BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County Park Commission has announced the re-opening of its general use parks, trails and golf courses in Somerset County Saturday at sunrise, in accordance with Gov. Phil Murphy's executive order.

According to a release from the county, there will be restrictions imposed at all facilities, and they will be enforced by the park commission, the Somerset County Sheriff's Office and local police. Non-compliance with restrictions and social distancing measures will be met with an order from the governor requiring the re-closure of the parks and golf courses.

The general use parks including Duke Island Park, on Old York Road; North Branch Park, on Milltown Road; Natirar Park, in Far Hills and Peapack-Gladstone; East County Park, in Warren; and Skillman Park, in Montgomery.

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In addition, the release said, trail systems in Washington Valley Park, in Bridgewater; Sourland Mountain Preserve, in Hillsborough and Montgomery; the Environmental Education Center at Lord Stirling Park, in Basking Ridge; and the Little Brook Sanctuary, in Bernardsville, will be open.

Despite the openings, restroom facilities, picnic areas, pavilions, playgrounds, exercise stations and all buildings, including visitor centers and educational/interpretive centers, will remain closed to the public.

Other continued closures will include:

  • The leash-free dog areas in Colonial Park, East County Park and Skillman Park
  • Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden at Colonial Park
  • Leonard J. Buck in Far Hills

All classes, lessons and programs at park commission facilities will be suspended indefinitely, and all of the commission's baseball, basketball, softball, cricket, soccer fields, tennis courts at the Green Knoll Tennis Center and Colonial Park and the roller hockey rink at the North Branch Greenway Park in Bridgewater will remain closed.

There will be a number of requirements implemented at the general use parks and trail systems, according to the release.

  • Employees and visitors must wear cloth face coverings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, unless it would inhibit the individual's health or if the person is under 2 years old.
  • Parking will be limited to 50 percent of the maximum capacity at one time, and visitors will be prohibited from parking in undesignated areas. At 50 percent of parking capacity, parking areas will be closed
  • Picknicking will be prohibited, and the prohibition includes a ban on picnic blankets, chairs, coolers and other personal property.
  • Visitors must practice social distancing and stay 6 feet apart where possible.
  • Organized or contact activities or sports will not be allowed.
  • Gatherings of individuals in park or on trails is prohibited.

Golf courses including Neshanic Valley in Neshanic Station; Green Knoll in Bridgewater; Quail Brook and Spooky Brook in Somerset; and Warrenbrook in Warren Township will all open Saturday at 7 a.m. as well.

The golf courses will have the same requirements and restrictions as the parks.