Bentsen Hawk Tower
 
Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park SsyviewWelcome to Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley
South Texas is home to one of top birdwatching destinations in the country, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park and World Birding Center. Birders across the nation know Bentsen as a treasure trove of "Valley Specialties" or tropical birds found nowhere else in the United States. The 797-acre Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, together with over 1,200 acres of adjoining U.S. Fish and Wildlife refuge tracts, promises year-round nature adventures 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 Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park is a rich and fertile alluvial plain. Native shrubs and forbs are shaded by Cedar Elm, Sugar Hackberry, 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 a large remnant tract of Rio Grande floodplain forest, Bentsen is a magnet for the many regional bird species that make south Texas famous. Green Jays & Plain Chachalacas congregate regularly at our bird feeding stations from November to March.  Other birds to look for include Gray Hawk, White-tipped Dove, Groove-billed Ani, Ringed Kingfisher, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Clay-colored Thrush, Long-billed Thrasher and Altamira Oriole. Virtual clouds of migrating Broad-winged and Swainson’s Hawks are a popular spring and fall spectacle.
 
Learn and Discover
Bentsen is a great place to begin a south Texas nature adventure. Guided tours offer our visitors a chance to see wildlife in their natural habitats. Special programs for teachers, students and young naturalists are available as well as citizen science projects such as Hawk Watch and the Christmas Bird Count. Make sure to check our 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 shuttle, 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, a birding wall and several water features allow visitors to see birds up close and watch their behaviors. Ten bird feeding stations are stocked from November through March and over seven miles of trails 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 daily from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Daily Tram Service – 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
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

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October 2017 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. Please contact us for more details.

 

Thursdays

Bentsen by Foot: 10:00am

Except Oct. 3

Wednesdays:

Bird Walk: 8:30am

Except Oct 4th & 11th

Thursdays:

THawks by the 100's: 8:30am

Fridays:

Butterfly Gardening: 8:30am

Except Oct 20

Saturdays:

Creatures of the Night:

Oct 7th – 7:30pm

Oct 21st – 7:00pm

RSVP required

Fridays & Saturdays:

Tram Tour: 3:00pm

RSVP Required

Check with staff for tour schedule.

Special Events:

Hawk Watch: 8:30am

Meet shuttle at Tram Turnaround.

Park Operation Hours

Park Open 7:00am-10pm Daily
Park Store open from 8:00am–5:00pm.
Daily Tram Service – 8:30am-4:30pm.
When the visitor center is closed, please pay at self-pay station beside main gate into the park.  

Nine Unique Locations
  
eBird-Tracker Link


Get Involved

Calendar of Events

Visit our Calendar of Events Page!

Join Us

Volunteer opportunities available here!



Bird Checklist

Estero Llano Bird Checklist




State Park Map






Texas State Parks Geocache Challenge



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here.

Find your Way





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