Failure to observe social distance puts others at risk and will result in parks closing.

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is reopening County-owned parks effective Saturday, May 2, for passive recreation by individuals who observe social distance guidelines that protect against the COVID-19 virus.

“Social distance saves lives, it’s as simple as that,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “These guidelines are designed to enable use of County parks by persons who recognize that social distance stops the spread of COVID-19. Everyone has the power to help protect our community by observing the social distance rules.”

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In accordance with statewide guidelines for maintaining a six-foot social distance, the following rules apply to County parks beginning on May 2:

Closed: All recreation equipment and facilities remain closed including restrooms, playgrounds, picnic areas, athletic fields, running tracks, dog parks, workout/fitness equipment, tennis courts, basketball courts, Archery Range, Trailside Museum, Warinanco Sports Center, and Watchung Stable.

Strictly prohibited: Any and all organized or group activities are strictly prohibited including picnics and social gatherings, team sports/practices, pick-up games, group workouts, yoga and fitness classes, and any other organized activities, classes, programs, etc. Teams using County parks for any reason will lose field reservation privileges.

Permitted: Individual activities such as walking, jogging, biking and fishing are permitted. Bikes are permitted on paved paths only; trail riding strictly is prohibited. For these activities, individuals may be accompanied by family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.

Use of walking paths: Follow arrows to move counter-clockwise only. Slow users keep right; fast users pass on left. Give way to others to maintain six-foot distance when passing.

Masks: Strongly recommended.

Parking and hours of use: Union County Parks are open dawn to dusk only; no off-hours use permitted. Drivers must observe parking rules.

Ash Brook and Galloping Hill golf courses: Expected to open on Wednesday, May 6, after routine maintenance.

Report abuse of social distance guidelines to Union County Police: 908-654-9800.

More information: ucnj.org/parks.

Park visitors please note: Stay on marked trails in order to preserve fragile native habitat in County parks. The taking of plants and other wildlife is prohibited. Share paved paths by keeping to the right unless passing others. Bicycles are permitted only on paved paths. Dogs must be kept on leash. All trash must be carried out where receptacles are full or unavailable. 

For more information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including guidance for the Union County Drive-Through Test Center at Kean University, visit ucnj.org/coronavirus-update.

For general information about COVID-19 and phone contacts for 24/7 assistance with questions, visit the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

Connect with Union County on social media.