As the warm weather moved through Naperville this past weekend, it may come as no surprise to anyone that I headed down to the Riverwalk with the family for a long stroll culminating in a regular visit to the wonderful and relatively new playground just west of the Centennial Beach parking lot.
As we walked, visions raced into my mind of the rare opportunities I get to come down to the Riverwalk for a little solo soltitude all to myself. For those of you with multiple young children, you know what I’m talking about.
Along the five mile stretch of the Riverwalk, there are many quiet places to sit, reflect, read or perhaps even doze off for a few minutes with the tranquil rushing waters of the DuPage River serving as a relaxing background. While you can’t go wrong with any of the peaceful nooks or well-placed benches, my personal favorite is sometimes missed by those who may not frequent the Riverwalk as it is slightly of the beaten path.
Just as you come across the covered bridge which leads to the paddle-boat quarry and Rotary Hill, turn to your immediate left after walking off the bridge and there is a set of stairs which leads down to an isolated landing which includes a couple of secluded benches close to the water. The location is ideal as it gives you a terrific view of the covered bridge traversing over the River as well as a small island in the center of the river which serves as a soothingly audible break-point for the rushing waters. To your right, you can see the bend of the river heading in towards Downtown. This is one of the few nooks along the Riverwalk which is not connected to riverside path which runs on both sides along the water. As a result, there is no foot traffic passing by, just the occaisional curiosity seekers who make their way down the steps for a quick inspection before continuing with their exploration of the Riverwalk.
I can sit there and read or write for hours. One thing that always strikes my curiosity is a tree stump which appears to have been turned into somewhat of a seat out on the patch of land in the middle of the river. I’m not sure whether the tree stump seat is natural or man-made, but I’ve often wondered if anyone ever wades across the water to sit for a spell. Perhaps we might construct a fascinating legend for the old stump.
Next time you are walking along the Riverwalk, drop by this landing and see how all of life’s worries can disappear for a short period of time.
(A photo of my favorite Riverwalk relaxation point from the other side of the River)
I welcome you to submit a comment below describing your favorite place to relax along the Riverwalk.