Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak

Due to the COVID-19 statewide public health emergency, the County of Union is open for essential business only. View alerts and service modifications.

Department of Parks and Recreation

Updated 05/22/2020

Union County Parks are open for Passive Recreation Only, with Social Distance Rules

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

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reopened County-owned parks for passive recreation by individuals who observe social distance guidelines that protect against the COVID-19 virus. In accordance with statewide guidelines for maintaining a six-foot social distance, the following rules apply to County parks until further notice:

  • 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.
  • Reopening with Adjustments – Archery Range – View details
  • 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.
  • Union County’s Ash Brook and Galloping Hill Golf Courses: Golf courses are expected to open on Wednesday, May 6, after routine maintenance.
  • Report abuse of social distance guidelines to Union County Police: 908-654-9800
  • 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. 
Union County is home to 36 parks that encompass nearly 6,200 acres. The parks cross the gamut from small neighborhood parks to the nearly 2,200-acre Watchung Reservation, the crown jewel of the Parks system and home to Trailside Nature & Science Center, Watchung Stable and The Deserted Village of Feltville.

Whether you’re seeking a leisurely stroll, a nature lover out birding or looking for a hike in the mountains or along a lazy river, it’s all out there in your backyard, including a host of multi-use trails that are also open to bicyclists. The multi-use trails are paved and are also suitable for strollers, wheelchairs and other equipment used to assist those with disabilities.

Enjoy. For additional information, feel free to contact Parks, 908-527-4900 or parksinfo@ucnj.org.

Ronald Zuber, Director
Phone: 908-527-4900 | Fax: 908-527-4901 | E-mail: rzuber@ucnj.org
Recreation Announcements (Recording): 908- 558-4079