(Last Updated On: November 28, 2022)

Great Kiskadee resting on a tree branch at Resaca de la Palma State Park

Managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Resaca de la Palma State Park is one of three state parks in America that fall under the umbrella of the World Birding Center.

Situated in South Texas, right on the border with Mexico. This spectacular 1,200 acres park is located in Brownsville, which is just a 7 minute drive from Olmita.

Formed by the Rio Grande, the semi-tropical paradise opened to the public in 2008, as the largest of all the World Birding Center sites.

Providing a tranquil, semi-tropical haven for both birds, wildlife and people to enjoy, this Texas state park is dedicated to increasing the overall awareness, appreciation and conservation of the birds and other wildlife.

Although it doesn’t have camping accommodation directly onsite, there are several campgrounds within easy driving distance that you can stay at if required.

Visitors Center at Resaca de la Palma State Park

The visitor center is open from 8 am to 5 pm every day of the week, except Monday when it is closed.

All park visitors must check into the center during operational hours, or pay an entrance fee at the iron range, which you will find in front of the visitor center.

When you go to the visitor center there is a nice gift shop for you to check out.

Birding at Resaca de la Palma State Park

You’ll definitely want to bring your binoculars to the park as you can expect to see several different birdlife species.

This includes vibrant colored migratory breeds like the American Redstart, Yellow-breasted Chat and Summer Tanager.

Within the hackberry forest you are likely to see Green Jays and White-Tipped Doves, as well as migrating warblers.

While over in the ebony forest, White-eyed Vireos, Long-billed Thrashers and Groove-billed Ani can be found among the thick vegetation.

At the grasslands you’ll find raptors like Harris Hawks and White-tailed Kites searching for prey, as well as Northern Bobwhites.

In the resaca, the likes of Green Herons, Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks and Least Grebes can be found around the mud and water. Northern Mockingbirds and Olive Sparrows forage about the thorn-scrub too.

Trails at Resaca de la Palma State Park

One of the best ways to see the birds is while traversing the park’s trails.

Overall Resaca de la Palma State Park is home to 10 miles of nature trails which you can explore either on foot or via a tram (only on Wednesdays to Sundays) that takes you through its pristine ecosystem.

These trails pass verdant woodlands of Texas ebony trees, as well as anacua trees that flank the resaca and oxbow lake.

Probably the most popular trail to tackle is The Ebony Trail. This easy, 320 meter course is the closest one to the visitor center. It meanders through old growth anacua-ebony woodlands to an observation deck that provides a nice viewing spot.

Another recommended trail is the Tram Loop, which will take you on an easy 2.8 mile, paved loop through the park. On the way, you will cross two other bridges and no less than seven other trailheads.

If you have visited the park on your bike the Quail Loop is a good one for you to traverse. Taking you through lush grasslands, it provides you with cracking views of the Brownsville reservoir. This moderately difficult level of trail gives you the chance to check out osprey and various other birds of prey over a distance of 1.3 miles.

For those into wildlife, the Yellowthroat Loop is an easy 1.2 mile trail which presents a great opportunity to see several species of wildlife in various habitats.

Nature & Wildlife

For those who enjoy nature the park’s flora and fauna is sure to fascinate you.

Long before the arrival of the first humans, the Rio Grande carved Resaca de la Palma into its present state.

Today the Resaca de la Palma State Park has three different habitats. This includes over 60 acres of wetland, 420 acres of mature woodland that features stunning ebony trees and over 720 acres of savannah and woodland habitats that are dominated by mesquite.

These habitats are home to a wide range of nature and wildlife including a number of endangered species. As well as indigenous species that you can’t find anywhere else in America.

Some of the animals that inhabit the park include the rose bellied lizard, Gulf Coast Toad, wild turkey and snakes. There are also plenty of bugs and butterflies around too.

Pets at Resaca de la Palma State Park

Pets are welcome to join you at the park, although some restrictions on their presence do apply.

To clarify what they are, and how they might impact upon your visit there, it is worth getting in touch with the park’s main office for further details.

Camping at Resaca de la Palma State Park

There are no camping options directly at the park, although there is a group hall and pavilion available for guests to use.

The pavilion is ADA accessible and also comes with electricity, air conditioning and heating, A/V equipment, a projection screen, tables and chairs and a sink. Restrooms located nearby it as well.

If you need overnight accommodation to visit the park, the Tropical Trails RV Resort is just over 8 miles away in Brownsville. This is a campsite and caravan park that provides plenty of options and amenities for RVs, trailers and tents.

A little bit further away, the Port Isabel Marina and RV Park provides a lovely campground on salt water channels. Amenities here include a boat ramp and docks, laundry and modern bath and shower rooms.

Park Location

Resaca de la Palma State Park
14225 FM 316 N
Eustace, TX 75124
Phone: 903.425.2332

Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Resaca de la Palma State Park: