The Best Camping Near Old Tunnel State Park, Texas

The Best Camping Near Old Tunnel State Park, Texas

The excitement of camping near Old Tunnel State Park stems from the creatures that live inside that namesake old tunnel: millions of bats! Visit to experience wildlife as you never have before.

Old Tunnel State Park, Texas
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About Camping Near Old Tunnel State Park

By day, camping near Old Tunnel State Park entails hiking, picnicking, bird watching and taking in the scenery. However, the real magic happens in the evening when around three million bats emerge from the old railroad tunnel, drawing awe-struck onlookers from May through October. After nightfall, sit back and stargaze while swapping spooky stories by the campfire.

Top Campgrounds Near Old Tunnel State Park, Texas

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Old Tunnel State Park Camping FAQs

Have you ever wanted to explore one of the oldest state parks in Texas? Well, now’s your chance! Old Tunnel State Park is the place to be for campers looking for an adventure. From its fascinating history to its convenient location and gorgeous views (especially during bat season!), this park has something for everyone. Here are some frequently asked questions about Old Tunnel State Park that will help you plan your next camping adventure.

Where Is Old Tunnel State Park Located in Texas?

Old Tunnel State Park is located in central Texas near the city of Fredericksburg. It’s a short drive from Austin and San Antonio, making it a great spot for campers who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The park itself is the smallest in the state at just 16.1 acres.

The drive to Old Tunnel State Park from the heart of downtown Austin takes about two hours. That’s right—just two hours and you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery, fresh air, and plenty of outdoor activities to keep you entertained. From San Antonio, the drive is just one hour, and there are plenty of great campgrounds nearby the state park for you to stay at to make it a long weekend trip!

What is Old Tunnel State Park Famous For?

Old Tunnel State Park is home to one of Central Texas’ most unique attractions—a bat flight viewing area! Every summer thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from underneath an old railroad tunnel. It’s an incredible sight to behold as these creatures make their way into the night sky in search of food and fun.

What Other Activities Can I Do at Old Tunnel State Park?

If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the six miles of trails that traverse through the park’s varied terrain. You can also go birdwatching and if you’re looking for something more low-key, there is plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities throughout the park as well.

What is the history of Old Tunnel State Park?

Old Tunnel State Park has an interesting history, but don’t let that fool you – it’s not old as dirt! Located in the lovely Hill Country of Central Texas, this park began its life in the early 1900s when a railroad tunnel was built for the Fredericksburg and Northern Railway, which ceased operations in 1942. But soon, technology changed and the old tunnel wasn’t so old anymore! New locomotives couldn’t fit through it so eventually, it became home to millions of Mexican free-tailed bats – definitely something to see. Today, visitors can check out the old tunnel (now with no trains!), take part in outdoor activities like hiking and bike trailing and attend star parties hosted by local astronomers. What can we say? Old Tunnel State Park – old enough to know what fun is all about!

How Can I see the Bats at Old Tunnel State Park?

The best way to witness this natural wonder is to visit the park during bat season between April and October with plenty of bug spray and your bravest attitude. The bats tend to come out between 7:15 p.m. and 8:20 p.m. Nothing quite compares to seeing millions of bats streaming out from under a bridge after dark, so don’t miss out! Plan to arrive at least two hours before sunset to get the best spot. Don’t forget to “ooh” and “ahh” over any spectacular aerial acrobatics and the sight of fuzzy silhouettes racing through the sky. Plus, remember to respect local Texas regulations regarding photography, noise levels, drinking alcohol, and other activities that may disturb these bats!

Also worth noting—all visitors to the park will need a ticket to be in the park after 5:00 p.m. during bat season. Be sure to visit the park’s website for the most up-to-date information about enjoying the area and seeing the bats.

What's Interesting About Mexican Free-Tailed Bats?

These bats are native to Mexico and Central America, but can also be found in parts of the United States. They’re unique creatures with a number of interesting features.

Showing Off Their Tail Feathers

The Mexican free-tailed bat is known for having a tail that extends beyond the edge of its membrane wings. This makes them easily recognizable among other types of bats. What is unusual about this species of bat is that their tails are much longer than other members of their family and look almost like feathers. Some people even call them feathertails!

Diving Into Migration Patterns

Mexican free-tailed bats tend to migrate during certain seasons each year. During the summer months, they can be found all over the southwestern United States, including Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Then in winter months they head back down to Mexico where they thrive in warmer temperatures. There have been studies done that show these bats typically fly hundreds of miles every day as part of their migration patterns. Talk about commitment!

Solving Problems With Poop

One thing many people don’t know about Mexican free-tailed bats is that their poop (called guano) has been used for centuries to solve various problems. For example, Mexican farmers have long used guano as a natural fertilizer for crops since it contains high amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus which help plants grow strong and healthy. In addition, guano has also been used as an effective insect repellent due to its high ammonia content!

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