About the Parks
About Public Parks In The Woodlands
What is the difference between the parks?
In a word? Size. But more than that, the classification system of The Woodlands public parks is a delineation by amenities and use types as well. Each of the Villages feature multiple parks, while the larger sports fields are limited to certain areas.
Town Wide Parks
In simple terms, Town-wide parks are those that are built for general purpose, and were constructed with the idea that they should serve everyone across the Township. Town-wide parks include Town Green Park, Northshore Park, as well as the Alden Bridge Sports Fields, Gosling Sports Fields, and Bear Branch Sports Fields
There are thirteen Area parks ranging from three to 18 acres, many of them featuring amenities like soccer fields or large, open play areas. Four of the five off-leash dog parks are a part of an area park. The fifth off-leash dog park is at Bear Branch Park, which is a Village park.
The fourteen Village parks are those that feature swimming pools, including the Rob Fleming Aquatic Center at Rob Fleming Park.
Neighborhood Parks / Tot Lots
Neighborhood parks, commonly referred to as playgrounds or tot-lots, come in a wide range of sizes and number of amenities as well as parking spaces (some having no parking lot at all).
Amenity parks generally offer only a single amenity, usually a fishing pond or perhaps a picnic area - and may or may not include seating benches.
Parks of Special Interest
There are currently nine parks in The Woodlands that feature various "wheel-friendly" areas ideal for skateboarding, roller-blading and trick-bike riding. Also available at certain parks are Bocci ball, disc golf, splash pads and more!
Bear Branch Park is home to the largest skate park in The Woodlands, and is designed for intermediate to advanced skaters. It includes two in-ground concrete bowls, and above ground concrete plazas. Additionally, there are other parks in The Woodlands that are "wheel friendly" featuring ramps, rails, and other obstacles designed for skates and skateboards. Ridgewood Park and Cranebrook Park are the only two parks that feature BMX style dirt tracks.
Other parks of special interest include the Millbend Linear Loop, which is actually only a 3.1 mile-long, asphalt pathway in the Village of Grogan's Mill for walking/jogging; Bear Branch Park also has the only roller-hockey rink in The Woodlands, in addition to being home to the Recreation Center at Bear Branch. The Shadow Lake Marsh Experience in Cochran's Crossing is a raised, wooden pathway with informative plaques throughout the trail; there are community gardens at the Bear Branch Sportsfields and Alden Bridge Sportsfields; Avalon Park in the Village of Collage Park features both Bocce Ball courts and Horseshoe courts; and there is a crushed gravel jogging path at Windvale Park in the Village of Alden Bridge.
Rules in The Woodlands Parks
The Woodlands Township has adopted/published Rules for Parks and Pathways in The Woodlands effective 11/2009. (order 019-09)
The policies include rules and provisions for the use of Township properties in The Woodlands. These policies apply to, but not limited to the following:
- Hours of Operation - Park hours are from dawn to dusk unless specifically posted otherwise; lighted play courts and sports fields close at 11:00 PM. Northshore Park designated fishing area/boat launch close at 11:00 PM.
- Motor Vehicle Use - Motor vehicles larger than one ton in capacity are not allowed within any park; all motor vehicles are to be driven in designated areas (e.g. parking lots) only.
- Dumping, Littering & Vandalism - willfully marking, defacing, disfiguring, injuring, tampering with, displacing or removal any of the Township's property or any other property is not allowed, as well as removal, destruction, damaging, marking, cutting, breaking or disfiguring any tree, shrub, flower, grass or any other plant; or planting any tree, shrub, vine, wildflower, grass or other types of plant material on or within any such facility without Township approval.
- Boating and Swimming - boating is only to be done in Lake Woodlands, Lake Paloma, and the Bear Branch Reservoir. Swimming is only to be done in one of The Woodlands swimming pools; open water (lake, waterway) swimming is not allowed.
- Horseback Riding - Only allowed by special permit (e.g. the mounted patrol).
Fires, Firearms, & Fireworks
- It is unlawful to build, or attempt to build, a fire anywhere within a Township Facility except in barbecue pits provided at a park or in portable barbecue grills or cooking stoves permitted in designated areas.
- Except as otherwise specifically authorized by law, it shall be unlawful for any persons other than duly appointed law enforcement officers in the course of the lawful exercise of their duties to carry, or possess or discharge any firearm of any description.
- No person may bring or possess, or set off, or otherwise explode, discharge. or burn any fireworks or other form of explosives in, along, or within any Township facility, unless specifically authorized to do so by the Township.
- Alcoholic beverages - No person is allowed to consume any alcoholic beverage at, in, or within any Neighborhood Park, swimming pool or area of Town Center designated by the Township as a "Children's Use" area (for purposes of this rule, Bonny Branch, Cottage Green, Piper's Green and St. Peter's Gate are not considered Neighborhood Parks).
- Animals and Pet Waste - All domestic pets are to be under the direct control by the owner or possessor and securely leashed on a leash not to exceed ten (10’) feet in length, except for domestic dogs within a designated off-leash dog friendly area or dog park; it is unlawful for any person to fail to immediately remove any feces deposited in, along or within any Township Facility, by a domestic pet that is under the control or possession of such person.
- Fishing - All lakes and ponds are "Catch & Release" fishing areas, and all fish caught must be immediately released back into the lake or pond, save and except for Lake Woodlands, Lake Paloma, and the Bear Branch Reservoir.
- Special provisions for frisbee disc golf, dog parks, pools, wheel friendly areas, and the community gardens may have additional rules and regulations that are posted inside or in the vicinity of each facility.
- Fees for use of fields, courts, pavilion, pools, parks, and facilities at either The Woodlands Recreation Centers vary based on proposed use, date requirements, group size, as well as other factors - more information can be found on the Parks & Playgrounds page.
For your personal safety, we recommend that when enjoying the parks and pathways, travel in pairs or groups and do not allow children to stay at parks unattended. Lock your bikes at a bike rack, place any valuables out of sight, and lock your car doors.
The Woodlands Parks and Recreation Department requests your help to maintain the beauty of The Woodlands parks. Please report any vandalism, unsafe structures, or questionable behavior to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department at (281) 297-6500 or The Woodlands Parks and Recreation Department at (281) 210-3800. The parks are built for everyone's enjoyment, and they ask that everyone pitch in and do their part.
Parking your vehicle at the various parks in The Woodlands:
Many of the Neighborhood parks are designed for more localized area use and therefore may have limited or no public parking areas, while others have many parking spaces. Residents are encouraged to walk or bike to the parks by way of the numerous neighborhood pathways in order to lower our nation's carbon footprint. If you plan to drive to a park, please choose one with a public parking area and do not park on the grass. Parking on the grassy areas may damage the grass resulting in a potential fire hazard and possible fines.