Event/Commercial Permits

A large group of people occupy a shelter at Hardin ridge.

A special use permit is permission for individuals or other entities to conduct an activity on National Forest System land that is beyond the normal day-to-day use of the forest. For example, you do not need a permit to go hiking with a small group of friends, but you would likely need a permit if you wanted to host a mountain bike race.

The Hoosier National Forest attracts a variety of recreation uses. Some recreational events are allowed on the Forest, but must be approved and meet certain standards.

Common events that require a Special Use permit:

  • Weddings
  • Operating a commercial outfitter or guide service
  • Commercial filming
  • Commercial gathering of forest products
  • Events

Special Use Permits are necessary to meet applicable environmental laws and must undergo the same review process that the Forest Service must follow for any action on Federal lands. If you do apply, we ask for your patience in working through these procedures. 

Before the formal application process is initiated we ask that prospective permittees complete a proponent's proposal. This form  may be completed and submitted prior to the more involved process being started. The form provides an initial screening to provide feedback on if the proposal is likely to be approved and can save the prospective applicant a lot of time. It is not, however, required to begin with this form.

Applying for a Recreation Special Use Permit

The application procedures and requirements are slightly different for each use. Our Process for applying for Recreation Special Use permits is intended to guide you through the application process and what you might expect. 

Additional Resources

The following links may assist you during the application process:


Commercial Outfitters on Hoosier National Forest

Commerical outfitters who offer guided tours on the Hoosier National Forest are required to have an outfitters permit. Find out more about how to obtain a permit and which outfitters are officially permitted to conduct business on Hoosier National Forest lands. 

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Key Contacts

Hoosier National Forest

248 15th Street, Tell City, IN 47586
(812) 547-7051