Whether you’re new to the area or have lived here all your life, these places are definitely something that you will want to experience. Gather your squad and check out these four outdoor activities near Edinburg that really give you a full taste of the Rio Grande Valley.
There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy near the Edinburg area.
These suggestions are just the top of the cultural and natural iceberg that exists here the RGV. There are plenty of historical museums peppered throughout the McAllen metropolitan area, and let’s not forget that South Padre Island is a little over an hour’s drive away.
- Bike Riding
- Bird Watching
1. Anzalduas Park
Set on the lands of La Lomita, translated to “little hill,” Anzalduas Park was donated in 1861 and used by the local Oblate priests for farming and ranching.
Many visitors opt in for a wet adventure by canoeing or kayaking along the border river that runs through the area.
Just a short drive from Edinburg, Anzalduas Park is a vibrant, scenic park that plays host to a bountiful amount of ash and live-oak trees. This spot takes all of the rustic beauty that Hidalgo County has to offer and mixes it with the majestic.
- Butterfly Watching
- Scheduled Events & Activities
2. Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
Fifteen minutes to the west of Anzalduas Park, sharing the same border with the Rio Grande River, is Bensten-Rio Grande Valley State Park. The park, ranked as one of the top birding destinations in the country, offers 797 acres—or 1,200 acres with adjoining U.S. Fish and Wildlife refuge tracts—of lovely South Texas fertile landscape while also being home to the World Birding Center.
Bird watchers the world over know that Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park is THE place to catch sight of “Valley specialties”, or certain species of tropical birds that can only be seen here in the Rio Grande Valley and nowhere else in the United States. Nature lovers will also appreciate the native shrubs and forbs, as well as the robust array of trees like Texas Ebony, Anacua, Cedar Elm, and Sugar Hackberry.
Events are ongoing throughout the year, supplying the adventurous with an abundant amount of options and activities.
- A world-class destination for bird-watching
- Hawk Tower
- Bike Riding
- Shuttle Available
3. National Butterfly Center
A member of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA), the National Butterfly Center is one of the strongest sites for butterfly watching in the nation and is seated a few miles north of Edinburg.
The 100-acre preserve is your nexus to view nearly 40 percent of the 700+ species of butterflies in the U.S. that navigate through the Lower Rio Grande Valley area. It also plays a vital role in the amazing migration of the monarch butterflies that travel from Mexico on up to Canada.
The National Butterfly Center is home to the most free-flying butterflies in the United States and was considered by USA Today to be the “butterfly capital of the USA”.
- Wildlife Watching
- Nature Trail
- Nature Tram
- Nature Photography
4. Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
A little down the road from Edinburg lies the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge was created in 1943 to protect migratory birds. While it hosts 400 species of birds, 450 species of plants, and half of all butterfly species in North America, it is also home to ferocious predators that – if you’re lucky – you can see during one of their nature walks.
Hundreds of different species of raptors like broadwing hawks and peregrine falcons can be easily spotted. But running into a coyote or a bobcat may be a real possibility, depending if the right conditions are met. And if you’re truly lucky, you may see two endangered predators that prowl the deep forests to this day: the ocelot and the jaguarundi.