Parks and Recreation Resources

As an organization that supports the power of parks and open spaces as essential resources for health and wellness, we understand that people may have questions and concerns about visiting our local parks, trails, and open spaces at this time.

Public access is suspended to Newton Parks and Recreation Department facilities, including recreation centers, gyms, workout rooms, playgrounds, tennis courts, and basketball courts.

Newton parks, including Southside Park, Northside/Broyhill Park, Westside/Jaycee Park, East Newton Park, and Jacob Fork Park, remain open. The Heritage Trail Greenway remains open. Kids in Parks Trail Activities brochures have been removed from the Heritage Trail Greenway, however, participants may still earn prizes and access activities at www.kidsinparks.com (more information below). For parks that have playgrounds, tennis courts, and basketball courts, the park itself remains open; the playgrounds, tennis courts, and basketball courts at those parks are closed. Signs indicate which facilities at each park are closed. Public access is suspended to restrooms at all Newton parks; please use the restroom before you visit. Portable toilets are installed temporarily for people who must use them.

Kids in Parks e-Adventures

Newton Parks and Recreation staff encourage visitors to get out and explore nature while practicing social distancing along the Heritage Trail Greenway. The trailhead is located off N.C. 10 West adjacent to Newton Farm Supply. The Kids in Parks team has developed a series of activities children and families can enjoy on their electronic devices.

Four e-Adventures based on popular TRACK Trail brochures are available. They are:

The fourth e-Adventure is a completely new theme that introduces families to forest bathing. The practice started in Japan, where it is called Shinrin-Yoku, but it has caught on around the world as a great way to reduce stress and become connected to the world around you.

TRACK-tivities for Visitors

In addition to the Backyard Adventures brochure, Kids in Parks has a series of downloadable TRACK-tivities. Here are some links to TRACK-tivities for you to enjoy:

Here are two recent blog articles to help You stay active in nature:

Safety Recommendations

Please practice good hygiene and observe the CDC’s minimum recommended physical distancing of six feet from other people.

We understand the value playgrounds and recreation facilities provide to our community, especially our children. However, given the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the guidance from trusted public health agencies on physical distancing, limiting in-person social interactions, avoiding spaces where people congregate in close quarters, and concerns about transmission of the virus through surfaces, we believe that playgrounds and recreation facilities should close temporarily in an effort to reduce community spread. 

We encourage all visitors to follow these recommendations when visiting Newton's parks:

  • Refrain from using parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms.
  • Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to and during use of parks or trails.
  • Prepare for no access to public restrooms or water fountains.
  • While on trails, warn other users of your presence and as they pass, and step aside to let others pass.
  • Follow CDC guidance on the recommended size of social gatherings including outdoor picnicking, pick-up sports and other group hangouts, and maintain proper physical distance at all times.
  • Observe CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of six feet from other individuals at all times. If this is not possible, users should find an alternate location or depart that space.
  • Consult your local and state ordinances and guidelines for the most up to date recommendations on park and trail use.

Our local parks, trails and open spaces have always served as places where people can find respite and seek peace and restoration. These places are needed now more than ever. Our City's parks and recreation staff are working hard to maintain these spaces and keep them safe, accessible and benefiting our community. Let us all do our part to use them in a way that respects each other and public health guidance.

Concerns and questions should be addressed by calling the Parks and Recreation Department at 828-695-4317.

Social distancing in parks