Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park

On May 8, 1846, the first shot was fired in the United States-Mexican War at the site now known as Palo Alto Battlefield National Park near Brownsville, Texas. Mexican troops had defeated American troops nine days earlier during the Thornton Affair, which caused President Polk to declare war against the country's southern neighbor. Then, about 3,700 Mexican troops began to cross the Rio Grande River and attack American soldiers at Fort Texas. This time, the 2,300 American troops were able to defeat the Mexicans. The troops met the next day again at the Battle of Resaca de la Palma. When the war concluded two years later, the border between the Republic of Texas and Mexico was determined to be the Rio Grande River instead of the Nueces River as Mexico desired. 

Things to Do

Things To Do Near Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park

Head to the visitors center at Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park to see the film describing the events leading up to May 8, 1846. Then, join them on a hike across the battlefield to see where events took place. You can also join them for informative programming, which varies regularly. Reenactments occur at this site on occasion. 

Hiking Trails



Nearby Shops and Restaurants

map-marker-alt-regular How to Get There

How To Get To Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park

It is easy to get from Harlingen to Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park by getting on Interstate 69E S/US-77 S/US-83 S. Take it south, and get off at Exit 10B. Get on Interstate 169 East. Take the Farm-to-Market/ Paredes Line Road. Get on Texas 550 Frontage Road and turn left onto Paredes Line Road. Stay on that road until you reach your destination. 


7200 Paredes Line Road, Brownsville, TX 78526

Fee: Entry fee $0

Learn more about the Mexican-American War by visiting the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park. Then, explore all the attractions in Brownsville. You will also want to leave time to shop and eat. The best way to explore Brownsville is in an RV. Rent one on RVshare.com if you do not have your own.