• Flying artillery crew in action.

    Palo Alto Battlefield

    National Historical Park Texas

Things To Do

Palo Alto's Visitor Center

Palo Alto's Visitor Center...take a closer look.

Palo Alto Battlefield NHP (Public Domain)

Visitor Center & Exhibits

The visitor center offers a 15-minute video entitled "War on the Rio Grande." This historical overview is available in English and Spanish. The exhibit area features interactive exhibits, artifact displays, and examples of Mexican War era military uniforms.

The visitor center also features a Western National Parks Association sales outlet offering over 100 book titles and specialty items. The titles and items cover array of interests including the Mexican War, local and regional nature and points of interest, and children's items.

Battlefield trail

Battlefield trail

Palo Alto Battlefield NHP (Public Domain)

Battlefield Trails

From the visitor center, a half mile walking trail leads you to an overlook of the battlefield. Along the way, visitors will find interpretive wayside panels and replica cannon.

Two additional trails lead out to the U.S. and Mexican battle lines. The battlefield and overlook cab also be accessed via an auxiliary road and parking area. All trails and parking lots are handicap accessible.

The park is also the starting point for the Brownsville Historic Battlefield Hike and Bike Trail. The trail is over 8 miles long and passes just west of the Resaca de la Palma Battlefield. It ends at Linear Park in the heart of the Mitte Cultural District, close to downtown Brownsville.

Living history program

Living historians in action

Palo Alto Battlefield NHP (public domain)

Special Events & Programs

Living History

The park's special event and program season kicks off in September with Living History programs. These programs are held once a month from September through May, usually on the first Saturday of the month. Living History programs are dependent upon weather so check with the park for the most up to date information.

For more about the program, check out our Living History page.

Memorial Illumination

Annual Memorial Illumination at Resaca de la Palma Battlefield

Erick R. Tripp

Memorial Illumination

This event is held annually in November at the Resaca de la Palma Battlefield. Visitors can experience and participate in the lighting of 8,000 candles to honor U.S. and Mexican veterans of 1846 battles near the Rio Grande. Candle lighting begins at sunset. The date of the event varies from year to year so check our calendar for the most up to date information.

Archeology Fair

This event is held annually in October. It is a day filled with hands-on learning about the archeology and history of the Rio Grande delta. The date of the event varies from year to year so check our calendar for the most up to date information.

For more on our programs and events, take a look at our seasonal calendar.

Volunteer giving a talk before a tour

Volunteer giving a talk before a tour

Palo Alto Battlefield NHP (Public Domain)

Guided Tours
Palo Alto schedules numerous guided tours of the park from December 1st to April 1st. The tours allow visitors to walk the battlefield trails with a Ranger or park volunteer and learn extra details about the causes of the war, why a battle occurred here, and how the clash developed. The park also offers regularly scheduled tours at Resaca de la Palma Battlefield and the Fort Brown Earthworks. Check our event calendar for the latest info.

At any time of the year non-scheduled tours can be arranged for groups of 8 or greater. Call at least 10 days ahead of time to inquire about a non-scheduled tour. For more information about guided tours call the front desk at 956-541-2785 x333

Self-guided Tours
A self-guided program is another way for groups to explore the park. Trail maps are available at the Visitor Center desk.

Cell Phone Tour
Retrace the path General Zachary Taylor's Army followed in 1846 from the convenience of your cell phone. Call 956-847-3002 to begin the tour or visit the tour's mobile web.
Birding at Palo Alto

Birding at Palo Alto

Palo Alto Battlefield NHP (public domain)

Birding & Butterfly Watching

Palo Alto is not just an important historical site; it's also a popular spot for birding and butterfly watching. Every year flocks of visitors come to the park to catch a glimpse of Monarch butterflies or Aplomado Falcons. So as you tour the site, keep your binoculars handy and take in the sights and sounds of Palo Alto Battlefield.

Did You Know?

Battle of Palo Alto

Like his rider, Zachary Taylor’s horse became a national hero. Praised for his bravery in battle, “Old Whitey” became the subject of portraits, poetry, and music. When Taylor became President in 1850, the horse was allowed to graze on the White House lawn.