Devil's Sinkhole State Natural Area
|Devil's Sinkhole State Natural Area|
|Area||1,859.7 acres (752.6 ha)|
|Governing body||Texas Parks and Wildlife Department|
Devil's Sinkhole State Natural Area is a natural bat habitat near the city of Rocksprings in Edwards County in the U.S. state of Texas. Home to the Mexican free-tailed bat, access to the area is available only through advance reservations.
The Devil's Sinkhole is a vertical natural bat habitat. The 40-by-60-foot (12.2 m × 18.3 m) opening drops down to reveal a cavern some 400 feet (122 m) below. The cavern was first discovered by local residents in 1876. H. S. Barber carved his name inside the cave in 1889. The area was transferred to the state of Texas in 1985, and open to the public in 1992. Carved by water erosion, the cavern is home to several million Mexican free-tailed bats that emerge at sunset during April through October.
In 1968, the Devil's Sinkhole was designated as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service.
Evening bat flight tours are offered in summer only. Guided nature hikes also are available.
Facilities include a wheelchair-accessible viewing platform and picnic areas. Access is restricted to advance tour arrangements. Tours are conducted by the Devil's Sinkhole Society, a local volunteer group that works in conjunction of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Bat Conservation International to facilitate visitor education and tours.
- List of museums in Central Texas
- List of sinkholes of the United States
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Edwards County, Texas
- Smith, A. Richard. "Devil's Sinkhole discovery". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
- "TPWD Devil's Sinkhole". Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
- Parent, Laurence (2008). Official Guide to Texas State Parks and Historic Sites: Revised Edition. University of Texas Press. pp. 2, 3. ISBN 978-0-292-71726-8.
- "National Natural Landmarks - National Natural Landmarks (U.S. National Park Service)". www.nps.gov. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
Year designated: 1972
- "Tour Information". The Devil's Sinkhole Society. Archived from the original on 4 August 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2012.