Are you looking for a fun way to spend some time with the kids that will let them stay active, enjoy nature, and maybe even learn something? For a perfect family outing, take advantage of the many waterways in The Woodlands, Texas. Whether you’d like to go fishing, picnic in the park by the water, hang out with ducks, or paddle around on a kayak or other watercraft, The Woodlands has endless options. Here, we provide six of the best. 

Please note: If you’re planning to fish, make sure you do your research and come prepared—to fish in public waters in Texas, adults over the age of 17 need a fishing license. 

Northshore Park

girl standing green grass field beside lake during daytime

Photo via Unsplash by Luke Brugger using Unsplash License

Located at 2505 Lake Woodlands Drive

This park has everything you need for a day of family fun in the great outdoors. Bring your poles to fish straight off the dock, or you can get in your kayak and head out onto Lake Woodlands to see how the fish are biting or to just take in the scenery. Don’t have a kayak of your own? No worries. You can rent one on-site at either Riva Row or the Lakes Edge Boat House. Riva Row also offers rentals of stand-up paddleboards, water bikes, and even swan boats, which are always fun for the kids!

One advantage to Lake Woodlands is that it’s one of the few places in the area that isn’t catch-and-release, so your family can keep whatever fish they reel in. In addition to fishing and kayaking on the lake, your kids will also love Northshore Park’s fenced-in play area that features plenty of play equipment for children of all ages. Pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic on the grass or beneath one of the covered areas.

Creekwood Park

Located at 3383 S. Panther Creek Drive

You never know what you might catch in the pond at Creekwood Park! Fishermen (and women) are known to bring in catfish weighing more than 11 pounds here. The first park established in The Woodlands, Creekwood promises a good time for your family, whether you’re looking to fish or float. The pond is accessible from anywhere on the banks, so you can conveniently put in a kayak, or you can fish off the wooden deck on the west bank of the pond. The annual fishing derby takes place here every March.

Beyond just fishing, Creekwood Park also offers everything from swings to soccer fields to BBQ pits to basketball courts. There are even tennis courts, playgrounds, and restrooms. And if you want water fun of a different kind, Creekwood also has a pool, which features both a baby pool and full-sized pool, water slides, diving boards, lap lanes, and nearby picnic tables.

Bear Branch Reservoir

Located near Kuykendahl Road and Lake Woodlands Parkway

Looking to snag a large bass? Bear Branch is the place. One of the largest bodies of water in The Woodlands, Bear Ranch Reservoir is home to a large population of bass fish, just waiting for you and your family to drop them a line. It’s also an ideal spot for kayaking and boating, as long as you don’t let a little weed and freshwater vegetation faze you, since there is plenty here. But that’s just part of the reservoir’s natural charm. 

Bear Branch is also just about the only other body of water in the area, besides Lake Woodlands, that isn’t catch-and-release. That means that you can bring your fish home to put above the mantle or on the dinner table. 

When you load up your car with your family, fishing gear, and kayaks to head down to Bear Branch, don’t forget your fishing license—you’ll need it here. Park along Kuykendahl Road.

Southshore Park and Dam

Located at 3030 Woodlands Parkway, in the Village of Panther Creek

Get your ducks in a row at Southshore Park and Dam. This kid-friendly park is known for both its feathered friends and fish. The ducks are friendly, and the fishing is some of the best in The Woodlands due to the park’s location near the spillway. Go fishing off the park’s bridge or deck, paddle around the area in your kayak, or have lunch in the large pavilion, which comes complete with drinking fountains for your thirsty little ones. Children love the Midgard Serpent sculpture in the water, which looks like a cousin of the Loch Ness Monster.

Bear Branch Pond 

Located at 5205 Research Forest Drive

Not to be confused with Bear Branch Reservoir, Bear Branch Pond is its own fishing destination. The pond itself may be a little rugged and small, but there’s a dock at one end that will allow you to cast your line far enough to access most of the fish in the pond. Bass, catfish, and bluegill are the most common fish that will take your bait here. If your kids grow tired of fishing, the nearby soccer fields and Frisbee golf course will keep them entertained. 

Alden Bridge Park 

Located at 7725 Alden Bridge Drive

If it’s beautiful scenery that you’re looking for, head to Alden Bridge. The park features two ponds connected by a spillway, and the area is meticulously landscaped and includes a bridge and volleyball, tennis, and basketball courts. The waters are mostly filled with bluegill here, but you might also spot a few other varieties of fish swimming around. Either way, there is plenty of fish in this pond. 

It’s a popular spot for fishing, but people also come out to picnic or BBQ in the park while enjoying the backdrop of the water. Alden Bridge Pond is a lovely area that your family is sure to fall for hook, line, and sinker!

We just listed six of the many great places for you and your family to go fishing or kayaking in The Woodlands. But there is no shortage of good spots to enjoy a day on the water in the area. Do you have a favorite fishing hole that we didn’t mention here? Let us know