2014 Heartland Wilderness
2014 Heartland Wilderness
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Down on the Rio Grande near the Texas-Mexico border is the 500-acre Falcon State Park. The park spans two Texan counties, Starr and Zapata County. It's conveniently located off Highway 83 near Roma, Texas. The closest major city, San Antonio, Texas, is roughly three and a half hours from the park.
One of the park’s main features is the almost 85,000-acre International Falcon Reservoir, which is also known as Falcon Lake. Together, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Mexican President Adolfo Ruiz Cortines dedicated the dam that forms the reservoir in 1953. However, Falcon State Park didn't open until 1965. The area surrounding the lake is comprised of grassy hills, small native trees, and cacti. All this greenery attracts a variety of birds and butterflies, which campers may have the chance to observe. Book an RV in Starr County or Zapata County so you can discover everything that the park has to offer.
The International Falcon Reservoir provides a popular fishing destination for Falcon State Park campers. Fishing from the lakeshore is an activity campers can enjoy regardless of whether they have a fishing license. A wheelchair-accessible fishing pier is also available. Among the species of fish commonly found in the lake are largemouth bass and channel catfish. The park provides a fish cleaning station where campers can clean their catch.
Falcon State Park also contains a four-lane boat ramp from which campers can access the lake. Launching from the shore is also an option when the lake is below a certain level. In addition to boating, other water sports, such as water skiing and swimming, are favorite pastimes for visitors.
If you’re in search of a hiking or biking experience, look no further than the roughly three-mile loop trail. When you need to take a rest, stop at a wildlife viewing area or take the opportunity to birdwatch, another popular activity at Falcon State Park. You'll likely see species of birds commonly found in the American Southwest, as well as some neotropical species. Less common species that a few campers may be lucky enough to spot include the green kingfisher and varied bunting.
Falcon State Park RV campgrounds are open year-round, so you’ll be able to stop by no matter when you’re planning your state park RV camping trip. All RV campsites at Falcon State Park are pull-through, a feature which may come as a relief to those renting an RV. The park offers 31 full-hookup campsites, which provide access to water, sewer, and 50-amp hookups. The same number of campsites with electricity are available to Falcon State Park campers. There are restrooms with hot showers near both areas; however, only the restrooms near the campsites with electricity are ADA accessible.
Other amenities available in both areas include fire rings and covered picnic tables. The full-hookup campsite area also features a barbecue pit. A dump station is conveniently located near the park entrance. You can reserve a campsite online or over the phone. Additionally, your pet is welcome to join you at the campgrounds or on the nearby hiking trail but must remain on a leash at all times.
When you’re ready to pack up and continue exploring the southern regions of Texas, drive your campervan rental roughly 20 minutes south to the city of Roma. If you didn’t get the chance to birdwatch at the state park, you can check out the World Birding Center at Roma Bluffs. This old port plaza in the Rio Grande River woodland area is the perfect spot to enjoy viewing the variety of birds that claim Starr County as their home. Among these species of birds are the Audubon oriole, brown jay, red-billed pigeon, and white-collared seedeater.
From the World Birding Center, you can venture deeper into the Roma Historic District. The architecture of the district’s buildings reflects the city’s origins as a Spanish colonial settlement. Those interested in learning more about the impact of American, Mexican, and Spanish cultures on the city’s history through artifacts and exhibits can visit the Roma Historical Museum, which is housed in a converted chapel in the historic district.
When leaving Roma, take US Highway 83 to Rio Grande City, where you can check out Fort Ringgold. This Civil War-era fort contains barracks and other structures, including the Robert E. Lee House. Make sure to fill up your motorhome rental at one of several gas stations along the highway before continuing your journey. You'll also find an abundance of eateries just a few miles southeast of the park.