The city of Concan in Texas is home to some fascinating bits of history and the Frio Bat Cave near the Annandale Ranch is no exception. From turning guano (bat droppings) into gunpowder during the civil war to Project X-Ray (aka the Bat Bomb project) during the second world war and even acting as a modern source of fertilizer, the cave and its inhabitants have some fascinating stories to tell. Read on to learn more about this natural wonder and how you can visit the “Bat Cave” for a tour.
Background of the Frio Bat Cave
Unfortunately, the bats fly south for the winter and are only here from mid March thru September so they’re not here now. The Frio Bat Cave is the second largest bat colony in the world and it is open to the public for education and tours. It is a maternity cave that the bats use as a mating ground and where they give birth to their young. During the summer months, there are 2 to 10 million female Mexican free-tailed bats that inhabit the cave and leave every night to hunt for insects and local pests. As such the bats are highly valued in the area for their effective pest control for important local crops. More recently, the cave has spawned a great deal of nature tourism opportunities for those visiting the area.
About the Tour
When touring the area near the Frio Bat Cave you have the opportunity to see millions of Mexican Free-tailed bats entering the evening sky before sunset as they begin their activities for the night. It is also possible to see Cave Swallows, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren, a Ringed-Tail Cat, or even a skunk entering the cave to catch dinner. In order to get to the festivities, it will be necessary to check in at the front gate of the ranch and receive an escort to a parking area on the ranch. From there, it is just a short walk to the top of the hill and you will be in prime position to view the dancing bats as they swirl their way out of the cave searching for bugs and avoiding predators. Guides will be there to provide information not only on the bats and their cave but also on what the bat’s are doing in the evening sky before you. The tour is a great activity for families with children of all ages as there is something for everyone.
If you are considering taking part in a Frio Bat Cave tour while you are in the area, below are some things to consider before visiting the ranch.
- Tours are only available spring through fall so be sure to check ahead before making a
- plan to visit.
- If you are handicapped please inform a guide at the cave. Handicapped parking and accessibility are available. If you are unable to make the 200 yard walk up the hill, a guide can drive you up.
- The bats have been known to stay in the cave if it is noisy out, so it is advisable to avoid yelling and other loud noises.
- No pets are allowed at the cave for their protection so it is best to leave pets at home or where you are staying.
- Do not attempt to go into or on top of the cave for your safety and the protection of the fragile cave environment.