'Old Tunnel' to mark 100 years since first train trip

Old Tunnel State Park will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first train steaming through the only tunnel on the San Antonio Fredericksburg & Northern Railroad’s 24-mile rail line on Saturday, Aug. 17.

An afternoon of activities, many geared toward youngsters, begins at 1 p.m. and ends at 5:30 p.m. with a talk on the history of the railroad and tunnel by a member of the Kendall County Historical Society. 

After the event, visitors are invited to stay for the nightly bat emergence from the tunnel.

The first 70 visitors can pay $5 to walk the half-mile nature trail down to the lower viewing area to see the bat emergence up close.

Tickets will go on sale about 6 p.m.

Seating for the lower viewing area is limited to 70 visitors.

Any remaining visitors can watch from the upper viewing area for free.

Approximately 20,000 people visit the state park each year, primarily to view the bats emerging from the abandoned rail tunnel in their nightly search for insects.

The tunnel is home to approximately 3,000 cave myotis bats and up to three million Mexican free-tailed bats from May through October.

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