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COVID-19 Update

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River Parks and Nature Preserve Reopen


Alexander River Park view of the French Broad River

Updated at 11 a.m. on May 8: As part of Buncombe County's modification of its Stay Home-Stay Safe emergency order to transistion into Phase 1 of easing certain COVID-19 restrictions, additional parks will reopen with limited hours and guidance on May 9. Learn more here.

Buncombe County has reopened some of its public parks. All seven river parks and Collier Cove Nature Preserve are available for park visitors to safely enjoy the outdoors and green spaces.

“We know that parks provide a connection to our natural world, opportunities for physical activity that can reduce stress and improve mental health, and places to seek peace and restoration,” said Josh O’Conner, Director of Buncombe County Recreation Services. “As COVID-19 remains a threat, everyone does not live somewhere with a yard to play in or safe access to walking or jogging opportunities. We believe these eight parks can be used safely and responsibly by the residents of Buncombe County. As long as visitors practice ‘COV-etiquette,’ these parks will remain open for everyone to enjoy fresh air. We owe it to essential workers on the frontlines to continue extra precautions each time we walk out the door. Let’s continue the progress we’ve made together.”

When possible, exercise at home, walk in your neighborhood, enjoy your yard and residential outdoor spaces, and visit less crowded parks or during off-peak hours. You should only visit parks with members of your own household and not use these spaces to meet up with others for social opportunities. O’Conner said Recreation Services staff are monitoring parks regularly to ensure they do not become too crowded.

Guidance for park visitors:

  • Stay home if you are sick or exhibiting symptoms.
  • Wash your hands before leaving home and bring sanitizer or wipes, water, and sunscreen. There are no restrooms or water fountains at the eight parks that are currently open.
  • Maintain at least six feet of physical distance between yourself and anyone who does not live in your household.
  • Refrain from touching surfaces including trees and rocks. Picnic tables, grills, and fitness equipment remain closed.
  • Keep it moving when using trails and step aside to let others pass. At some parks, trails may be marked as one-way only.
  • Limit your park time so that others can also safely enjoy the space.
  • Pack out all trash, leftover food, and litter to help minimize invasive species, bank erosion, and water pollution.
  • Let us know how you’re enjoying your parks! Tag Recreation Services on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #IHeartBCParks.

The reopened parks are open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

  • Collier Cove Nature Preserve on 194 Rhododendron Drive in Arden
  • Alexander River Park on 2589 Old Marshall Highway in Alexander
  • Bent Creek River Park on 1610 Brevard Road in Asheville
  • Corcoran Paige River Park on 9 Pinners Road in Arden
  • Glen Bridge River Park on 77 Pinners Road in Asheville
  • Hominy Creek River Park on 220 Hominy Creek Road in Asheville
  • Ledges Whitewater Park on 1080 Old Marshall Highway in Alexander
  • Walnut Island River Park on 3042 Old Marshall Highway in Alexander

Buncombe County Recreation Services has been the trusted steward of the county’s parkland for decades and continues to serve the public by providing, protecting, and preserving a unique collection of outdoor and indoor recreational facilities – which we see as a core service to the people of Buncombe County. We believe our community is a better place when everyone from infants to retirees have the opportunity to be strong, healthy, and successful. Our projects and programming represent a primary goal of low-cost, equitable, inclusive wellness and therapeutic opportunities that are accessible to all residents regardless of cultural, physical, cognitive, or socioeconomic background to create a livable, healthy, and vibrant community.

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Recreation Services Administrative Office

Contact

Recreation Services
Josh O'Conner
Director
P: (828) 250-4260
F: (828) 250-6715

Mailing Address
46 Valley Street,
Asheville, NC 28801

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