Run. Walk. Bike. Paddle. — Seven ways to stay active this summer in Naperville

July 2012 View more


There is nothing I look forward to more than a run through Naperville’s Riverwalk. The energy from the river pushes me forward along the scenic route. As I pass Centennial Beach, I may be lucky enough to be serenaded by the Carillon. Taking your workout outside in Naperville never disappoints. Though downtown may be known for its shopping and restaurants, it also holds a great selection of fitness fun that can add sizzle to your summer workout routine.

On Foot

Whether you’re a runner, a walker, or just out on a Sunday stroll with your family, Naperville’s Riverwalk is the best way to enjoy Naperville’s “crown jewel” while getting in some exercise. The Riverwalk is just shy of two miles long. You can start by entering at Jefferson Avenue and making your way down to Hillside Road. You can’t help but stop and take in the scenic rapids, covered bridges, and sculptures that serve to enhance the history and enjoyment of the Riverwalk.

On Wheels

Naperville has a couple of great bike routes not many people know about. The first bike path continues to evolve and expand with the goal of connecting to the DuPage River Trail in five different areas. When completed, the route will be nine miles long. It will wind through Naperville and connect to the city of Warrenville and the Illinois Prairie Path to the north, and Will County and the Virgil Gilman Trail to the south. The second bike path begins at Naperville’s 5th Avenue Station. Follow the signs and experience a great ride through the neighborhoods and ultimately south along the river. For more information, visit

On Water

The paddleboats are located just east of the Carillon. Whether you are finishing a tour of the Riverwalk on foot, or wrapping up a great meal at a local restaurant, the paddleboats are a fun way to get some exercise while seeing the Riverwalk from a different perspective. There are four-passenger boats available for 20-minute or 40-minute rides. For more information on hours and seasonal schedule, visit

Triathlon Events

Naperville plays host to a couple of great Triathlon events in the summer. If you’re a seasoned triathlete or just getting started, SheROX Triathlon, for women only, takes place each June. In August, the Naperville Sprint Triathlon is open to men, women, and kids of all ages and abilities. This year it will take place August 5 at Centennial Beach. It’s a great event for the whole family. Get a team together and make a day of it in downtown Naperville. For more information, visit

5K Walk/Run

If triathlons aren’t your style, how about a 5K? Naperville has no shortage of opportunities to walk or run a 5K (3.1 miles). Throughout the year a number of organizations hold 5K’s just waiting for your registration. Whether you’re a walker or a runner, or just out to support a good cause, 5K’s are a perfect venue. Check out Naperville’s website for a list of 5K’s in Naperville.

Centennial Beach

As a kid, I always looked forward to Centennial beach opening for the season. Though the beach has changed quite a bit since then, it’s still a great place to get in your laps or start up a game of volleyball. For more action, catch water polo on Tuesday and Friday evenings froM 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. There is also a frisbee area and plenty of room to build sandcastles. There’s no doubt a day at the beach will be a day full of activity. For more information, visit

Walking tours

If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the history and architecture of downtown Naperville, check out Naperville’s culinary and cultural walking tour. It takes you through hidden parks, historic buildings and offbeat venues. You will learn about Naperville’s history, architecture, culture and people while enjoying a variety of food and drink from locally owned and operated restaurants, pubs and shops. For more information, visit