Today I’m back with another Playgrounds & Four Points Mom post and highlighting another local playground in the Austin Four Points area, River Place’s Woodlands Park. If you’ve been following the website for awhile, you know that I regularly visit local attractions and provide photos and tips about them. One of my ongoing series highlights playgrounds and parks. You can find the master list of playgrounds and parks in the greater Four Points Area at my Austin Playgrounds & Parks resource page. You can find my other reviews by searching by category (playgrounds).
Okay, back to Woodlands Park …
Woodlands Park might be River Place’s best-kept secret. Unless you live here or have hiked all the way down the trail that starts at the top of the neighborhood, you likely haven’t heard about Woodlands Park. Well, today I’m going to bring you all into the group of those who know … and you’ll want to add it to your weekend plans asap.
Located at the bottom of Big View Drive in River Place, Woodlands Park has several different areas for you and your children to enjoy. What I love about this park is that most of its offerings are hidden from the road. You have to get out and walk around to stumble upon so much of it.
The main playscape area at Woodlands Park is designed for older kids, but my two-year-old managed it just fine (following around her brother).
However, the main play areas on the playscape are a bit higher than most other playgrounds we visit. It took me several minutes before I felt comfortable standing back to take these photos (and leave her that high up on her own).
Alas, though, she survived with no falls or broken bones.
Foster’s favorite features of the Woodlands Park playscape are the three different slides, the climbing features, and the zip line.
Next to the main playscape you’ll find an exercise area for you to do some pull-ups and push-ups while your kids play.
Walking Trail and Creek
After your kids tire of the main playscape you can meander your way down the walking trail towards the water.
This tree gets a ton of attention from the young kiddos. For example, how cute are the boys pictured here at Foster’s birthday party last year. (It’s a great and cheap party venue by the way).
There are some nature guideposts along the way that my kids loved. The one pictured below referenced many of the types of animals that live near the trail.
As you can see, the park is truly picturesque. My photography skills are severely limited, but I hope you can somewhat recognize the peaceful ambiance near the water. We often see kayakers and paddle boarders heading up this part of the creek. And if you look in the photo below, you’ll notice a huge sandbox area for kiddos to dig around in.
And there’s even a rope swing for the more adventurous.
Swings and Climbing Jungle Gym
If you keep walking down the trail you see the (almost hidden) swings and climbing jungle gym.
Just swingin’ by the creek …
As you see in this photo, the swings are right down the hill from the playscape. It’s a pretty steep hill, so that’s why you’ll likely take the trail each time. But, I wanted to give you some perspective about where the swings are in relation to the main playscape. You can also see the covered pavilion with two individual bathrooms at the top left of the photo. Sorry I didn’t get more pictures of the pavilion! It is nice, though.
Foster loves this climbing contraption. I don’t know what I’m supposed to call this … climbing centipede, break-your-neck jungle gym, unsafe monkey bars ….
He gets on this thing and his imagination runs amuck. Here he is having a blast at last year’s party again.
On the other side of the climbing jungle gym you’ll find steps leading up to a bridge that crosses the creek. Here’s a view from the bridge of the area we just left (with the jungle gym).
You cross the bridge (about a 2-minute walk) and it takes you to a little park area right on Lake Austin.
There are even steps down to the water’s edge if you were looking to get in with a paddle board or kayak.
Here’s a photo of Parker at the beach last winter when they temporarily dropped the water level of Lake Austin. Can you tell the girl jumped right in the COLD water? I was cracking up laughing.
This beautiful sandy beach isn’t here all the time unfortunately.
Boardwalk and Pond
If you leave the playground area and head across Big View Drive (the opposite direction from heading to Lake Austin) you’ll find the end of the River Place Nature Trail. If you haven’t hiked the nature trail, I recommend doing so. We lived here several months before we did and we couldn’t believe we waited so long. I’m going to do a whole separate post on it for you soon, so stay tuned!
But you can enjoy the nice boardwalk along the pond that’s just a few steps from Woodlands Park.
We often see the a couple swans out on the water and without fail will see tons of turtles. The kids were watching the turtles in the photos below after we did a spontaneous hike down the trail after dinner last month.
To sum up Woodlands Park, it’s just unique and the perfect setting for some outdoor fun. The playscape isn’t the best, but it’s in good shape. It’s the entire package of the water, hills, trails, and wildlife that will keep you and your kids entertained for hours.