Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Fredericksburg in Kendall County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Welcome to the Old Tunnel

 
 
Welcome to the Old Tunnel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney, February 15, 2014
1. Welcome to the Old Tunnel Marker
Inscription. From May to October, Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area is home to about 3 million Mexican free-tailed bats and 3,000 Cave myotis bats. Each night during this time, the bats spiral upwards once or twice outside the tunnel entrance before streaming out to feed on insects. Aerial predators, such as Red-tailed Hawks, are sometimes seen feeding on fallen bats as they emerge. Terrestrial (land) predators, such as raccoons are also sometimes seen feeding on fallen bats. Watching the emergence of millions of Mexican free-tailed bats is a special and unique experience. Even when bats are not present at the Old Tunnel, visitors can enjoy the railbed trail and see the tunnel that changed the history in the Hill Country.

Help safeguard this colony
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department acquired this property in 1991 to protect and preserve the bat colony. As more people come to see the bats, the possibility of disturbance is increased. This might cause the bats to abandon the roost. Biologists have learned much from research performed here at the Old Tunnel. You can help save the bats and our chance to enjoy the spectacular nightly emergence by following these simple guidelines:

Simple guidelines
Please stay on designated trails and away from tunnel entrance
Refrain from throwing rocks or any other
Panorama looking south alon the railbed trail. image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney
2. Panorama looking south alon the railbed trail.
objects at emerging bats
Do not shine bright lights (flashlights, camera flash, video lights) on the emerging bats
Please keep voices down before and during the emergence
Stay behind all barrier cables and fences

Visitor activities
Daytime
A half-mile trail follows the historic railbed and includes a view of the tunnel, native plants and animals.
Nov-April, open sunrise to sunset.
May-Oct, open sunrise. Trail closes at varied times based on bat emergence time.
Trail surface is loose and steep in places. Use caution.

Nightime
Bat emergence can be viewed nightly from the upper viewing area to your right. Staff and volunteers are available to answer questions from May to October. There is no charge for this activity.
Lower deck viewing: From May to October, Thursday thru Sunday evenings, visitors can enjoy a close-up view of the bat emergence at the lower deck. Prior to the emergence, staff and volunteers provide a unique program about bats and railroad history. A fee is charged and seating is limited to the first 70 people. Special group tours: Available by special arrangement for a fee. For tours and questions call 866-978-2287.
Special group tours: Available by special arrangement for a fee. For tours and questions call 866-978-2287.

For emergencies, call 911
Tunnel of the Fredericksburg & Northern Railway image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney, September 22, 2007
3. Tunnel of the Fredericksburg & Northern Railway

 
Erected by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.
 
Location. 30° 6.072′ N, 98° 49.255′ W. Marker is near Fredericksburg, Texas, in Kendall County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Old San Antonio Rd and Alamo Road, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10619 Old San Antonio Rd, Fredericksburg TX 78624, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Tunnel of the Fredericksburg & Northern Railway (within shouting distance of this marker); The Grapetown School (approx. 3.2 miles away); Luckenbach (approx. 6.6 miles away); Pinta Trail (approx. 8.6 miles away); The Easter Fires (approx. 9.3 miles away); Lower South Grape Creek School (approx. 10.1 miles away); Site of Fort Martin Scott (approx. 10.4 miles away); Treue Der Union Monument (approx. 10.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
 
Also see . . .  Old Tunnel State Park. Link to Texas Parks and Wildlife website. (Submitted on February 22, 2014, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas.) 
 
Categories. AnimalsRailroads & Streetcars
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 22, 2014, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. This page has been viewed 434 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 22, 2014, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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