Caspersen Rowing Center COVID-19 Update – May 7, 2020

With Executive Order 133, Governor Murphy opened up County Parks for passive recreation, including boating on Mercer Lake.

The Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA) working with the Mercer County Park Commission developed the regulations listed below in order to facilitate the use of Mercer Lake by rowers.

To ensure the safe use of Mercer Lake by rowers who may be able to rower under these regulations, PNRA will have safety launches on the Mercer Lake during the following time periods:

Monday-Friday 3:30-6:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 8:30-11:00 a.m.

While there will be safety launches on the water, per Governor Murphy’s order the facilities at the Caspersen Rowing Center, including bathrooms and locker rooms will remain closed. Also there can no coaching or organized practices or racing on the lake.

PNRA has limited outdoor boat rack storage available. The rack storage fees for use of the racks are $25/month if the person is enrolled in a Mercer program, and $50/month if they are not. If you are interested, please contact Kris Grudt (

PNRA is offering virtual training sessions for both Juniors and Masters. For more information please contact Hilary Gehman (

People utilizing the above training hours are asked to consider making a donation to PNRA to help offset the costs of having the safety launch on the water. PNRA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Regulations for Rowers Using Mercer Lake Under New Jersey Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 133 Opening State and Local Parks

All activities in Mercer County Park, including in and around the Caspersen Rowing Center and Mercer Lake shall follow the restrictions as described in Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 133 and all rules and regulations imposed by Mercer County and/or the Mercer County Park Commission.

Subject to the above, the following governs rowing activities at the Caspersen Rowing Center and Mercer Lake:
1. Until further notice, the building at the Caspersen Rowing Center remains closed to the public and athletes. This includes the bathrooms, locker rooms, workout facilities, boat bays and offices.

2. Rowers are allowed to use the docks provided the following requirements are met:
a. Employees, visitors and rowers should wear cloth face coverings while in settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age. This includes the parking lot and boathouse aprons, the docks and boat storage areas;
b. Employees, visitors and rowers must practice social distancing and stay six feet apart whenever practicable, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners;
c. The parking lot shall be limited to 50% of maximum capacity at the same time;
d. Gatherings of individuals are prohibited;
e. The only boats allowed are singles 1x or pair/doubles (2-/2x). Pair/Doubles can only be rowed when the both parties in the pair/double are an individual’s immediate family member, caretaker, household member or romantic partners. No shared or rented boats or equipment shall be used;
f. The boats and equipment used during rowing and on land must the personal property of the individual(s) using the equipment and must be used exclusively by that individual(s);
g. No more than 4 people are on a rowing boat dock at one time;
h. No organized practice or activities are allowed; and
i. High touch areas are frequently sanitized.

3. A motor launch may be on the lake at the same time as the rowers, provided:
a. The launch is for monitoring, safety and rescue only – NO Coaching;
b. No more than two people can occupy the launch at any time and the occupants need to practice social distancing and wear cloth face coverings;
c. All common areas of the launch are wiped down and sanitized after each use;

Anybody using the docks at the Caspersen Rowing Center or Mercer Lake does so at their own risk and assumes all liability.