Rio Grande Valley: Bentsen - Rio Grande Valley State Park to Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge Professional Review and Guide
"A 24-mile paved drive through agricultural areas of the Rio Grande Valley between two small remaining islands of subtropical forest habitat. Deep in the Rio Grande Valley lies one of the southernmost state parks in the United States, the starting point for this drive. Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park abuts the Rio Grande near the city of Mission in South Texas. Unusual, rarely seen animals such as the ocelot and jaguarundi roam thick, brushy woodlands of cedar elm, Rio Grande ash, black willow, anaqua, ebony, huisache, mesquite, and many other species.
At one time even jaguar, the largest cat in the western hemisphere, stalked prey on the banks of the Rio Grande. The state park’s unique avian life draws even more people than the animals. The park and other areas of the Rio Grande Valley provide a home for a tremendous variety of birds. Some 296 species have been recorded in the state park; another 74 have been sighted elsewhere in the Rio Grande Valley. Special attractions: Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, La Lomita Chapel, camping, hiking, rare species of birds and animals."