Stuart Bat Cave
Texas hill country Region
Stuart Bat Cave, located in Kickapoo Cavern State Park, is a spring-summer home for about 1 million Mexican free-tailed bats. Bats are here from mid-February to as late as mid-October. Bat flights are often spectacular. Group tours are available.
This 6,368-acre site is a mosaic of two major physiographic regions: the Edwards Plateau and the Tamaulipan Thorn-scrub. Ashe juniper and pinyon and live oak predominate the tree canopy throughout the park. The canyons contain Texas persimmon, shin oak, agarita, and evergreen sumac. Steep limestone canyons provide rich and varied habitat for a variety of wildlife. Blue-gray gnatcatcher, bushtit, verdin, varied bunting, Montezuma quail, several species of vireos, including the endangered black-capped vireo, and golden-cheeked warbler occur here. Mammals include white-tailed deer, raccoon, ringtail, gray fox, rock squirrel, and porcupine. Uncommon species of reptiles and amphibians include barking frog, mottled rock rattlesnake, and Texas alligator lizard. Kickapoo Cavern State Park, approximately 0.25 mile in length, boasts some impressive formations. A wild cave tour is available Saturdays only by advance reservation.
- $3 park entry fee for ages 13 and up; 12 and under are free. Limited overnight camping facilities are available during operating hours. Call park or visit park website for details.
Reservations are not required for bat-flight viewing. Groups may want to consider making advance arrangements.
The park is open four days a week, 8 a.m. Friday through 5 p.m. on Monday, year-round. For entry on other days, call park to make arrangements.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Location & Directions
Bats are adapted for hanging upside down. Their hind limbs are rotated 180 degrees so that their knees face backwards. They hang by their legs and use the claws on their toes to support their weight. Locking tendons in the toes allow the bats to hang without expending energy.
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