Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine Changes Entrance Fees

The National Park Service (NPS) announced today that Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, located at 2400 E. Fort Ave., Baltimore, Maryland  21230, will modify its entrance fees to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance needs to enhance the visitor experience. Effective June 1, 2018 the entrance fees to the park will be $15.00 per person 16 and older. An annual park pass will cost $45.00. All of the money received from entrance fees remains with the National Park Service with at least 80 percent of the revenue going to Fort McHenry.


Revenue from entrance fees remains in the National Park Service and helps ensure a quality experience for all who visit. Here at Fort McHenry, at least 80 percent of entrance fees stay in the park and are devoted to spending that supports the visitor. We share the other 20 percent of entry fee income with other national parks, such as Hampton National Historic Site in Towson, Maryland, for their projects.


In response to public comments on a fee proposal released in October 2017, there will be a modest increase for all entrance fee-charging parks, rather than the higher peak-season fees initially proposed only for 17 highly-visited national parks.


“Over the last five years $2.7 million of revenue from park entrance fees have provided funds for important projects at Fort McHenry such as stabilizing and resetting capstones and creating new exhibits in the historic Star Fort, preserving the fort’s Rodman cannons, and providing for living history programs for visitors during the summer seasons,” said Superintendent Tina Cappetta. “This fee increase will provide additional opportunities for preservation maintenance and visitor services at this iconic national park – “the Birthplace of the Star-Spangled Banner.”


During the Battle of Baltimore, September 13 – 14, 1814, the valiant defense of the star-shaped Fort McHenry against the might of the British navy inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner.”  The 15 broad stripes and 15 bright stars still fly over the Fort twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The Fort was used continuously in a variety of ways through WWII.  National parks have experienced record breaking visitation, with more than 1.5 billion visitors in the last five years. Throughout the country, the combination of an aging infrastructure and increased visitation has put a strain on park roads, bridges, campgrounds, waterlines, bathrooms, and other visitor services and led to a $11.6 billion deferred maintenance backlog nationwide.



In 2017 the park restored its thirteen Rodman cannons, removing multiple layers of paint and corrosion revealing fine details, such as the original inscriptions, that were not previously visible.  (Pictures attached.) The cannons were repainted, and they now appear as they did when they were installed in the 1860’s.The additional revenue from entrance fees at Fort McHenry will enable the park to complete additional important preservation projects such as repairing the masonry walkways throughout the historic Star Fort.


Entrance fees collected by the National Park Service totaled $199.9 million in Fiscal Year 2016.  The NPS estimates that once fully implemented, the new fee structure will increase annual entrance fee revenue by about $60 million. 


Fort McHenry began collecting entrance fees in 1939. The current rate of $10 per person ages 16 and older has been in effect since 2015. The park is one of 117 National Park Service sites that charges an entrance fee, the other 300 national parks will remain free to enter.


The price of the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass and Lifetime Senior Pass will remain $80. 


The National Park Service has a standardized entrance fee structure, composed of four groups based on park size and type. Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is in Group 2. Some parks not yet aligned with the other parks in their category will raise their fees incrementally and fully incorporate the new entrance fee schedule by January 1, 2020.


The complete fee schedule will change according to the following


Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine





Person 16 and over



Park Specific Annual Pass






June 1,  2018






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