Buncombe County and the City of Asheville align with Gov. Cooper’s Phase 1 Executive Order, City parks to open

Parks reopening graphic

The City of Asheville, in partnership with Buncombe County, continues to take proactive steps to keep our community safe and healthy during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.

To bring our community in closer alignment with Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 138, Buncombe County Public Health has issued a superseding Stay Home, Stay Safe Declaration that will go into effect at 5 p.m. May 8.

For more information about the details of the declaration, visit buncombeready.org.

City of Asheville Parks and Recreation staff is beginning the process of reopening City of Asheville Parks on May 8.  This includes dog parks, boat accesses, the fishing pond located at Azalea Park, the disc golf course, and all parking lots associated with parks. All playgrounds, bathrooms and buildings located within parks will remain closed.   It will take staff some time to remove barricades and fencing to make all parks available to the public and we appreciate your patience.


When possible, residents are strongly encouraged to exercise at home, run/walk in your neighborhood, enjoy your yard and residential outdoor spaces, and visit parks that are traditionally less crowded or visit during off-peak hours.

Updates to specific facilities:

  • All recreation and community centers, including the WNC Nature Center, will remain closed.

  • A limited number of courts at Aston Park Tennis Center will be open for public use beginning May 11 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Staff will not be onsite and the clubhouse, including the pro shop and restrooms, will be closed.

  • Riverside Cemetery will reopen May 9. In alignment with Governor Cooper’s executive order, visitations and funeral attendance are limited to 50 people observing physical distancing requirements of at least 6 feet.

  • All picnic shelter reservations remain cancelled through June 30.


Guidance for park visitors:

·       Practice the three W’s:

  • Wear a cloth face covering when you go out or are around others.
  • Wait at least 6 feet apart and avoid close contact.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often.

·       Stay home if you are sick or exhibiting symptoms.

·       Wash your hands before leaving home and bring sanitizer or wipes, water, and sunscreen. No restrooms or water fountains are currently open.

·       Maintain at least six feet of physical distance between yourself and anyone who does not live in your household.

·       Gatherings are limited to 10 persons, but gathering outdoors with friends is allowed.

·       Refrain from touching surfaces including trees and rocks. Picnic tables and shelters, grills, playgrounds, and fitness equipment remain closed.

·       Baseball and softball fields, basketball courts, volleyball courts, and soccer fields are not available for sports practices, friendly matches, or any other use in which at least six feet of physical distance cannot be maintained.

·       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.