Friday, August 27, 2010

Koi Garden on the Waterway in The Woodlands Texas

Nestled among the tall buildings but along the waterway is a little place people often miss. Koi Garden is intended as an amenity for people living in Town Center but is available to anyone walking the paths along the waterway.

On the outside as well as inside, you will find bamboo and water. One of the clues to where the garden is located is to watch for water on both sides of the walking path. The you will also see bamboo growing on the land side of the path. For a tranquil moment at lunch or any other time, this is a good place to stop. Running water bubbling up from a pump-driven "spring" makes the garden more inviting than a pond.

There are a few lily pads and blooming lilies at a cross bridge in the garden.

They are worth a moment to to examine them with the visiting bees.

Of course the main menu are the Koi. There are some large and small ones to sit and watch meandering in the pools of water.

Please make sure you follow the rules which keeps this place beautiful and tranquil.

Then the fish and vegetation will continue to thrive.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Riva Row Boat House on the Waterway in The Woodlands Texas

Kayak rentals can be found right in the woods! It is a service provided by the Woodlands Park and Recreation department of The Woodlands Township (government). Rentals are by the day or by the hour.
There are basically two types of renters - (1) Recreation, and (2) Fishing. Those who fish usually want to rent the boats for more than an hour and start early in the morning, For that reason, the 9-10 rentals must have reservations. After 10am, it is first come, first serve.  Renting for a fishing excursion can be fun, but the kayaks are not equipped for fishing (no rod holders). It is cost effective in that the entire day is rented for only $35 and the boat house is open for 11 hours. For recreation paddling, it costs $15 for the first hour and $5 more each additional hour, but no more than $35. If you are asked to wait for a boat, the attendants will call you when a boat is ready and hold it for you, providing you can return to the boat house within about 20 minutes after the call. If not, they will release it to the next person on the list.
The boat house also sells drinks - water, soft drinks and a few caffeine helpers. On weekends you can expect the place to be quite busy, especially in the summer and holidays. On weekdays, usually about half of the fleet is out at peak times.  Remember fishermen: 9-10 reservations only.

Now we have something new! You can take your dog out in the kayak and protect him from drowning by using one of these new pet vests. Thanks to the generosity of The Woodlands Dog Park Club, "we now have the these canine life vests so that kayakers may bring their dogs along for the ride."

The closest place to park would be the Green Parking Lot or on Riva Row road itself.  The boat house facility is not handicap friendly. There is no ramp to get onto the boats that I could see, although it seems one could use the grass to get there if needed. The walkway is purely walkable, definitely not wheel friendly.

Map to parking(P) and Riva Boathouse(R) : (there is an error in this map. It appears to be  Google Earth issue - soon to be fixed). You can find the facility directly across from Town Green Park, on the south side of the Waterway.