UNION COUNTY, NJ – In light of two recent deaths that occurred in New Jersey when teenagers fell through thin ice, Union County reminds residents to stay off the ice while visiting parks in the County.

 “A coating of ice may appear inviting, but the fact is that no pond or lake in Union County has been declared safe for skating or other uses so far this winter,” said Union County Freeholder Chair Al Mirabella.

The Union County Department of Parks and Recreation regularly surveys ice on bodies of water in parks and determines whether it is thick enough to support skating and other activities.

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“Winter weather has become less dependable than in years past, so outdoor activities that residents routinely enjoyed a generation ago are becoming less available,” said Mirabella. “If you’d like to skate, your best bet is to visit the County’s indoor skating rink at the Warinanco Sports Center in Roselle.”

Winter safety regulations in Union County parks include:

  • Skating, sledding, and walking on outdoor ice is prohibited unless the ice is declared to be in safe condition by the County.
  • Downhill skiing is prohibited. Cross-country skiing is permitted in certain areas.
  • Sledding is permitted in Echo Lake Park and in other designated areas only. In addition, toboggans, bobsleds and other non-steerable devices are strongly discouraged for safety reasons. Sledding may be suspended in case of inadequate snow cover or severe ice.
  • Snowmobiles are prohibited.

For a list of the winter safety rules and regulations, visit: ucnj.org/parks-recreation/parks-regulations.

The Warinanco Sports Center is located on 1 Park Drive in Warinanco Park, in Roselle. Please visit warinancopark.com for open skating sessions and other activities.