Considered the "crown jewel" of Naperville, the Riverwalk is a place of beauty and tranquility along the West Branch of the DuPage River. It features 1.75 miles of brick paths, fountains, bridges, meeting and event places, outdoor sculpture and artwork, recreational facilities, and celebratory memorials. The Riverwalk is a preferred destination and an ideal place to stroll, unwind and reflect. Come relax and enjoy the scene. The Riverwalk has something for everyone. Best of all, it’s a place to be enjoyed for generations to come.
The Naperville Riverwalk was created in 1981 as a permanent commemorative to honor Naperville’s 150th anniversary. Embraced as a gathering place for all ages, the linear park is a focal point of the community. Its covered bridges, fountains, landscaping and distinctive shepherd’s crook light poles are symbolic of Naperville’s ties to its historic past as the oldest settlement in DuPage County. In the early 1980s, residents donated their time, money and materials to transform a once-forgotten riverfront into a beautiful park that is enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.
The Riverwalk is highlighted with exceptional amenities along its path. To the east, visitors enjoy the stunning beauty of Fredenhagen Park with its landmark clock tower and Exchange Club Memories Fountain. Midway, the Dandelion Fountain, Paddleboat Quarry and unique bell tower can be found. Further west is historic Centennial Beach – a popular family destination – Centennial Park with its inline skating/skateboarding facility and the Jaycee Playground – an ADA-accessible recreational area.
Photos courtesy of Jo Lundeen.
Moser Tower Structural Assessment - Updated April 6, 2018
In 2015, a structural assessment of Moser Tower was conducted to evaluate this asset's current condition and develop an asset management plan moving forward. Click here to view the full report.
In fall 2017, the Riverwalk Commission sought additional testing and evaluation on the structure to gain more in-depth information. Engineering Resource Associates (ERA) submitted a proposal to the Riverwalk Commission at the end of 2017 to further assess the structural condition of Moser Tower.
In-depth testing on Moser Tower began the week of March 26, 2018, and ended the week of April 2. During this time, ERA and its subcontractors further assessed the tower to determine the root cause of the structure’s deterioration.
Test results will be included in the report that ERA is anticipated to complete by mid-summer 2018. The report will provide potential solutions, life expectancy of those solutions and cost estimates to address Moser Tower’s deterioration. The Riverwalk Commission will use this report to help form a recommendation to the City Council regarding Moser Tower later this year.
Naperville Jaycees Park
During Mayor Chirico’s 2017 State of the City address, he announced the concept of constructing a “smart park” on the north lawn of the Naperville Municipal Center. This park is an opportunity for individuals looking for flexible work space to be able to come together in an area located near Naperville’s downtown.
Thanks to donations from the community, enough funds have been pledged to construct this unique amenity. The Naperville Jaycees are the lead donor and namesake of the park.
Once constructed, the park will include accessible and stepped entrances, several different types of seating, tables, charging stations, USB ports and outlets. WiFi will be provided throughout the park, and canopies and trellises will be installed to provide sun protection. Naperville Jaycees Park will be free and open to the public.
Eco-friendly amenities include permeable pavers and rain gardens. Energy for Naperville Jaycees Park will come from solar panels installed on the roof of the Municipal Center.
Officially part of the Naperville Riverwalk, construction of the Naperville Jaycees Park will begin in September 2018. A groundbreaking ceremony hosted by the City of Naperville and the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18 at the park site.
Throughout 2018, the Rotary Club of Naperville has been discussing the addition of a Harmony Park to the Riverwalk. This park would consist of four large musical percussion instruments, brick pavers and landscaping located between Rotary Hill and the large quarry on the north side of the walkway adjacent to Aurora Avenue.
The Park District and Riverwalk Commission worked with the Rotary Club to find a location where noise impacts from the instruments would be minimized. The instruments chosen - contrabass chimes, melody xylophone, imbarimba, and swirl chimes - have been researched and selected based on minimizing impact.
City Council approved the addition of Harmony Park to the Riverwalk at its June 19 meeting. Although construction was anticipated to begin this summer, a fire at the instrument manufacturer's plant has delayed the start of construction to late September 2018.
- Visiting the Riverwalk
The Naperville Riverwalk features 1.75 miles of brick paths, fountains, bridges, meeting and event places, outdoor sculpture and artwork, recreational facilities and celebratory memorials. If you are planning a trip to the Riverwalk and are using a GPS device for directions, please use the address at the bottom of this page which will take you to the middle of the Riverwalk.
Also available to visitors is the Riverwalk Brochure (PDF), which includes a description of many of the Riverwalk amenities, a listing of some of the annual events, a brief history of the Riverwalk, contact information, a map and more.
- Legacy Gift Program
The Legacy Gift Program is administered by the Naperville Riverwalk Foundation. The program continues to offer the opportunity to purchase a variety of gifts in the form of bricks, pavers and memorial benches to:
- Honor a friend
- Remember a loved one
- Commemorate a milestone
More information is available on the program page.
- Annual Events
There are many events held on the Riverwalk throughout the year including fundraising walks/runs/triathlons as well as weekly concerts and children's story times. The Park District is responsible for scheduling many of the events, while the Naperville Public Library hosts the children's story times. A tentative schedule is below.
- May - Annual Tulip Bulb Sale
- June-August - Rollin' on the River
- June-August - Children's Lunch Hour Entertainment
- October - Ghost Stories in the Park... in the Dark
- November-December - Santa House
To inquire about scheduling an event on the Riverwalk, contact the Naperville Park District by emailing email@example.com or calling (630) 848-5000.
- Weddings and Other Events
Yes, it is possible to hold your wedding or event on the Riverwalk. There are three locations that can be reserved for a fee. They include the Grand Pavilion on the west extension, the Millennium Carillon in the Moser Tower and the Riverwalk Amphitheater located on the Southeast corner of Eagle Street and Jackson Avenue.
Photos are allowed on the Riverwalk. No permit is necessary. However, we ask that you keep in mind that the Riverwalk is a public park and to please be courteous of other people who are trying to enjoy its amenities.
Bobby Clinkert proposed to Sarah Kutz at the Jaycee Gazebo in Fredenhagen Park on August 16, 2014. Clearly, she said, "yes!"
[photo courtesy of Bobby Clinkert; used with permission]
For more information about availability and fees, please e-mail the Naperville Park District at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (630) 848-5000.