Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lovely Baumann Park. Saver of Sanity.

You can smell the heather and freshly cut grass in the air.  The sun is shining down; the wind is blowing the perfect breeze to ruffle your hair just the littlest bit.  There are ducks and geese in the lake, some with downy babies comically following behind them. 

There are families fishing, people reading on the shores of the lake or on one of the many picnic tables or gazebos.  Many, many people are walking, biking, or rollerblading on the bike path, some with leashed dogs.

Where is this magical place, you ask?

It’s Baumann Park

Baumann Park is located at 300 South Walnut in the quaint, charming village of Cherry Valley.  It’s where lots of people go to enjoy the beautiful setting it presents…pretty much any time except winter, although I’m sure you could take some gorgeous pictures and go for a brisk walk in January, too.

Cabin in the Woods.  haha
It’s only about 10 short minutes from Rockford, and actually accessible from a bike path that runs parallel to Harrison Street.

Although you can’t put a boat in the water there, you can fish; the lake is stocked with bluegill, bass, and northern pike.  Be sure to have a fishing license, as there are policemen who actually come by and check. *  There are limits posted here and there so you know what exactly you can take home and fry up.

The Kishwaukee River.  Where I will never be.

On the other side of the bike path is the Kishwaukee River, where throngs of people are found on warm weekends during the summer putting anything that floats in the water and having one heck of a good time.  (author’s note:  I’m not exaggerating about how many people do this…sometimes it’s hard to find a parking spot…and they sure do make it look fun!)

It’s also an extremely popular spot for wedding parties and prom goers alike, due to the picturesque setting. 

Close to the bike path is also a baseball diamond.  For those with small children, there’s also a little playground; sometimes people grill their lunch of hot dogs or hamburgers nearby under the pavilion (which is for rent).  It makes those walking pretty hungry sometimes!

The total picture is really something else.  It is the complete embodiment of summer.  People tubing, the smell of hot dogs on the grill, the sun reflecting on the lake, squawking or singing birds, walking alone, as a couple, or with their dogs, the unbelievably fresh smell in the air…it is so nice.  Visiting this park definitely charges up your batteries as it’s one of the most serene parks this author has ever visited.

Get your pedometer or rollerblades; put on your walking shoes and sun block.  Go shake loose the stress of the day.  Grab some water to bring with you and enjoy the amenities of Baumann Park.  You will be glad you did.

*the police checked on fishing licenses for my daughters once.  They really do check.

It's probably much, much greener now...2 months later.

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