I’VE BEEN MEANING to capture a view of the Cedar River Trail as it passes through downtown Renton since I visited the city library for the first time years ago.

The unique library building, which spans the stream, is a perfect starting point to explore this segment of the trail as it makes its way to the river estuary on the southern tip of Lake Washington.

On this early spring day, I’m settling in to sketch from one of the benches tucked along the brick-paved sidewalk. Pink blooms are just starting to burst from the branches of what looks like a cherry tree. The bridge that frames the scene is one of five crossing the river north of the library, including a bridge with Art Deco features dating to 1939. (Did anyone think of giving Renton a “City of Bridges” nickname?)

Renton might not register as a destination for many Seattleites, but this river walk is well worth a visit. When you continue on the path for about 1.5 miles, the Renton Municipal Airport and a Boeing plant come into view. Then Lake Washington opens up, with Mercer Island in the middle and the tops of Seattle and Bellevue high-rises peeking up in the distance.