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Among the icons of The Woodlands, The Woodlands Waterway shines through the natural ambiance of this highly-acclaimed, master planned community.

The Woodlands Waterway is an award-winning 1.8-mile water amenity, strolling linear park for walking, jogging or biking and a transportation corridor to catch a free trolley ride in The Woodlands. Highlighting a mixed-use urban center along its path, The Woodlands Waterway links to shopping and dining, commercial businesses, residential living, entertainment like the world-renowned Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, public art, Town Green Park and Waterway Square, a one-acre destination featuring signature fountains choreographed to music and a stage for community performances.

The Waterway began in 1972 as a small drainage system and a long-range vision of George Mitchell and The Woodlands Development Company, now The Howard Hughes Corporation. Robert Heineman, retired Vice President of Planning & Design for Howard Hughes, drew a transit corridor through the heart of a future Town Center on a fabled napkin sketch (which in reality was a notecard). The vision lived on paper for 27 years until construction began in 1999.

“The Woodlands Waterway is truly a masterpiece and an impactful inspiration to the community; for those of use that are fortunate to live, work or visit The Woodlands. The Woodlands Waterway is a multigenerational project that began with a diagram depicting a transit corridor and will continue to get better and better as we look for additional ways to provide experiences along its path,” said Jim Carman, President of the Houston Region for Howard Hughes.

Howard Hughes cultivated a new 2.3-acre community open green space near The Woodlands Waterway. Crepe myrtles and zoysia grass—a lush and durable grass that creates one of the most dense and soft green carpets—are among the landscaping elements that have been thoughtfully selected for community enjoyment. Movable furniture provides for flexible gatherings to suit each individual’s desire to relax and unwind.

The new gathering space set the stage for a 35K square foot mural by Alex Katz, an internationally recognized artist that is featured on the adjacent Waterway Square garage. The new mural adds to The Woodlands’ growing collection that comprises over 80 pieces of public artwork.

The Woodlands Waterway was created as a unique private/public partnership involving The Howard Hughes Corporation (formerly The Woodlands Development Company), Houston Galveston Area Council, Texas Department of Transportation, Brazos Transit District, Federal Transit Administration, The Woodlands Road Utility District, The Woodlands Township and the Town Center Owners Association.

Did you know? 

  • In 1999, construction began on The Woodlands Waterway.
  • In 2002, The Woodlands Waterway was introduced through a Grand Opening celebration.
  • In 2004, an extension of The Woodlands Waterway to The Woodlands Mall was open.
  • In 2009, The Woodlands Waterway, extending from the turning basin to Lake Woodlands, was completed.
  • In 2017, The Woodlands Waterway opened to Hughes Landing.
  • On March 8, 2018, The Woodlands Waterway final extension was celebrated.