Press Release

For Immediate Release: December 18, 2020

Winter Activities in Union County Parks

Union County parks offer serene winter hikes, sledding, and other outdoor activities.

Winter safety rules and COVID-19 prevention are in effect.

Union County, NJ – With miles of rustic trails and one of the best sledding hills in the area, Union County parks offer a wide variety of winter activities. Residents and visitors are reminded to observe ice and snow safety rules and take precautions against spreading or contracting the COVID-19 virus while enjoying County parks this winter.

“Thousands of residents and visitors enjoy Union County parks every year, and we ask everyone to observe a few simple rules that protect health and safety under winter conditions, while also helping to preserve the ecosystem and wildlife habitat in our parks,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

Bicycles are strictly prohibited on all unpaved trails in all County parks. Bicycles, including mountain bikes and fat-tire sport bikes, are permitted only on paved multi-use pathways. Off-trail biking is strictly prohibited. All cyclists are reminded that paved pathways are shared with pedestrians.

Ice skating is prohibited on ponds and lakes in County parks, except where expressly permitted by the Department of Parks and Recreation. Ice is tested regularly for safety and signs are posted where conditions are safe enough to support ice skating.

Sledding is permitted only in Echo Lake Park and in other designated areas, in order to prevent collisions with trees, traffic, and pedestrians, and in order to prevent damage to ecologically sensitive areas.

For safety reasons, toboggans, bobsleds and other non-steerable devices are discouraged.

Downhill skiing is prohibited in all County parks.

Cross-country skiing is permitted only on marked trails and paved paths; off-trail skiing is prohibited. Skiers are reminded to share trails and paths with pedestrians.

Hiking and snowshoeing are permitted on trails and paths throughout County parks. Hikers are asked to help prevent damage to natural habitats; do not hike off-trail or take shortcuts.

COVID-19 prevention: The Warinanco Sports Center remains closed for ice skating and other activities until further notice. Visitors to County parks must observe social distance and wear face masks where distance is impractical.

For a list of all activities in each Union County park, visit ucnj.org/parks-activities (please note that winter activities are permitted as described above).

Union County parks feature many trails and walking routes of special interest including history, geology, and the East Coast Greenway bike route. For a complete list visit ucnj.org/parks-recreation/paths-trails-greenways.

For a list of ordinances governing the use of bicycles and other vehicles in County parks, visit ucnj.org/parks-recreation/parks-regulations.

For additional information regarding winter activities, please call the Department of Parks and Recreation at (908) 527-4900 or visit ucnj.org/parks-recreation.

For more information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Drive-Through Test Center at Kean University and the Mobile Test Unit walk-up sites, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 and updates on statewide vaccine planning are available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.

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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.

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