Kingwood is known by most for its naturally forested landscape and beautiful scenery. Its streets are lined with hundreds of shady trees and flowered bushes, all of which promote Kingwood’s image as “The Livable Forest.”
Kingwood has over 500 acres of parks and nature preserves that serve as great destinations for family outings, walks with pets, or sporting events. The area’s parks are staples in the lives of community members and encourage residents to unplug, enjoy nature, and spend time with loved ones.
East End Park
East End is one of the more popular parks in the area, simply due to its size. It is a 158-acre park located at the east end of Kingwood Drive. East End has raised boardwalks on which visitors can safely walk through the carefully preserved swamps and marshes. The park also contains crushed granite trails that visitors can use for biking and jogging. Visitors will also find picturesque picnic tables and benches overlooking the park’s unique, swampy scenery. Not only is East End a fantastic recreational destination, but it also offers educational opportunities as it is home to varying biological and ecological environments, such as meadows, woodlands, and wetlands. The park also offers a different, unique experience each time the season changes. In the spring, the park is rich with wildflowers and irises, both of which are frequent subjects for photographers. In the summer, visitors will often find deer and other grazing wildlife throughout the park. The fall and winter seasons are a great time to visit East End as well, because various species of bird migrate to the Houston area for the colder months.
Kingwood Town Center Park
When Town Center Park is not hosting festivals, farmer’s markets, or other community events, it serves as a large greenspace in the middle of the Town Center Area that is densely populated with businesses. Despite being in the center of Kingwood’s most commercialized area, the Town Center Park remains a serene escape from suburban life and provides visitors with benches and ample space for picnics. Its proximity to all of the Kingwood’s major venues makes it a convenient spot for various events like the Town Center Fourth of July Festival and Christmas at Town Center. The park can even be rented by Kingwood residents for private events.
Creekwood Nature Area
The Creekwood Nature area is perhaps the most well preserved, fully natural park in Kingwood. It has been left completely in its natural state aside from mulched hiking trails. It spans about 50 acres and is located at the end of Maple Park Drive in Bear Branch Village. This park is another great educational destination, as park caretakers aim to leave the park as natural and untouched by man as possible. Because of this, it has fewer benches and picnic areas than other parks. However, it remains a beautiful place for family hikes or bike rides.
River Grove Park
River Grove Park is somewhat of a hidden gem for Kingwood residents, as it is often overshadowed by the larger East End Park. However, River Grove is a stunning 74-acre park that offers unparalleled views of the San Jacinto River and Lake Houston. It is conveniently located for most Kingwood residents, the entrance being at the south end of Woodland Hills Drive. It has a boardwalk that extends over the water and serves as beautiful landscape for walks and photography. The park is also home to an 18-hole disc golf course, a boat launch to Lake Houston, fishing areas, picnic tables, grills, restrooms, and a pavilion. In terms of park amenities, River Grove is the best that Kingwood has to offer.
Lake Houston Wilderness Park
Lake Houston Wilderness Park is a large, 4,000-acre wilderness preserve and park located in New Caney, just ten miles north of Kingwood. While it’s a bit of a drive for Kingwood residents, the Lake Houston Wilderness Park is the closest park to the area with camping and cabin opportunities. This park has six modern cabins with amenities, as well as six screen rooms and multiple sites for tent camping. Visitors have the opportunity to camp and hike along the beautiful water of Lake Houston. The park also has a nature center where visitors can go to learn more about the various wildlife found in the park’s ecosystems. Other amenities include a rentable dining hall, restrooms, equestrian trails, and hiking paths.
Deer Ridge Park
Deer Ridge Park is a 63-acre area located on the west side of Woodland Hills Drive, south of Kingwood Drive. It is not as natural as other Kingwood parks, but remains an excellent space for family outings like walks, picnics, and games. The park has two tennis courts, a basketball court, a sand volleyball court, private restrooms, shaded picnic areas, a duck pond, a gazebo, and a playground area for children. Deer Ridge is the headquarters of the Kingwood Horsemen’s Association, and horses can be seen on any given day throughout the park.
Images by M. Rosato.