HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ - Hunterdon County’s Freeholders have announced the county’s parks and trails will again open to the public on May 2, but advised parks users to follow social distancing rules in order to ensure that the state does not close parks again.

Freeholder John Lanza, the Board’s Parks liaison, stated, “We welcome the governor’s decision to return control of county parks to the freeholder board. The public more than ever needs the fresh air, exercise opportunities and physical activity that also helps to improve mental health, made available by visiting our parks and trails."

"However, park users need to be smart," he added. "Our experience over the last two months has demonstrated that COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus that is easily spread. If social distancing rules are not observed, the public can expect the governor to close the parks down again.”

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Hunterdon County’s Parks Division will post signs at parks and on trails giving information on the appropriate social distancing. Non-household members should observe at least 6 feet social distance. Users should wear face coverings if there are crowds.

Parks Rangers and Hunterdon County Sheriff Officers, along with local police, will be available to assist and encourage park users to follow the rules.

The governor’s directive sets limits on the number of cars in parking lots and still prohibits gatherings, picnics, use of playgrounds and pavilions and group sports activities.

Activities that are permitted include fishing; hunting; boating; canoeing; hiking; walking; running or jogging; biking; birding; and horseback riding.

“Our parks, trails, ponds, and scenic vistas help to make Hunterdon County the unique and very special place that it is," Lanza said. "In following the present health safety guidelines, residents will ensure that we will be able to continue to visit and enjoy our open spaces, as we all struggle through the coronavirus pandemic."