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TPWD News Release — June 14, 2010

Bats, Birds and Biking: Kickapoo Cavern State Park Now Open

After Years of Limited Access, Park Hosts Grand Opening, Trail Dedication

BRACKETTVILLE, Texas – Visitors from as far away as Houston, Austin and San Antonio came out to enjoy the day’s free activities at the grand opening of Kickapoo Cavern State Park on Saturday, marking the first day the park is open for full public access for recreation and overnight camping, after more than 20 years of limited public visitation.

Highlighting the day’s activities was the dedication of the Seargeant Memorial Trail, a hike and bike trail named in honor of the late Tommy Seargeant, former Kinney County Judge and rancher. The Seargeant family owned the property before selling it to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, with the expressed intent that the public be able to access and enjoy the land. Today, the 6,300-acre park preserves three distinct eco-regions: the Texas Hill Country, Trans-Pecos and South Texas Brush Country.

“I think this is an extraordinary realization of Judge Seargeant’s vision to see this property transformed to a state park, particularly for the folks of Kinney County,” said TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith. “He had a lot of pride in this part of Texas, and he wanted to protect it so that the people here could always enjoy it. Tommy Seargeant was a friend of my family for some 15 years, and my only regret is that he was not here to see it. But I have no doubt that he was looking down on us today.”

Visitors who ventured out to the grand opening at Kickapoo Cavern, located some 22 miles outside the town of Brackettville, enjoyed hiking tours, birding tours, plant and nature walks, archaeology exhibits, mountain biking and wild cave tours of Kickapoo Cavern.

The day closed with a bat flight viewing at Stuart Bat Cave, one of some 20 caves located inside the park, where hundreds of thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats emerge at dusk for their nightly hunting trip for insects during warm weather months.

For more information, contact Kickapoo Cavern State Park at (830) 563-2342, or visit the park’s Web site at www.texasstateparks.org.

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