or approve funding, etc.). 


  • Children ages 2-12
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times
  • Adults may not enter the playground without a child
  • No pets
  • No wheels (bikes, wheelies, skateboards, etc.)
  • No food or beverage
  • No drugs, smoking or alcohol
  • No amplifying sound
  • No disorderly conduct
  • No commercial activity
  • Parties and groups must make a reservation to attend (contact to reserve)
  • You are not permitted to bring in your own tables
  • Playground may be cleared and/or closed due to inclement weather including thunder or lightning. The area will not reopen until it is determined that the threat of weather is no longer present. 
  • Shelby Farms Park is not responsible for lost or stolen items.


  • The climbing boulders are for children ages 6-12
  • Climb with caution and at your own risk.
  • All climbers must be actively supervised and accompanied by an adult at all times.
  • Be mindful and aware of other climbers. Do not climb above, below, over or near another climber.
  • Do not jump from boulder to boulder or jump from the top of the boulder to the ground.
  • Horseplay, profanity, aggressive and/or abusive behavior is not permitted on the boulders.
  • Observe and supervise with caution and at your own risk. Do not stand, sit, or walk under climbers.
  • Proper footwear is required. No bare feet, sock feet or flip-flops. 
  • Please do not bring food, beverages or chewing gum on to the boulders.
  • Climbing boulders are open from 9am to sunset. 
  • Do not use the climbing boulders if they are wet, slippery or otherwise unsafe due to weather or other conditions.
  • Do not mark on or deface the boulders. 


water play sprayground

  • Children ages 12 and under
  • Children ages 3 and under must have one parent or guardian (age 17+) accompany the child into the play area.
  • Children that are not potty-trained must wear swim diapers. No regular diapers allowed.
  • Wristband is required for entry and must be worn at all times while in the play area.
  • Follow all instructions given by Water Play monitors.
  • Children with diarrhea or who are vomiting will not be allowed into the Water Play area.
  • Do not climb, stand or jump on boulders, rocks, gates, water jets or any other equipment.
  • No balls, toys, pets, food, drink, smoking or glass containers are allowed in the play area.
  • Running, horseplay, profanity, aggressive and/or abusive behavior are not permitted.
  • Do not drink the sprayed water or place face directly into the streams of water. 
  • Appropriate swimwear / clothing (bathing suits, shorts, T-shirts) is required at all times and will be determined by management. No visible undergarments.
  • Please do not hang towels on gates, rocks or boulders.
  • Water play area may be cleared and/or closed due to inclement weather including thunder or lightning. The area will not reopen until it is determined that the threat of weather is no longer present. 
  • All injuries, however minor, must be reported to the Water Play monitor immediately and an accident report must be completed. 
  • Use of water shoes and sunscreen is not required, but is highly recommended.
  • Shelby Farms Park is not responsible for lost or stolen articles. 


  • All professional photography and filming must be scheduled at least five business days in advance by emailing An application form must be completed for each visit, and must be approved before coming to the Park.
  • Professional photography/filming is defined as:
    • shoots involving props, changes of clothing or more equipment than basic tripod and flash
    • photographs and/or film from the shoot that will be used for monetary gain or used in advertising goods or services
  • Shoots must take place during regular Park hours of sunrise to sunset.  Filming outside these hours may be considered in special circumstances and additional fees may apply
  • Restrooms may not be used for changing.  Any rooms needed for changing, equipment storage, holding areas may be rented in advance for use. 
  • Shelby Farms Park is a public space.  Please do not block or block off any sidewalk, trail, walkway or road in any area of the Park or be disruptive to Park visitors or their activities during photo sessions / filming. 
  • The subject matter of the photography or filming session must meet acceptable community standards.
  • All other Park rules must be followed. 
  • A hold harmless agreement must be signed by all participants and a copy of the applicant/organization's insurance must be submitted at least 72 hours before the shoot.
  • Multi-visit permit for photographers: $175 / year
  • One-time permit for photographer: $75
  • Filming fees start at $300 / day.  Additional site fees may apply
  • Download our Photography + Filming policies and application
  • Download waiver


  • Shelby Farms Park has a designated RC Flying Field -- all flying must take place within the designated area
  • RC operators must obtain a permit prior to using the RC Field 
  • To apply for an RC permit, please send an email to


  • Must have valid Shelby Farms Park drone permit on file (includes $25 annual fee)
  • Must stay within designated “Drone Zone” area (click here for map)
  • Flying is prohibited during special events being held in the Event Field
  • Flying is prohibited near or over horses, buffaloes or any other wildlife
  • Flying is prohibited near or over Park visitors or their automobiles.
  • Do not take pictures or video anyone without their permission
  • Drone must be FAA registered with registration number visibly affixed to the drone
  • It is recommended to have a phone number on the drone in case it is lost
  • Commercial operators who are flying under Part 107 must submit copy of the front and back of remote pilot license
  • Must cease operation if requested for any reason by a SFPC Park Ranger
  • To fly under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft drone pilot must:
    • Fly for hobby or recreation ONLY
    • Register your model aircraft
    • Fly within visual line-of-sight
    • Fly below 400’
    • Follow community-based safety guidelines and fly within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization (AMA)
    • Fly a drone under 5.5 lbs. unless certified by a community-based organization
    • Never fly in a reckless manner near other aircraft
    • Never fly near or over emergency response efforts
  • To apply for a drone permit, please send an email to






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