Old Tunnel State Park features an abandoned railroad tunnel that was built in 1913. The tunnel is now home to a colony of approximately 3 million Mexican free-tailed bats. These bats migrate up from Mexico and are present in the tunnel from May through October each year. Visitors can come out and view the bat emergence from the upper viewing area for free. The lower viewing area is only open on Thursday through Sunday evenings for a $5 per person fee, regardless of age, which also includes a formal interpretive program. Due to the bats sensitivity to noise, children age 3 and under are not allowed at the lower viewing area. State Parks and Bluebonnet passes are not accepted for this activity tour fee. Please bring exact amount for payment as we are not able to make change. For the most up to date emergence time information please call 866-978-2287. Visitors may access the short 1/2 mile nature trail every day from sunrise until 5 p.m. (If you find the trail closed sign up and/or gate closed/latched during these hours, please feel free to open the gate and go down the trail.)Rules: No pets, No Camping, No alcoholic beverages, No smoking on trails or in viewing areas. No refunds or rain checks if you do not see bats.Add Old Tunnel State Park and other attractions to your Fredericksburg trip itinerary using our Fredericksburg holiday builder site.
Beginning in May 2016, in an effort to protect and conserve the resources at Old Tunnel State Park and for the safety of our visitors, we will be limiting the number of people allowed at the upper viewing area to 250 people. We will be closing the small parking lot adjacent to the upper area and will allow any visitors over the 250 limit to wait in this overflow area. We will admit more visitors as people leave. If you plan to visit the Park on weekends such as Memorial Day, 4th of July or Labor Day, please plan to arrive early as the 250 limit can be reached quickly. We open each evening at 5 p.m.
Old Tunnel State Park Reviews
Despite it being Valentines, The weather was super nice and we were able to treck down by the tunnel. Sadly no bats to be see, however the tunnel itself is neat more »
There aren't supposed to be any bats snoozing in the Old Tunnel at the Old Tunnel State Park, but because of global warming there are now other species of bats hanging around. Warning - that means... more »
Great tiny State park. If you go before 5 pm you can walk down the trail past the old railroad tunnel. Pay the $5 per person, cash, exact change and treat yourself to the lower viewing area where a park ranger gives a fascinating talk about the Mexican Freetail Bats. (No small children under 3 allowed in lower viewing area) Viewing times change call the park to free number for updates. Bats in residence approximately late April through October. Take your own water, wear sneakers or hiking boots. We saw 3 million bats last night!
Pretty little park. We went at 4pm so we missed the bats, but could still see them flying in the tunnel warming up for their nightly flight. Walked down the trail and got to see 2 armadillos. Very cool.
Places to stay near Old Tunnel State Park
Plan your trip to Fredericksburg
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
See all ›
Wineries in Fredericksburg
Side trips from Fredericksburg
Hidden gems in Fredericksburg
Shopping in Fredericksburg
Plans to Old Tunnel State Park by other users
30 days in San Antonio & Cancun BY A USER FROM MEXICO June, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in New Braunfels BY A USER FROM CANADA February, popular sights PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 5 days in San Antonio BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, hidden gems PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in Irving, Evansville & San Antonio BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in New Braunfels BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular sights PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 29 days in New Braunfels BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, popular sights PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium