Mandatory Mask Wearing on Federal Lands

The George Washington Memorial Parkway has updated its compendium to incorporate mask wearing rules based on President Biden’s Executive Order 13991. Mount Vernon Trail users are not required to wear masks while on the trail but are required to use a mask if entering a facility such as restrooms. The guidance sent to GWMP’s philanthropic partners is below:

With the installation of the Biden-Harris administration there have been numerous Executive Orders. The intent of this email is to share the actions the park is taking in association with Executive Order 13991, Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing (E.O. 13991). These actions are based on the further guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Department of Interior (DOI), and the National Park Service (NPS).

The guidance issued by the NPS is to be followed by our employees, volunteers, partners, contractors including concessioners, and park visitors. Your help is appreciated as your organization will need to incorporate this requirement into your operations and programs that are provided within George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP). We are expressing these expectations in the form of an addition to the park compendium, which has been published on the park website. The addendum can be found by clicking on the following link 20210205-GWMP-Mask-order.pdf (

For ease of reference the text added to the compendium is outlined below:

Individuals over the age of two years must wear masks, except when actively eating or drinking, in the following locations:
1. All common areas and shared workspaces in buildings owned, rented, or leased by the National Park Service, including, but not limited to, park visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift shops and restaurants.

2. The following outdoor areas, when others are present, and where the superintendent has determined that physical distancing (staying at least six feet apart) cannot reasonably be maintained:

Great Falls:

  • Outdoor courtyard area adjacent to the Great Falls Visitor Center
  • The entrance lane to Great Falls, generally described as the travel lane and area adjacent to the fee station where vehicles stop and idle for the purpose of paying and entering the park
  • The (two) designated overlooks at Great Falls

Dyke Marsh:

  • Boardwalk viewing platform at the end of the boardwalk/trail

Glen Echo:

  • Playground

Jones Point:

  • Playground

Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.

If you’d like to support the Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail, sign up for a volunteer event at or donate at

Leave a Reply