Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in Mission, Texas, is a part of the World Birding Center, and a world-class attraction for bird watching. As a hotspot for over 500 species of birds documented in the area, and with the chance to spot hundreds of hawks on their yearly migration or the stunning butterfly gardens, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park is a "can’t-miss" destination for bird watchers and nature lovers.
The park is open daily from 7 AM to 10 PM and admission is $5 for adults. Children under 12 are free and groups of 10 or more people may receive the group rate of $3 per person. There is a park shuttle that runs daily from October through May, every hour between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM. Between June and September, the shuttle runs hourly but only on Thursday through Sunday, from 7:30 AM through 5:30 PM. Reservations can be made in advance over the phone.
There is a park store that is open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM and offers camping supplies and outdoor equipment, field guides, brochures, gifts, and food. The store also rents bicycles and children’s tricycles that range from $5 to $12 daily. Tent camping is available in the park, and there are two hiking trails through the park’s woodland areas. In Texas, dogs are allowed in most state parks and trails. Be aware of posted signage that may indicate places where dogs are prohibited and always be respectful of campground and trail rules.
As with any state park or public recreation area, make sure to clean up after yourself and your pet. Make sure your dog is current on all vaccination and you bring proof of current rabies vaccine. It’s never a good idea to bring unvaccinated puppies, females in heat, or aggressive dogs. Make sure you have physical control of your dog at all times and keep them in a crate or on a leash no longer than six feet. If you’re a bird watcher or a nature lover in Texas, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park is a beautiful spot to spend the day or to camp.