If you’re looking for a playground located right next to the Fox River, it will be hard to find a prettier setting than Hudson Crossing Park in Oswego. And that’s even though I visited on a blustery, gray November day!
Hudson Crossing comprises about 6 acres and is located in downtown Oswego, on the east side of the Fox River where Route 34 (Washington Street) crosses the water. And there is a historic explanation for its unique name.
According to the Oswegoland Park District, wagons and stagecoaches traveling the Fox River Trail (from Ottawa to Geneva) and the Joliet-Galena trail crossed the river at a ford at the present site of the park.
The village was first named Hudson (after Hudson, N.Y.) before residents decided to change it to Oswego in 1837. So the park was named in honor of the village’s original name and the crossing that led to its beginnings. Entrances to the park are marked with beautiful limestone columns topped with arches depicting a wagon wheel passing through the Fox River.
OK. Now you know the history of the site, what can the park offer the modern-day visitor?
Well, the location truly is gorgeous, sitting near a bend in the Fox River. The park is heavily wooded with mature trees, and it has two lighted picnic shelters with grills that can be reserved for parties.
The playground equipment looks very new, and the main structure has a cool bridge and several unique climbing structures along with a number of slides. The playground also has swings (regular swings, baby swings and one that is handicap accessible), a seesaw, spinners, and a sandbox . It has a small “tot playhouse,” but no separate playground equipment for toddlers. In the summer, there is a something that looks like the blades of a helicopter that shoots off mist.
The playground really is quite close to the river, but there is an approximately 3-feet high retaining wall that would make it hard for your kid to get to the river before you could get to him or her.
There are a number of nice new benches and picnic tables throughout the park, and a brick paved path that runs right along the river. (During our visit, the paved path was great for a walk with the doll stroller, which of course contained a stuffed animal turtle.) There are no indoor bathrooms, just a shelter holding two portable restrooms.
The park also offers canoe access and is a Fox River Trail trailhead. The park district sponsors concerts at the site in the summer, and I’m definitely looking forward to attending one next year.
Finally, Oswego’s Main Street is located just about two blocks up the hill from the park. We had to head home for naptime, so there was no time to explore downtown. But I met two nice women at the park who were raving about their cups of coffee they bought on Main Street (likely at the Village Grind Coffee and Tea Co., I think) and said there were a number of cute, locally-owned shops to check out. Just another reason to return to Oswego and Hudson Crossing Park!
Do you know of a wonderful park that you think should be featured in this series? We’d love to have readers write about their favorite parks, or you can also just suggest one to be featured. Please write to email@example.com.