Bentsen Hawk Tower
 
Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park SsyviewWelcome to Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley
One of top birding destinations in the country, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in deep, South Texas well deserves its status as headquarters of the World Birding Center. Birders across the nation know Bentsen as a treasure trove of "Valley specialties", tropical birds found nowhere else in the United States. The 760-acre Bentsen - Rio Grande Valley State Park, together with over 1,700 acres of adjoining U.S. Fish and Wildlife refuge tracts, promises a year-round nature adventure in the richest birding area north of the Mexican border.

The Land
Constructed of layer upon layer of sediments by centuries of Rio Grande flooding, the land at Bensten- Rio Grande Valley State Park is a rich and fertile alluvial plain. Native shrubs and forbs are shaded by Cedar Elm, Sugar Hackberry, Rio Grande Ash, Texas Ebony and Anacua trees. The habitat at Bentsen is especially valuable as very few riparian woodlands remain intact along the Rio Grande.
 
Bentsen Our Birds
Our Birds

As one of the larger tracts of Rio Grande floodplain forest remaining in this area, Bentsen is a magnet for the "Valley specialties" that make this park famous. Green Jays & Plain Chachalacas congregate regularly at feeding stations within the park. Other neo-tropical varieties such as Ferruginous Pygmy-owl, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Clay-colored Thrush, Hook-billed Kite, and Gray Hawk are also likely. Virtual clouds of migrating Swainson's and Broad-winged Hawks are a popular spring and fall spectacle.
 
Learn and Discover
Bentsen is a great place to begin a south Texas birding adventure. Bird walks offer our visitors a chance to see wildlife in their natural habitats. Other guided tours at Bentsen feature butterflies, dragonflies and night tours as well as programs for teachers, students and young naturalists. Make sure to check the program calendar for special events and workshops scheduled throughout the year.
Bentsen kids, Bird walk

What's Here
The Visitor’s Center has a bilingual (English/ Spanish) exhibit hall, park store, meeting room and administrative offices - all of which are surrounded by butterfly gardens and hummingbird feeders. Visitors can take our transportation tram, ride bikes or walk through the park. A two-story observation tower gives visitors a bird’s-eye view of the canopy as well as a peek into Mexico. Two enclosed bird blinds and a birding wall allow visitors to see birds up close and watch their behaviors. Over seven miles of trails with bird feeding stations and water features offer a variety of opportunities to encounter wildlife inside the park.

RGV Map
Click on Bird Icon above to navigate to desired flyway destination!
 
Directions:
FROM ROMA
1. Head southeast on US-83 S/N Grant St toward Bravo Blvd/TX-200 Spur
Continue to follow US-83 S
2.Turn right at US-83 BUS E
3.Turn right at Bentsen State Park Rd 43/Farm-To-Market Rd 2062 S
Continue to follow Farm-To-Market Rd 2062 S
4. Continue onto Bentsen State Park Rd 43/Park Rd 43
Continue to follow Park Rd 43
5. Keep left at the fork
6. Bentsen Rio Grande Valley
Mission, Texas 78572


Google map.

FROM BROWNSVILLE
1. Take US-77 N/US-83 N (Continue to follow US-83 N) Approx. 50 mi.
2. Take the US-83 BUS exit toward Inspiration Rd.
3. Merge onto W Expy 83
4. Slight left at US-83 BUS W
5. Turn left at Bentsen State Park Rd 43/Farm-To-Market Rd 2062 S
Continue to follow Farm-To-Market Rd 2062 S
6. Continue onto Bentsen State Park Rd 43/Park Rd 43
(Continue to follow Park Rd 43)
7. Keep left at the fork
8. Bentsen Rio Grande Valley
Mission, Texas 78572

Vist Us

Physical Address
Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
2800 S. Bentsen Palm Drive (FM 2062) Mission, TX 78572

Events and Tours
See our program listings and call the park for updates and additions to our schedule.


Phone Icon Reservations and Phone Information:
Phone: 956-584-9156
Fax: 956-584-9126


Peak Season
Park Open 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. seven days a week
Park Store open 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. seven days a week
Tram Service 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. seven days a week

When the Park Store is closed, please pay at self-pay station located next to the park entrance gate.

Admission
Adult (13 years and over) – $5.00
Children (12 years and under) – Free
Group (ten or more) – $3.00
Full Parklands Passport* – Free
Partial Parklands Passport** – $3.00
Texas State Park Pass holders – Free

*Eligibility for Full Parklands Passport: 65 years of age before September 1, 1995 (there is no residency restriction)
**Eligibility for Partial Parklands Passport: Texas Residents (only) over the age of 65

School Programs:

Contact our school groups program for more information!


Staff Contact List
Click here
! :)



Bulletin Board

The park is under a burn ban. No ash producing fires, of any kind, are allowed. Containerized fuel stoves are currently allowed for cooking only.


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October 2014 Interpretive Programs

Fun and informative programs for all ages! Scheduled programs are free with park admission. School field trips and special programs are available upon request (fees apply); please contact park for details.

Thursdays: Nature Walk 10:00–11:00am

Fridays: Beginner’s Hawk Watch 10:00am-12:00pm

Saturdays: Creatures of the Night New Time! 7:00-9:00pm
Limited participants. Call (956) 584-9156 to reserve your spot.

Sundays: Bentsen Bird Walk 8:30-10:30am

Thursdays-Sundays: Hawk Watch 8:30-11:30am
Everyone is invited to join Park Naturalists and volunteers as they spot and count thousands of migrating raptors during our annual fall Hawk Watch. Ride our Park Tram and meet us at the Hawk Tower this October from 8:30 am to 11:30 am. Please remember to bring your binoculars, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and drinking water.


Other Things to Do:

Kids ages 7-12 can learn about the natural world around them when they participate in the Texas State Parks Junior Ranger Program by completing activities in the Junior Ranger Journal. Pick one up today at the Visitor’s Center and your kids will have fun learning how to protect Texas' special wild places.

Available to checkout is the Junior Ranger Explorer Pack. This is a great tool to have to help complete the Junior Ranger Journal!


Park Summer Operation Hours
Park Open 7:00 am - 10 pm Daily
Park Store Open from 7:30am-5:30pm Thursday – Sunday
Tram Service 7:30 am - 5:30 pm Thursday - Sunday
When the visitor center is closed, please pay at self-pay station beside the main gate into the park.

 

 

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Calendar of Events

Visit our Calendar of Events Page!

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Volunteer opportunities available here!



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Your Experience Includes:
  • Daily Tram service (call for schedule)
  • Headquarters Park Store & Visitors Center
  • Bird Exhibit Hall (bilingual)
  • 2-story high Hawk Observation Tower w/210-foot-long handicapped access ramp
  • Group Pavilion inside park
  • Meeting Room (available for rental)
  • Nature Center and Pavilion
  • Picnic sites with tables
  • Primitive camping sites (by reservation)
  • Boat Ramp (no motorboats please)
  • Rest areas
  • 2 Observation Decks
  • 2 accessible bird blinds
  • Nine bird feeding stations
  • Butterfly Gardens
  • 3.0 miles of nature/hiking trails
  • 4.0 miles of paved roads
  • School Programs
  • Guided nature tours
  • Bike rentals
  • Binocular rentals
Access within the park is by foot, bike and tram only.

Rentals
  • Bicycles: regular, children's tandems and trikes - $5.00- $12.00 / Day
  • Binoculars: $3.00 / Day
  • Meeting Room: $300.00 / Day
 
Resources
Butterfly Watching Links:
Birdwatching Links:
Dragonfly Watching Links:
 
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