News Flash

Visit Boerne News Flash

Posted on: July 8, 2021

10 Tips for Bat Viewing at Old Tunnel State Park

Old Tunnel State Park Bats- Photo Credit: TPWD

How do you feel about bats? Super cool? Cute and fluffy? Get them away from me? If your answer is favorable, you’re in luck! The Texas Hill Country is the ideal destination for bat lovers. Just up the road from Boerne is the smallest State Park in Texas (16.1 acres). While making Boerne your hill country hub, you will not want to miss out on an evening at Old Tunnel State Park.  

Old Tunnel State Park- Photo Credit: TPWDEvery night from May to October, a seasonal colony of 3 million Mexican free-tailed bats emerge to feast on insects across the night sky. This has grown to be a highly anticipated attraction each year that delights nature lovers. We’ve compiled a list of tips and recommendations to maximize your bat viewing experience.

  • Park entry is free but reservations are required to stay after 5:00 pm. Purchase your “Park Permits” online in advance. Weekends book up quickly, so plan ahead and be prepared to present them (printed or on your phone) at the gate after 5:00 pm! Permits are not sold on-site.
  • Viewing areas: There’s an upper and lower viewing area. Both areas and the trail to access them are ADA accessible. Children 4 years old and younger are not allowed in the lower area.
  • Arrive early: It’s recommended that guests arrive one hour prior to the earliest posted emergence time. Limited permits are sold, so you will have a spot.
  • Enjoy the pre-flight educational program offered by park staff and volunteers. This program kicks-off 45 minutes before emergence each evening.
  • When do the bats emerge? Call ahead for a report on current emergence times. The bat hotline is (866) 978-2287.
  • Keep tabs on the park’s Facebook Page. Their posts will give information regarding park closing due to weather and the most up-to-date bat emergence times.
  • Bring a pair of binoculars. These can help with bat viewing.
  • Bats don’t tend to emerge in heavy rain. Take note that there are no refunds or rain checks if you do not see bats or if the park closes due to weather.
  • Read “Frankie the Free-tailed Bat” for free online before your visit to get little ones even more excited about the experience!
  • Grab a burger at Alamo Springs Café for dinner while you’re out that way. They are epic! Texas Monthly named them one of the 50 best burgers in Texas!


Written by Tori Bellos, Marketing, Boerne Convention and Visitors Bureau

Photo Credit and Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife ©Chase Fountain, TPWD

Have you subscribed to this News Flash yet? Scroll back up to the top of this page and select "Notify Me" in the tan box to the right and you won’t miss a thing.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Visit Boerne News Flash

Cibolo Creek Brewing Co

Three Boerne Businesses Named “Best in State” In 2024 Texas Travel Awards

Posted on: February 23, 2024 | Last Modified on: November 20, 2023
Tapatio Springs Brunch

Boerne Brunch Hotspots

Posted on: February 9, 2024
Couple walking on a Foggy Trail at The Cibolo

Get Your 10k Steps on Boerne Trails

Posted on: January 4, 2024
Richter Bakhaus Cinnamon Roll

Go on a Cinnamon Roll Tour of Boerne!

Posted on: August 19, 2021
2 Women with Beer outside Free Roam Brewing Co

Take a Brewery Tour Through Boerne

Posted on: September 7, 2023
A dog sitting on a barstool next to a man with a beer in a brewery

Boerne: Who Let the Dogs Out?

Posted on: August 19, 2022
Bedroom inside The Coop

6 Adorable Vacation Rentals Just for 2!

Posted on: January 25, 2021
Little Boy Locked Up at the Old Jail Museum

History is Alive in Boerne!

Posted on: June 10, 2021
The Roundup Live Music

Boerne’s Sizzling Live Music Scene

Posted on: August 8, 2023
A blond woman tipping her custom designed hat

Custom Style from the J. Forks Hat Bar

Posted on: January 20, 2023
Couple sailing on a lake

Unique Boerne Valentine’s Date Ideas

Posted on: January 5, 2023

7 Local Parks to Make a SPLASH in!

Posted on: May 30, 2019
The Dienger - Ladies Enjoy Coffee

Take a Coffee Crawl Through Boerne!

Posted on: December 5, 2019

Upgrade Your Road Trip!

Posted on: June 1, 2019
My Curly Adventures at Flashback Funtiques in a red classic car.

Travel Boerne Like an Influencer

Posted on: April 14, 2021
Birding at the Cibolo Center for Conservaton

Birders Soar into Boerne this Spring

Posted on: February 23, 2021
Kids in Drive Through Christmas Light Tunnel

A Guide to Christmas Lights in Boerne!

Posted on: November 15, 2023
Mr Monopoly taking a selfie with Wild Bill

Mr. Monopoly Comes to Boerne!

Posted on: March 4, 2022
Gold Rush with Mixer at Salvador Dobbs

Cheers to Fall Flavors in a Glass

Posted on: October 21, 2021
Boerne Story on Oprah Daily

Oprah Toots Boerne’s Horn!

Posted on: June 4, 2021
Southern Living Website  Screenshot

Gold Stars for Boerne

Posted on: March 25, 2021
Hill Country Food Tours - Dodging Duck Brewhaus Cheers with Beers

101 Things To Do in Boerne NOW!

Posted on: August 21, 2020
Cut Flowers Workshop at Cibolo Nature Center

What’s New at the Cibolo Nature Center?

Posted on: February 24, 2020
Meetings in Boerne, TX

All Roads Meet in Boerne, TX!

Posted on: November 17, 2019
Black Rifle Coffee Company - Brew Crew with Latte

Grand Opening: Black Rifle Coffee Company

Posted on: September 23, 2019
Second Saturday Bluegrass Jam Circle

Second Weekends in Boerne!

Posted on: July 12, 2019
Website-New Visitors Center Home Page

Exciting News & Some Changes!

Posted on: June 4, 2019
Mothers Day in Boerne

A Mother's Day Guide for DADS!

Posted on: June 3, 2019
Black Board Bar B Q

5 MORE of Boerne's Best Burgers!

Posted on: June 3, 2019
Beyond Happy Hour in Boerne

Boerne Beyond the Happy Hour!

Posted on: June 3, 2019

Fun Fitness While Visiting Boerne!

Posted on: June 3, 2019

An ABC Guide to Visiting Boerne!

Posted on: June 1, 2019

Taco 'Bout Boerne

Posted on: June 1, 2019

A Day At The Lake? Why, YES!

Posted on: June 1, 2019

Valentine's Date Ideas in Boerne!

Posted on: May 31, 2019

5 of Boerne's Best Burgers!

Posted on: May 31, 2019
Activity-Cibolo Nature Center-Couple-in-Grass

9 Summer Date Ideas in Boerne

Posted on: May 30, 2019
Activity-Cibolo Nature Center-Kids-at-Pond

Your Summer Boerne Bucket List!

Posted on: May 30, 2019

Oompah All Summer Long in Boerne!

Posted on: May 30, 2019

Something Old, Something New

Posted on: May 30, 2019

24 Hours in Boerne!

Posted on: May 30, 2019

Heading to Boerne: Then vs. Now

Posted on: May 30, 2019

Relaxed Romance in Boerne

Posted on: May 30, 2019

Boerne Is So Blessed!

Posted on: May 30, 2019
History-Boerne Shooting Club

Did you know....Boerne edition!

Posted on: May 30, 2019

Boerne Spooks!

Posted on: May 29, 2019

Bonus Points for Boerne

Posted on: May 29, 2019