Thursday, March 1, 2012

Travel Texas ~ The Old Tunnel WMA

If you didn't already know - Texas is huge! From the Hill Country to the Piney Woods, Texas has something for everyone. The Texas State Travel Guide website is a fantastic guide to your Texas adventures. They offer a calendar of events, travel packages, driving tours, maps, and more. Be sure to request your free Texas Travel Guide.

Our most recent trip took my husband and I to the quaint Texas town of Fredericksburg. Known for its wineries and music, Fredericksburg offers regional shopping, great eateries, a plethora of Bed & Breakfasts, and museums. Some of our favorites include:

  •  Hondo's - Great bar food at reasonable prices coupled with live music.
  • Vinny's Italian Grill and Pizzeria - Hand's down one of the best pizza places I've ever eaten at - I put it on the scale with Gino's East in Chicago.
  • Town Creek Bed & Breakfast - Nice and quiet, plus a delicious gourmet breakfast.
  • The National Pacific War Museum - An amazing tribute to those whom served our country.
  • The Japanese Garden of Peace - While adjacent to the museum, it is a little hidden, but worth discovering.
  • Admiral Nimitz's homestead - This is located off of main and has been converted into a shop. My husband enjoyed visiting the Admiral's home since he served on the ship named for him.
However, the best thing to do while in Fredericksburg was actually off the beaten path and a little ways out of town.

The Old Tunnel WMA is the smallest wildlife management area in Texas. In fact, it is only 16 acres in size. On site is an abandoned railway tunnel, which is home to 3,000 Brazilian Free Tailed Bats. There were not any bats when we visited in early January, but we are hoping to see the first migrants when we return in April. I'm not sure I could handle 3 million bats at the height of the season in July and August!

It was an amazingly scenic area. Texas Parks and Wildlife keep the trails cleared. They have also labeled many of the plant species for those whom may need more guidance. There is a small fee associated with visiting the park, but if you have a Texas Park Pass your fee is waived.

The tunnel was neat to behold. One could even tell where the railroad tracks used to run. There is something oddly beautiful about an empty tunnel, but yet, I guess it is not always empty.

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