It may be difficult to imagine today, but there once was a time when the railroads weren’t just a source of transportation; they were a symbol of a better life. Towns were built around the tracks and stations, and people were shocked to learn that with the advent of the railroad, what was once a journey that could days or even months to complete was whittled down to hours. Today, the trains still run, serving as quicker ways to get products across country, and on occasion the passenger trains offer a nod back to the early days of our country, but most have disappeared from the landscape. The Old Tunnel State Park, however, offers a peek into the history of trains in Texas, even as the trains no longer run along tracks overgrown with weeds and the tunnel built into the granite of the Fredericksburg landscape.
The Old Tunnel State Park is Located at 10619 Old San Antonio Road in Fredericksburg
Just 55 miles from Dripping Springs, the Old Tunnel State Park TX is a new addition to the Texas State Parks system, having made its official debut as a state park in 2012, but the tunnel itself has been around for over 100 years. If you have ever watched the bats exodus the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin and thought, “Wow, I’d like to see more like that again!” the old tunnel is the next place you should turn your attention. Over three million free-tailed bats make their home inside the tunnel, (which is just one reason visitors are not allowed to enter its gloomy depths) and every evening at sunset, they fly out for a night of feeding and fun, creating a breathtaking sight you will never forget. This area also offers groomed hiking trails that take you through the ruggedly beautiful landscape of Fredericksburg and is a great place for picnics at picnic tables found throughout the park; some even offer pavilions to shield diners from the harsh rays of the Texas sun. At night, the park offers a serenely beautiful place for stargazing, even if there is no camping allowed, but remember, if you want to stay in the park after 5 PM during bat season, (May through October) tickets must be purchased here.
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