Alamo Springs Cafe
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
The Old Tunnel WMA is the smallest Wildlife Management Area in Texas, containing only 16.1 acres of land. Despite its small size, there are a variety of recreational and wildlife-viewing opportunities at Old Tunnel WMA. The abandoned railroad tunnel is home to up to three million Brazilian free-tailed bats (T. b. mexicana) and 3,000 Cave myotis (Myotis velifer) from April to October, more mammals than any other WMA. From May to October, visitors come to watch the bats emerge from the tunnel each night, and nightly educational programs provide guests with a better understanding of the life history and ecology of bats.Bat-viewing opportunities exist seven nights a week and educational presentations are given Thursday through Sunday, May to October, when visiting Old Tunnel, we recommend bringing a pair of binoculars to get the best view of the bat emergence.) The nature trail at Old Tunnel WMA is open year-round. Visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking, bird watching, and general wildlife-viewing. Several educational exhibits with information on bats and railroad history are located along the half mile trail and from April to October bats can usually be seen flying within the tunnel from the trail.
Dates Open: Open year-round from sunrise to sunset for general use. Bat viewing nightly May-October. The trail to the lower viewing area is closed each evening.
Monday through Wednesday evenings the trail and lower viewing area are not open to the public.
On Thursday through Sunday evenings, the trail will only be open to those visitors who pay admission to view the bats at the lower viewing area. For the most up-to-date emergence information, call the toll-free information line at
1-866-978-2287.
Leave Fredericksburg on Hwy. 290 heading east. Half a mile east of the Fredericksburg city limits, look for the brown TxDOT highway sign that says "Old Tunnel Wildlife Area" . Turn right (south) on the Old San Antonio Road. Proceed 10.5 miles. The Old Tunnel WMA will be on the left at the top of the hill.
Freetail Bats of Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area
Local residents report that shortly after the removal of the railroad tracks in 1942, bats moved into the tunnel. In July and August there are over three million Mexican Free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) and 1,000-3,000 Cave Myotis (Myotis velifer) in Old Tunnel. The Mexican Free-tailed bat is a medium-sized bat, weighing about 12-15 grams (12 paperclips). They are named for the tail that hangs free from the uropatagium (skin between hind legs and tail). The title "Mexican" is added to their name because they migrate to Mexico in the winter months. Old Tunnel bats usually leave the tunnel in late October, and fly to Mexico. During this migration, they can fly at altitudes of 10,000 feet and speeds of 60 mph.
A Year in the Life of The Old Tunnel Bats: While in Mexico, these bats mate during February and March when the females are most fertile. Bats returning to Texas in late March or early April include pregnant females who give birth to one single pup (baby bat) during June. The pups are not born in the tunnel, but in other nearby caves or under bridges where the temperature and humidity levels are more stable. The tunnel is only 920 feet long and is open at both ends, and therefore, the temperature and humidity very greatly. The Old Tunnel is considered a pseudo-maternal colony because there are both pregnant and lactating females in the tunnel, but there are no pups. Pups usually fly within four to six weeks after birth and are considered juveniles when they travel to the tunnel with their mothers. Bat populations in the Old Tunnel increase substantially when the females return from maternity colonies along with the juveniles in late July and early August. Joining the Old Tunnel population in September and October, are bat migrating south from further north in the United States. This process of "staging" occurs when bats group together before flying to Mexico for the winter. Bats swarming from the tunnel entrance at the Old Tunnel WMA.
What Happens When the Sun Goes Down: On summer nights, the Old Tunnel bats usually emerge within an hour before or after sunset. Most bats exit through the south end of the tunnel, spiraling in a counter- clockwise direction in order to gain altitude over nearby trees (click here to view video images of bat emergences). Red-tailed hawks are sometimes seen feeding on the bats as they emerge, however these and other predators do not impact the bat population. The large serpentine column travels southeast towards the Guadalupe River. Bats also exit from the north end of the tunnel, and fly either north towards the Pedernales River, or south over the Old Tunnels' observation deck. After getting water from local water supplies, the colony disperses to feed in smaller groups. Eighty percent of the Free-tail's diet includes agricultural pests such as the cutworm, cornborer and webworm moths. Each can eat its weight in insects nightly, and the whole colony may devour over 25 tons of moths per night. The bats return to the tunnel between midnight and daybreak, having traveled an average 25 to 30 miles to forage. Good Ole' Bat Guano
Huge deposits of droppings in the roosts of Mexican Free-tails have earned them the common name, "Guano bat". Bat guano (droppings) from insectivorous bats was an important source of fertilizer, and is still sold as an expensive, organic fertilizer. Before the oil boom, guano was Texas' number one mineral export. Many have tried to harvest guano from Old Tunnel. However, natural springs within the tunnel made the operation too difficult. Many Free-tailed colonies consist of at least one-million bats, and the resulting concentration of ammonia is extremely high. In fact, many people can identify these bats by the distinctive odor. Hiking is an enjoyable activity that is available in many of the Wildlife Management Areas of Texas. Since potable water is not available on many of the Wildlife Management Areas, it is a good idea to bring plenty of drinking water.
The Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area's nature trail is less than one half mile in length, and is open to the public 365 days a year from sunrise to sunset. During the months that the bats are in residence at Old Tunnel, the trail will be closed each evening. Monday through Wednesday evenings the trail and lower viewing area are not open to the public. On Thursday through Sunday evenings, the trail will only be open to those visitors who pay admission to view the bats at the lower viewing area. The trail is primitive and can be steep. No drinking water, food, or man-made shelter is available on the trail. No water fountains or other water is available on site, and carrying drinking water is recommended. Trail guides are available for the public at the iron ranger located at the lower viewing area. Numbered markers designate stops along the trail, and corresponding information regarding each stop is explained within the guide.
Although entrance into the tunnel is prohibited, visitors are encouraged to enjoy the view of the tunnel from the trail. Throughout the day, from April to October, bats can be seen flying within the tunnel. In order to minimize disturbance to the bat colony and for the safety of our visitors, all guests must stay on the designated trail. Under no conditions are visitors allowed to approach the tunnel.
Guided nature walks are also offered at Old Tunnel WMA. The walks are usually informal and cover a variety of topics, such as bird watching, plant identification, and astronomy.
Special Group Tours are conducted at the lower viewing area Monday through Wednesday evenings, May through October, for organized groups of up to 70 people. Reservations are required. Passports or permits, including the Texas State Parks Pass, are not accepted. Special Group Tour fees are as follows: Youth Groups: $40.00; Non-Youth Groups: $75.00. To schedule a Special Group Tour, please call (830) 990-2659.
Dates Open: Open year-round from sunrise to sunset for general use. Bat viewing nightly May-October. The trail to the lower viewing area is closed each evening. Monday through Wednesday evenings the trail and lower viewing area are not open to the public. On Thursday through Sunday evenings, the trail will only be open to those visitors who pay admission to view the bats at the lower viewing area. For the most up- to-date emergence information, call the toll-free information line at 1-866-978-2287.
Rules:
  • No overnight camping allowed
  • No pets are allowed
  • No public consumption or display of alcohol
  • No smoking is allowed at the upper and lower viewing areas
  • No firearms or hunting allowed
  • No fires of any type are allowed
  • Bicycles, motorized vehicles, or horses are not permitted
  • Removal of plants, rocks, animals, or cultural items strictly prohibited
  • Please stay on designated trails; entering the tunnel is strictly prohibited
  • Handicapped access is available when TPWD staff or volunteers are present or upon special request
  • For the protection of the bats and for your own safety, please do not handle or otherwise disturb bats
Feb 28
17:04

Fredericksburg Texas Online

"Zion Lutheran Church? located at 424 W. Main Street in Fredericksburg, Texas, is the oldest Lutheran Church in the Texas Hill Country. It was Founded in 1852 and the cornerstones were set on March 6, 1854. It was designated a "Recorded Texas Historic Landmark" in 1964.


Feb 28
16:20

Fredericksburg Texas Online

The Holy Ghost Lutheran Church at 113 San Antonio Street, was originally the Evangelical Protestant Church of the Holy Ghost (Heilige Geist). The cornerstone for the church was laid in 1888, and it was completed in 1893. Designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1981.


Feb 28
14:15

Fredericksburg Texas Online

Steeples... historical sketches of Fredericksburg, Texas!


Feb 28
12:32

Fredericksburg Texas Online

The artwork for this 1898 Four cent US postage stamp, depicting an "Indian Hunting Buffalo", was taken from an engraving by Soldier Artist, Captain Seth Eastman. This stamp was part of the "Trans-Mississippi Exposition Commemorative Series".


Feb 28
12:10

Fredericksburg Texas Online

Seth Eastman was an accomplished artist. He sketched and painted hundreds of scenes of the Native American Lifestyle and Culture that he encountered during his tours of duty on the western frontier.


Feb 28
12:05

Fredericksburg Texas Online

Did you know that Soldier-Artist, Captain Seth Eastman, commander of Companies D and H, 1st US Infantry, established Camp Houston (now Fort Martin Scott) two miles southeast of Fredericksburg, Texas, on December 5, 1848?


Feb 28
10:53

Fredericksburg Texas Online


Llano Earth Art Fest | HOME
www.llanoearthartfest.org
The Llano Earth Art Fest scheduled for March 13, 14, and 15 2015 in Llano, Texas a family festival, celebrating the natural beauty of the Earth, The Llano River, Art, Community and Fun, while hosting the National Rock Stacking C
Feb 27
16:24

Fredericksburg Texas Online

"We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us".
- Winston Churchill


Feb 27
15:37

Fredericksburg Texas Online

This SPRING, surround yourself with Fredericksburg's Historic Charm!


Feb 25
15:40

Fredericksburg Texas Online

Savory and Sweet... BEAUTIFUL! FLAVORFUL! Creations by Chef Angela at Woerner Warehouse Country Market & Cafe! Luscious! Delectable! Scrumptious! Delicious! Ambrosial! Delightful! Yummy! Decadent... IRRESISTIBLE!


Feb 25
01:55

Fredericksburg Texas Online

Lange's Mill near Doss! Heritage is good for your soul! Dip your roots in and FEEL Texas!


Feb 24
18:39

Fredericksburg Texas Online

Frozen and thawed! Texas Native... AGARITA Buds and Blossoms can take a good icing!


Feb 24
18:32

Fredericksburg Texas Online

White across the field and hillside! Heavy in the trees and grasses... still and quiet! ICE!


Feb 21
23:52

Fredericksburg Texas Online

The peaches think it's SPRING!


Feb 21
21:41

Fredericksburg Texas Online

February 20 - March 8, 2015 - Fredericksburg Theater Company Presents "Fiddler on the Roof"! If you haven't seen an FTO show... you're missing out on an AMAZING Community Theater EXPERIENCE! Fredericksburg, Texas... HAS TALENT!


Cover Photos
Kerry Goff directs the musical story of Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his struggles to maintain his family and the Jewish traditions that bind them together. Winning nine Tony awards including Best Musical, "Fiddler" features the classic songs "Sunrise, Sunset", "If I Were a Rich Man" and many more. Starring FTC founder Jeryl Hoover as Tevye. Feb. 20 - Mar. 8, 2015, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 pm, Sunday at 2:00 pm., at the Steve W. Shepherd Theater, 1668 S US Hwy 87, Fredericksburg, TX, 78624. Advance tickets are $29 for adults and $12 for 17 and younger. The box office opens Monday, Feb. 9th to the public. Tickets at the door are $35. Box office hours beginning Feb. 9th are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Tickets may be purchased by calling 830-997-3588 or online at www.fredericksburgtheater.org. ? at Fredericksburg Theater Company. ? at Fredericksburg Theater Company.
Feb 21
10:55

Fredericksburg Texas Online

Cajun FLAVOR Delights + TEXAS WINE! Booyah! It's the "Ragin' Cajun Trail" on Wine Road 290!


Feb 21
10:52

Fredericksburg Texas Online

HELLO SPRING 2015! Flowering Pear Opening for the New Season! Go out and PLAY!


Feb 20
15:16

Fredericksburg Texas Online

February 21, 2015... BOOYAH! TEXAS Wine Paired with Pure Cajun Flavors on the Wine Road 290 "Ragin Cajun" Trail! Spice it up!


FIRST FRIDAY ARTWALK
GALLERIES
Bringing Art and Art Lovers together!
Enjoy fine wine from local wineries and the Fredericksburg ART scene!

Find out more >

Texas Hill Country #1
on The New York Times
31 Places to Go This Summer

"Who needs Europe? The Texas Hill Country, west of Austin and north of San Antonio, might be the next best thing to crossing the Atlantic. The region is lush, colorful and, unlike much of the pancake-flat state, dotted with beautiful green hills that are evocative of Tuscany or the south of France. Moreover, the region is speckled with 22 wineries that buzz with food and music festivals year round. And towns like Fredericksburg offer a taste of the Old World, with German-style biergartens and schnitzelhauser. "

The New York Times
Sunday, June 1, 2008

#1 on Away.com's Top 10
"Hidden-Gem"

Wine Regions in the United States Hill Country, TX: Texas Hill Country, north of San Antonio and west of Austin, is one of the nation's fastest growing wine destinations. Boasting 24 wineries  along the Texas Wine Trail, this area is a must-see for its unparalleled wine diversity. Away.com's Top 10 Hidden-Gem Wine Regions In Your Backyard Sep 23, 2010

www.pressroom.orbitz.com

Uncertain about which TEXAS HILL COUNTRY wines to try?
Go for the GOLD!
2013 Houston Rodeo International Wine Competition

Whose bringing the
GOLD

home to the
Texas Hill Country?

PEDERNALES CELLARS

2012 Viognier
TOP TEXAS WINE

MESSINA HOF WINERY
TOP ALL AROUND WINERY


BRENNAN VINEYARDS
4.0 Cellars
2011 New World Rhone-style
White Varietals and Blends
Texas Class Champion
GOLD


BRENNAN VINEYARDS
4.0 Cellars
2011 Viognier
Texas Class Champion
GOLD

DRIFTWOOD ESTATE WINERY
2010 Alamo Red
New World Bordeaux Blend
Class Champion
DOUBLE GOLD

FLAT CREEK ESTATES
2011 Flat Creek Rose
White Zin and Dry Rose
Class Champion
Texas Class Champion
GOLD

GRAPE CREEK VINEYARDS
2011 Cabernet Blanc
White Zin and Sweet Rose
Reserve Class Champion
GOLD

MCPHERSON CELLARS
4.0 Cellars
Tre Colore
New World Sangiovese
and Blends
Reserve Class Champion
Texas Class Champion
DOUBLE GOLD

MCPHERSON CELLARS
4.0 Cellars
2011 Viognier
GOLD

MESSINA HOF
Barrel Reserve Port
Red Port & Port-style wines
Texas Class Champion
GOLD

MESSINA HOF
2010 Private Reserve Merlot
Texas Class Champion
GOLD

PEDERNALES CELLARS
2010 Tempranillo
New World Tempranillo
and Blends
GOLD

PEDERNALES CELLARS
2012 Viognier
Top Texas Wine
Class Champion
Texas Class Champion
DOUBLE GOLD

PERISSOS VINEYARDS
2010 Petite Sirah
Estate Grown - Reserve
Class Champion
Texas Class Champion
GOLD

PERISSOS VINEYARDS
2010 Petite Sirah
Estate Grown
TX Reserve Class Champion
GOLD

WILLIAM CHRIS VINEYARDS
2010 Cabernet Franc
Class Champion
Texas Class Champion
DOUBLE GOLD

WOODROSE WINERY
2009 Tempranillo
New World Tempranillo
and Blends
GOLD

Texas Hill Country
By John Graves and
Wyman Meinzer

Two of Texas' most respected artists join their talents to create an unsurpassed portrait of the Texas Hill Country. "Together, John Graves and Wyman Meinzer once again demonstrate that they  are the foremost artists of the Texas landscape. The portrait they create in images and words is as close as you can come to the heart of the Hill Country without being there."

www.utexas.edu

Stardust Carriage Service
Horse Drawn Carriage Rides for All Occasions!

Create romantic memories with horse-drawn carriage rides through historic Fredericksburg, Texas. Carriage rides are the perfect way to celebrate special occasions!

Call Margaret Creamer for reservations!
830.992.0700

Hill Country Trail Riding
Enjoy the AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL Texas Hill Country on horseback!

Come explore 800 gorgeous acres of Texas Hill Country on horseback. Beautiful valleys, hills and views, creek crossings, wildlife and so much more! Adventure awaits you! Call Jen Bursaw to reserve your ride today!
612.961.9441

Hill Country Bicycle Works

You can rent a bike at Hill Country Bicycle Works! Their rental fleets feature road and fitness hybrid bikes. It is recommended that you reserve your rental bike in advance, especially during holidays and weekends. They also have maps and recommendations for rides in and around Fredericksburg, Texas, and the surrounding Texas Hill Country! Located at 702 East Main. Closed Sundays and Wednesdays! 830-990-2609

www.hillcountrybicycle.com

Stagecoach Shuttle Service
Taxi & Transportation Service

Winery tours, shopping tours, transportation for weddings, reunions, and trips around Fredericksburg, Texas, and the beautiful Texas Hill Country!
830-385-7722 or 830-997-1002

stagecoachtaxiandshuttle.com

Fredericksburg First Friday Food Ministry
A movable feast that welcomes everyone to the table.

Fredericksburg Food Ministry is an all-volunteer community-based food and hospitality ministry that provides residents of Fredericksburg and the surrounding communities, a "cloth napkin" dining experience on the first Friday of each month.

You have fed my tummy and my soul with food and blessings! Thank you for sharing your love with me.
- A First Friday lunch guest

fredericksburgfirstfriday.org