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“Prepare to be Batty”

Old Tunnel State Park
Ranked #12 of 103 things to do in Fredericksburg
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Smallest state park in Texas. Park features an historical railroad tunnel that is home to approximately 2 to 3 million bats. Visitors can access the short nature trail each day from sunrise until 5 p.m. Entrance to the park is free. Bats roost in the tunnel from May through October. During these months, nightly viewing of the bat emergence is available from the upper viewing area for free. Lower viewing area is only open on Thursday through Sunday evenings for $5 per person fee regardless of age. Rules for Old Tunnel State Park: No pets, no smoking on trails or in viewing areas, no alcoholic beverages, no camping, no open fires. For more detailed information about visitation, please call the number listed or visit the Old Tunnel web page.
Fort Worth
Level Contributor
81 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Prepare to be Batty”
Reviewed June 12, 2013

This is a State Park, and it is well maintained. There are restrooms on site, which is very helpful since you are about 10 miles out of Fredericksburg in a fairly isolated area. There are two main viewing areas. The upper deck is free to the public; however, to get the BEST viewing experience pay the $5 fee to enter the lower viewing area. Get there early, and you can walk down to the area near the old railroad tunnel, which will be closed later. The bats come out about dusk, and depending on the time of year (spring to fall), the experience can last from 15 minutes to an hour. The bat colony grows at the summer progresses into fall, which explains the length of time for the bat emergence. The volunteer or Park Ranger will give an informative talk before the emergence, and they share the simple rules for enjoying the experience. The main rules are stay seated and be fairly quiet with no flash photography allowed. We enjoyed it so much that we decided to visit the site two nights.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Bob-a-Link
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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280 reviews from our community

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English first
Corpus Christi, Texas
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Fun Picnic Adventure”
Reviewed June 4, 2013

We arrived an hour before the expected bat emergence and got the best of three picnic tables to have dinner while we waited. The rangers were REALLY nice. We did not pay the $5 to go to the lower viewing area and, if we had it to do over again, would. But we could watch just fine from our table!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Debsun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Granbury, Texas
Level Contributor
365 reviews
148 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 385 helpful votes
“Don't miss this little gem in the country!”
Reviewed May 29, 2013

We really enjoyed seeing this State Park! It centers around an old train tunnel that was built in the 1890s to connect Fredericksburg to San Antonio. There are no tracks anymore; however, the tunnel is still there and it is home to the second largest bat colony in the State. We were there at the wrong time to view the nightly bat exit but we did see a lot of bats flying around inside the tunnel. You can't get right up to it but that's fine. After descending a bunch of steps, you can look into it. There is a small hiking trail that loops the park. None of this is handicap accessible. This is a very primitive park. If you are in decent shape though, you should be able to hike it. Just be aware that the steps are not uniform in any way and it is steep going down and coming back up.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Lacey C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Porter, Texas
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Interesting even if the number of bats are low.”
Reviewed May 28, 2013

We have viewed the flight of bats at 3 other locations in Texas and New Mexico. You are much closer that at the other facilities we have visited. You can see the bats below the tree line as well as in the air.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank H-CHouston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
39 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Call ahead”
Reviewed May 26, 2013

This was a beautiful area but its just a look out and small hike. This is primarily for bat watching, but no bats except for summer. This was an old train tunnel that has been preserved as a bat habitat. Theres minimal parking and its a bit out of the way. We saw the signs and followed from comfort, TX. It was a pleasant drive but could have been difficult in dark. There's not much to see unless your really into bats and you better call ahead to see if there are any bats. The bathrooms are composting toilets (our 6 year old enjoyed learning about) and there was some educational opportunities but without bats the small kids basically just ran up and down the stairs. Staff and volunteer were courteous and informative. This is migratory location for bats during warm weather. Call ahead and find out if there are bats prior to visiting.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank jhhraw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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