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Are parks open? Are campgrounds open?

Last Updated: 08/19/2020

State Parks

State parks and forests are open.

On days of high visitation, some parks may close early. As visitors leave, parks may reopen. Before visiting, check the New Jersey State Park Services' Facebook page for closing and reopening announcements.

Swimming is currently being phased in at state parks, forests, and recreation areas. For the latest updates on openings, refer to the Department of Environmental Protections' swim schedule.

To save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19, wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and stay home if you are sick. Face coverings are required in indoor public spaces like park restrooms, gatehouses, and buildings, as well as in outdoor public spaces when social distancing is difficult to maintain.

All gatherings in parks must comply with the rules placed on outdoor gatherings, which limits capacity to no more than 500 people and requires social distancing.

Other requirements for outdoor gatherings include:

  • Require attendees to be six feet apart at all times, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners;
  • Prohibit contact between attendees;
  • If the event is an organized gathering, the organizer should demarcate six feet of spacing in the area of the gathering to demonstrate appropriate spacing for social distancing;
  • Prohibit sharing of any physical items provided and require sanitization before and after each use; and
  • Require contactless pay options wherever feasible.

State police and local police will regularly patrol parks to ensure that proper social distancing protocol is followed.

For more on mandatory requirements for outdoor gatherings, refer to section 2 of Executive Order No. 152.

NOTE: There are exceptions for First Amendment-protected outdoor activities, such as political protests of any persuasion or outdoor religious services, where outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people are allowed.

County and Municipal Parks

Local jurisdictions can decide whether or not to open county and municipal parks, depending upon local circumstances, and may impose additional restrictions on gatherings.

Contact your local municipality or county or visit the appropriate website for more information.

National Parks

The National Park Service is increasing access and services in a phased approach across all units of the National Park System. Before visiting a park, please check the park website to determine its operating status.

Campgrounds

Private residential campgrounds may open. Social distancing protocols must be put in place, and individuals are strongly encouraged to wear face cloth coverings.

NOTE: Residential campgrounds, including mobile home parks, may be restricted in accepting new transient guests or seasonal tenants by local governments.

Select overnight facilities at campgrounds in State Parks and Forests have reopened.

At this time, many of the State's tent and trailer family campsites are available to reserve through Sept 7, 2020. Visitors are encouraged to make reservations, cancellations and payments via electronic or telephone reservation systems to limit physical interactions by visiting www.njportal.com/DEP/NJOutdoors

Due to social distancing requirements, camping will be limited to tent-style camping while all other forms of overnight use including cabins, shelters, group cabins, wilderness campsites, primitive campsites, and group campsites will remain closed.

In addition, all campsites remain closed for the season at the Kittatinny Valley State Park, Round Valley Recreation Area, Stephens State Park, Voorhees State Park, Washington Crossing State Park, and Wawayanda State Park.

For more details about reservations and openings, please contact the park directly.

Source: Executive Order 133; Governor's Remarks 5/14/20; Governor's Remarks 5/22/20; Executive Order No. 149; Executive Order No. 152; Executive Order No. 156; Executive Order No. 161