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“HOLY BATS!!!”

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.
Pinehurst, North Carolina
Level Contributor
27 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“HOLY BATS!!!”
Reviewed July 15, 2013

This was my first trip to Fredericksburg, Texas and we stayed in a B & B on Main Street. We got a map of the area and this was on it so we wanted to check it out. We arrived at the park, parked in the lot and walked over to the viewing area. We each paid $5 (WELL WORTH IT!) and walked down to the lower viewing area that is open on certain dates. We went on a Sunday night. When we took our seats, a park ranger or someone that worked at the park, went through a whole tutorial with photos on bats and a bat emergence. It was so cool, I've never really thought about bats or cared to learn about them, but I loved the intro they gave! We sat there for about 10 minutes while she talked, and then the bats started emerging around 8:51 pm. We were BLOWN away there were SO many bats! It was one of the coolest things we've ever seen.The emergence took about 15-20 minutes and we were able to see them on the lower level. It got a little dark but we still got an awesome video!!! You have to do this if you are in the area!!!!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Kristin J
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
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
854 reviews
225 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 209 helpful votes
“Lots of Bats!”
Reviewed July 14, 2013

Had been wanting to go here for several years and finally got to and was not disappointed. Nice roomy parking, nominal fee if you want to sit close to bat emergence and volunteer park staff give you lots of info on the bats and tunnel history. It is a sloped walk down and you sit on rock steps but not bad. Lots and lots of bats and a site to see. Located off the beaten path but there are some really neat cabins, Walnut Canyon Cabins, to stay at close by. The staff is friendly and informative.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank LAH28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
houston
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Couldn't see anything”
Reviewed July 11, 2013 via mobile

So...we arrived here around 7:20pm as advised by reviews (current viewing time when we were there projected to be around 8:52pm) and the Lower seating area was already sold out. Apparently there are 70 spots available and I would suggest you get there very early to get access to the Lower area. We ended up leaving because we were told by the park ranger that unless you get Lower seats, can't see much from the Upper seating area because it gets dark. Lower area is $5, Upper is free.

With that said, we visited on Saturday after July 4th...so weekend and holiday probably makes this place very busy.

Also, there is a bar/grill located within walking distance of this place so if you get here early grab food or beer.

Also, sign posted no pets. We brought our dog because we weren't aware of that restriction (didn't see it anywhere online).

I may edit the rating once I'm actually able to visit and see something but until then, this is it.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank amy r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stephenville, Texas
Level Contributor
36 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Not the same as Congress Street Bridge”
Reviewed July 6, 2013

I enjoyed the scenery. It was a nice night and enjoyable to be out. We viewed from the upper viewing site. I never saw the bats. My husband said he could see them. I guess I expected the same spectacular show you get at Congress Street Bridge in Austin and I definitely didn't get that! I will revisit and next time I'll sit in the lower viewing area. I'm sure that will provide a better view.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank ctrussel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great place to see the bats”
Reviewed June 25, 2013 via mobile

Some reviewers have complained about the smell, the price or the time that the bats emerge. Get over it! You should be honored to have the opportunity to see such a spectacle of nature. The money is well spent on bat conservation which benefits all of us. If your are upset about the time that the bats emerge, well, you'll have to talk to the bats about that. And they'll poop all over you in the process so that you will smell just like them.

Seriously - look up Old Tunnel's web site, call the number on the webpage to get the most recent bat emergence info and LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE MESSAGE for helpful info (like they can't offer chance for the admission fee).

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

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