Bat Cave Old Tunnel State Park, Fredericksburg TX

Oct 07

Bat Cave Old Tunnel State Park, Fredericksburg TX

On a warm, summer’s evening shortly after we moved to Fredericksburg, we headed down a curvy road through the countryside towards Old Tunnel State Park. We were going to see three million bats emerge from the tunnel and fly off into the summer sky.

I’d heard about the bats that live under the bridge in Austin. Every evening at sunset thousands gather to watch the bats take off from their home and fly away, searching for food and water. I was glad to find out this state park was much closer and a lot less crowded.

Old Tunnel State Park was originally a railroad tunnel connecting Fredericksburg and San Antonio. It was closed in the 1940s and is now home to some three million mexican bats. They return each summer to the tunnel and fly approximately three miles in all directions. They first search for water, typically heading towards the Guadalupe River, then they search for food. Most of the females are pregnant when they arrive. They don’t stay at the tunnel to have their babies, though. The rangers think it may be because the tunnel is open on both ends and they may not feel safe. The females go to another location when it’s time to have their babies. They return to the tunnel with their babies and spend the rest of the summer there. By October, they will head back to Mexico to the warmer weather.

Scott took a video of the bats leaving the tunnel. We sat at the top of the observation area. They started coming out around 7:50 and continued for almost an hour. We left when it started to get too dark, close to 8:30. You can watch the video below and or on You Tube. You can also see a few more photos in our Google Photos Album – Old Tunnel State Park. 

If you’re in Fredericksburg, Texas, during May – October, be sure to come to watch the bats at Old Tunnel State Park. Call 866-978-2287 to find out the approximate time the bats will be emerging. We waited about an hour before they came out close to eight o’clock. Others told us they came out earlier when it had been raining and was cloudy during the day.

Have you seen the bats emerging from the tunnel in Fredericksburg, TX? Would you want to? Let me know in the comments or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.


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