Nature

Bat Flights You Must See Around the Texas Hill Country

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The best time of year to catch bat flights in Texas is in the Fall. Though bats proliferate from May through October, the cooler temperatures in the autumn make it enjoyable rather than painful to go outside at dusk to witness thousands of bats emerging from their slumber spots. Thanks to the many caves and state parks in the Texas Hill Country, you will not find a shortage of places to watch bat flights.

1. Bracken Cave

Bracken Cave bats leaving the cave

Photo: Facebook/Bats in the World

Located just to the northeast of San Antonio, Bracken Cave houses 15 million bats in the summer, but the expansion of the city could put this site for bat flights at risk in the future. To keep the bats safe, Bat Conservation International purchased the cave and surrounding lands. Hopefully, this will preserve the habitat of the bats for the future. This cave houses the largest maternity colony in the world, and you can visit if you purchase a membership and attend on one of the member nights. Currently, since the cave is located on private land, it is not open to the public.

2. Old Tunnel State Park

Old Tunnel State Park tunnel entrance where the bat flights emerge from

Photo: Facebook/Old Tunnel State Park – Texas Parks & Wildlife

Old Tunnel State Park houses three-million bats that emerge nightly from an abandoned railroad tunnel in the summer and fall. These bats can each consume their own weight in insects each evening, resulting in 25 tons of moths eaten by the colony. Though it ranks as the smallest state park, the bat flight experience offered by this park will not be one you soon forget.

3. Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve

Bats leaving Eckert James River Bat Cave for evening bat flights

Photo: Facebook/Shey Wicklund Snapshots

Near Mason, Texas is a bat nursery and preserve that has one of the largest nursery populations in the country. The Nature Conservancy watches over the Eckert James River Bat Cave to preserve the bats inside and to help them restore their numbers in the wild. This facility is open to the public through September. You can witness bats leaving the cave at sunset, and occasionally, the facility offers viewings at sunrise to see the bats returning.

4. Devil’s Sinkhole State Natural Area

Bat Flights out of Devil's Sinkhole are impressive

Photo: Facebook/Devil’s Sinkhole State Natural Area – Texas Parks & Wildlife

Unlike other state parks, Devil’s Sinkhole State Natural Area is left mostly undeveloped. You can witness bat flights from the sinkhole in the summer and early fall months. Though visitors cannot walk into the sinkhole, you can walk onto a platform above the hole and look down during the day. At sunset, three million bats emerge from the sinkhole to hunt for insects at night. On some summer mornings, you may even book a tour to watch the bats return to the sinkhole.

5. Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin

Bat Flights You Must See Around the Texas Hill Country

Photo: Facebook/Creative World Nos somos assim

You don’t necessarily have to leave for the countryside to see bat flights. Near downtown Austin, 1.5 million bats emerge from under the Congress Avenue Bridge. Each year, approximately 100 thousand people come to watch the bats leave the bridge. Of all the bat flights in the Texas Hill Country, this probably is the easiest one to reach.