Riva Row Boat House

To the passersby, buildings, storefronts, and homes lay hidden, obscured by pine trees. Rarely, do we see the full view. A town among trees, The Woodlands is home to over 100,000 residents with nearly 8,000 acres of greenspace. Located 45 minutes north of Houston, the pine forest includes 131 parks and 205 miles of trails for walking, hiking, and biking. Scattered throughout are several lakes, ponds, and a creek. The largest lake, over 200 acres, is Lake Woodlands. Calm and peaceful are the small lake's waters. Riva Row Boat House is situated along the Woodlands Waterway near Town Green Park and rents kayaks by the hour to anyone over 15 and their dogs.

Riva Row Boat House Dock

The adventure begins in the Waterway canals through town leading to a natural setting before arriving at the lake. Along the banks are many species of birds. The laughing ducks were my favorite or maybe the magnificent blue heron fishing at the waters edge. Over 200 species of birds have been spotted in the Woodlands including the American Bald Eagle who nests high in the trees.

Down the canal through town. Down the canal through town.

Leading to the Lake. Leading to the Lake.

Meet the peanut gallery, one of these birds was cracking up. Meet the peanut gallery, one of these birds was cracking up.

Upon reaching Lake Woodlands, an amazing secret is revealed, unimpeded views of the community. No longer hidden among trees, buildings, storefronts, and homes are finally revealed.

We paddled under the falling water on a hot day. It was surprisingly thrilling.We paddled under the falling water on a hot day. It was surprisingly thrilling.

Hughes Landing, soon to open with a Hilton Hotel, shops and restaurants. Hughes Landing, offices, a hotel, shops, and restaurants.

There were plenty of people enjoying the lake. Paddleboarders, kayakers, and a rowing club glided across the calm waters in the hot sun. (Motorized vessels are not allowed.) Local kids enjoying the lake on a hot summer's day.

On our way back to port, we paddled alongside fish, turtles, and ducks. The distance covered stretched time. When we arrived at the dock, we were gone only for an hour. So many cool things happened in that hour. Spend a couple hours on Lake Woodlands and you will feel the youthful nostalgia of being at summer camp. Riva Row Boat House rents single and tandem kayaks as well as paddleboards. The first hour is $20 and $5 an hour after. Rental includes lifejackets, paddles, and a wet proof bag. The first hour is paid upfront and the establishment requires holding a drivers license and credit card to be released upon return. Hours of operation for the month of August are 9 am to 8 pm. Remember to take sunscreen, a hat, and water. For more information, directions, or hours of operation visit http://www.thewoodlandstx.com/rivarowboathouse/

Happy Summer. 

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