San Antonio/ Parks & Nature
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Published on May 24, 2024
Old Tunnel State Park in Texas Hill Country Offers Spectacular Nightly Bat ViewingsSource: Visit Boerne

Bat enthusiasts and nature buffs might just find their next adventure in the Texas Hill Country at Old Tunnel State Park — the smallest in the Lone Star state but jam-packed with winged wonders. A high point for visitors is the nightly emergence of bats from an old railroad tunnel, which has become a viewing spectacle. According to the City of Boerne website, though entry is free during the day, a ticket is required for the bat show after 5:00 pm, and it's advisable to nab these online up to a whopping 60 days in advance.

For the best spot, you may want to get there early — the park suggests arriving an hour before the bats decide to grace the sky, which could be a different time each evening, hinting travelers might benefit from calling their bat hotline at (866) 978-2287 or checking the park's Facebook page for updates. Besides the flight spectacle, pre-flight entertainment is on the park agenda with an educational program 45 minutes before the bats take off every evening. The viewing areas, including an upper and lower deck, are designed to be ADA accessible, with a gentle note that the lower area is off-limits for children under four.

If you want to up the ante on your bat-watching experience, don't forget your binoculars, as these can really come in handy, especially when twilight descends. Now, don't let a bit of rain on your parade ruin the evening; while bats aren't fans of a downpour and the park doesn't issue rain checks or refunds, there's always the silver lining — you could just end up at Alamo Springs Café, munching on one of Texas Monthly's top 50 burgers in Texas. Just think, the evening could still be epic, with or without the bat ballet in the sky.

For those toting along the curious little ones, a free online read of "Frankie the Free-tailed Bat" could be just the ticket to spark more excitement about the visit, as suggested by Visit Boerne's marketing material.