The Woodlands Waterway is an iconic water feature that flows through The Woodlands' Town Center, from Lake Woodlands to The Woodlands Mall. Through the years, it's been the backdrop for family photos, engagement proposals, weekend walks, and annual events like Lighting of the Doves and Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Texas. What began as a small drainage ditch has grown into an anchor in our community, drawing in visitors from near and far to enjoy art, attractions, and waterfront views. 

The Woodlands Waterway circa 1990s in The Woodlands Texas

The Woodlands Waterway began as a small drainage system.
Photo Courtesy Howard Hughes Corporation (circa 1990s).

People running along The Woodlands Waterway during IRONMAN Texas in The Woodlands, Texas

Now, The Woodlands Waterway is home to art, attractions, and national events like Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Texas.

  • 1972: Robert Heineman, retired Vice President of Planning & Design for Howard Hughes, draws a sketch of Town Center with a transit corridor running through it. This was the first conceptualization of The Woodlands Waterway, which lived on paper for 27 years before becoming a reality. 

  • 1999: Construction begins on The Woodlands Waterway. 

  • 2002: A Grand Opening celebration is held for The Woodlands Waterway. 

  • 2004: An extension of The Woodlands Waterway to The Woodlands Mall opens. 

  • 2009: The final section of The Woodlands Waterway, extending from the turning basin to Lake Woodlands, is completed.

The Woodlands Waterway during the spring, with green trees along the walkways and a kayak in the water.


The Woodlands Waterway Is...

  • 1.8 miles long
  • 5 feet deep 
  • 97 feet wide at its widest part (South of The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion) 
  • 29 feet wide at its narrowest part (at Six Pines Bridge) 
  • With 17.6 million gallons of water flowing through it

Riva Row Boat House is along The Woodlands Waterway, located just past the turning basin. Here, guests can rent Swan Boats (allowed on the upper half of The Waterway) and kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and water bikes (for the lower part of The Waterway that leads to Lake Woodlands). 

  • 10 Swan Boats at Riva Row Boat House 
  • 14 Tandem Kayaks 
  • 15 Single Kayaks
  • 6 Water Bikes
  • 11 Stand-Up Paddle Boards
  • Approximately 24,000 rentals per year

Swan Boats along The Woodlands Waterway


The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival

The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival turns The Waterway into an outdoor art gallery each year.

Fireworks at Town Green Park

Fireworks over The Woodlands Waterway during Red, Hot, and Blue make for a picture perfect Fourth of July.