Devil's Sinkhole

State Natural Area - Texas

Devil's Sinkhole State Natural Area is a natural bat habitat near the city of Rocksprings in Edwards County, Texas. Home to the Mexican free-tailed bat, access to the area is available only through advance reservations. The 40-by-60-foot (12.2 m × 18.3 m) opening drops down to reveal a cavern some 400 feet (122 m) below. Carved by water erosion, the cavern is home to several million Mexican free-tailed bats that emerge at sunset during April through October. Evening bat flight tours are offered in summer only. Guided nature hikes also are available.

brochures

Interpretive Guide of Devil's Sinkhole State Natural Area (SNA) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.Devil's Sinkhole - Brochure

Interpretive Guide of Devil's Sinkhole State Natural Area (SNA) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Bird of the Edwards Plateau - A Field Checklist for Devil's Sinkhole State Natural Area (SNA) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.Devil's Sinkhole - Bird Checklist

Bird of the Edwards Plateau - A Field Checklist for Devil's Sinkhole State Natural Area (SNA) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Official Texas State Parks Guide. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.Texas State - Official Texas State Parks Guide

Official Texas State Parks Guide. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Official Texas State Parks Guide (español). Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.Texas State - Guía de Parques

Official Texas State Parks Guide (español). Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Devil's Sinkhole SNA https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/devils-sinkhole https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil's_Sinkhole_State_Natural_Area Devil's Sinkhole State Natural Area is a natural bat habitat near the city of Rocksprings in Edwards County, Texas. Home to the Mexican free-tailed bat, access to the area is available only through advance reservations. The 40-by-60-foot (12.2 m × 18.3 m) opening drops down to reveal a cavern some 400 feet (122 m) below. Carved by water erosion, the cavern is home to several million Mexican free-tailed bats that emerge at sunset during April through October. Evening bat flight tours are offered in summer only. Guided nature hikes also are available.
INTERPRETIVE GUIDE © GEARY M. SCHINDEL LOCAL LORE TELLS THAT PIONEER AMMON BILLINGS UPON DISCOVERING THIS CAVE IN 1867 CALLED IT “THE OUTLET TO HELL, THE DEVIL’S OWN SINKHOLE.” THE NAME STUCK. AT 65 FEET WIDE AT A restored windmill speaks to the area’s ranching heritage. Enterprising pioneer ranchers laid windmill pipe to underground pools deep within the Sinkhole to water thirsty livestock. Former owner Clarence Whitworth once said of the Sinkhole, “The only thing crazy enough to get around that thing is people. Horses and cows won’t go near it.” Nonetheless, Devil’s Sinkhole State Natural Area functioned as a successful working ranch prior to its purchase by the State of Texas in 1985. Access to Devil’s Sinkhole State Natural Area is limited to guided tours; reservations are required. For information, contact the Devil’s Sinkhole Society at (830) 683-2287. THE SURFACE AND 350 FEET OF HUMAN-EXPLORED DEPTH, THIS SUBTERRANEAN PORTAL CHRONICLES EONS OF GEOLOGIC CENTURIES OF CHANGE, Devil’s Sinkhole State Natural Area Visitor Center 101 North Sweeten Street Rocksprings, Texas 78880 (830) 683-2287 www.texasstateparks.org Cover photo courtesy of Cassie Cox. HUMAN FASCINATION AND AT TIMES, HOME TO 3 MILLION BATS. © 2019 TPWD. PWD BR P4501-141B (7/19) In accordance with Texas State Depository Law, this publication is available at the Texas State Publications Clearinghouse and/or Texas Depository Libraries. TPWD receives funds from the USFWS. TPWD prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, and gender, pursuant to state and federal law. To request an accommodation or obtain information in an alternative format, please contact TPWD on a Text Telephone (TTY) at (512) 389-8915 or by Relay Texas at 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2989 or by email at accessibility@tpwd.texas.gov. If you believe you have been discriminated against by TPWD, please contact TPWD, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. Texas State Parks is a division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. DEVIL’S SINKHOLE STATE NATURAL AREA S I N K H O L E S T A T E N A T U R A L A SUBTERRANEAN WORLD W ater played a vital role in the formation of Devil’s Sinkhole. Starting about 1 million years ago, slightly acidic, slow-moving groundwater carved a huge cavity in 150 million-year-old Edwards Limestone. As nearby valleys cut downward and groundwater levels dropped, the cavity drained. No longer supported by water, the cavern’s ceiling collapsed, revealing a portal into a deep, dark subterranean world. Today, visitors on guided tours peer 150 feet downward from a platform at the sinkhole’s rim onto a “breakdown mountain” of that collapsed rubble. As Texas’ largest single-chambered and fifthdeepest cave, Devil’s Sinkhole resembles a massive, inverted funnel. If the breakdown mountain were a substitute for her pedestal, the 151-foot Statue of Liberty could stand inside the Sinkhole with her torch extending just above the surface. At its widest point some 350 feet below the surface, the sinkhole measures 1,081 feet across—that’s over three football fields placed end to end. A R E A HUMAN CURIOSITY AND FASCINATION The mystical lure of Devil’s Sinkhole captures the human imagination and entrepreneurial spirit. Based on archeological clues, Native Peoples certainly knew of the Sinkhole, but we are unsure of how they may have used it. Some native groups considered these earthly openings as sacred emergence points of life and used them as final resting places for their dead. H.S. Barber claims the first known adventure into the depths of the Sinkhole by carving his name and 1889 into a rock at the bottom. How Barber got down there remains a mystery. During World War II, a team of army scientists entered the “darkness of the netherworld” on a swaying 150-foot ladder of rotted wood, rusty nails, barbed wire and frayed rope to collect bats for Project X-Ray. Before it was abandoned, this topsecret military plot planned for bats to deliver firebombs to roosts in enemy cities. Workers originally Fred Foster and Calvin Furr installed the rickety ladder produced an adventure film in the 1920s to mine bat inside the Devil’s Sinkhole in 1947. This spurred other entreguano, valuable as fertilizer preneurs to offer rides to the and used as a chemical bottom and back in an elevator component of gunpowder. cage for $1 per person. MERLIN D. TUTTLE, BAT CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL D E V I L ’ S Millions of Mexican free-tailed bats such as this one rise from Devil’s Sinkhole in a counter-clockwise tornado. SINKHOLE INHABITANTS Three million prized Mexican free-tailed bats inhabit Devil’s Sinkhole from summer through October. Biologists determined this number by measuring guano deposits on the cavern floor. About 200 bats roost per square foot, meaning 150 could roost in an area th
TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE BIRDS of the EDWA RDS P L AT E A U a field checklist BY MARK W. LOCKWOOD THIRD EDITION • 2008 Counties included in the coverage area of this checklist. Portion of counties that are not part of the Edwards Plateau (shaded area) are not covered. Cover: (clock-wise) Illustration of Golden-cheeked Warbler by Clemente Guzman III, Black-capped Vireo by Rob Fleming and Hooded Oriole by Clemente Guzman III. Birds of the Edwards Plateau: a field checklist the edwards plateau The Edwards Plateau is also known as the Texas Hill Country. It is an extensive plateau covering much of central and west-central Texas. It occupies over 36,000 square miles, roughly 17% of the state. The Hill Country is best known for two rare songbirds, the Golden-cheeked Warbler and Black-capped Vireo. However, these are just two of the many species that can be found in the region. This checklist includes all or part of 26 counties stretching from Travis in the east to Crockett in the west (see map). The Lampasas Cut Plains and the extreme northwest­ ern portion of the Live Oak-Mesquite Savanna, which includes portions of the Concho Valley, are not included in this checklist. The Edwards Plateau is the southernmost extension of the Great Plains. It is formed by Cretaceous limestone and slopes from northwest to southeast. The Balcones Escarpment forms the southern and eastern boundary of the region. The western boundary is marked by the Pecos River and the Rolling Plains border the plateau to the north. There are several distinct habitat types found on the plateau. The region bordering the Balcones Escarpment is dominated by Ashe Juniper (Juniperus ashei)–oak wood­ lands, a habitat unique to the Edwards Plateau and a few nearby areas. This habitat is most associated with the Hill Country. Riparian woodlands are found following the many streams and rivers that meander across the plateau. These forests provide habitat to a distinctly different group of birds. Open grasslands and shrublands can be found throughout the region, but these habitats are most characteristic of the northern and western parts of the plateau. edwards plateau birds The central location of the plateau is one of the reasons so many species of birds can be found there. The avifauna of the Edwards Plateau includes a mix of species from the surrounding ecological regions of the state. A total of 431 species are included in this checklist. The avifauna of the western plateau is influenced by the arid habitats found farther west. Cactus Wren, Black-throated Sparrow, and Pyrrhuloxia are often associated with desert habitats, but are also found on the plateau. Some of the South­ western specialties also reach the western plateau, such as Zone-tailed Hawk, Gray Vireo, Varied Bunting, and Scott’s Oriole. The riparian corridors of the region provide habitat to many species that more common farther east, such as Barred Owl, Acadian Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, and Northern Parula. Several species primarily found in South Texas can be found along the southern edge of the plateau. Green Kingfisher, Long-billed Thrasher and Olive Sparrow are probably the most common of these birds. This checklist was compiled by Mark W. Lockwood of Alpine, Texas. Nomenclature and organization are based upon the A.O.U. Check-list of North American Birds (7th Edition) as supplemented. 1 Please help us protect the natural avian communities in state parks by refraining from using playback tapes of bird songs. Frequent use of these tapes disrupts normal avian activity patterns, including essential territorial behavior, and may lead to nest failure. Thank you for your cooperation. LEGEND Abundance abundant – normally present and easy to find in proper habitat, often in large numbers common – normally present, and should be found, in proper habitat uncommon – normally present, but can be missed, in proper habitat in small numbers rare – not expected, annual although occurring only a few times per year  very rare – occurs at irregular intervals, but not on an annual basis  lingering individuals   accidental – average of one or two records every ten years Geographic occurrence/Status R Texas Bird Records Committee review species E Eastern half of the Edwards Plateau W Western half of the Edwards Plateau S Southern portion of the Edwards Plateau, generally referring to the Balcones Canyonlands subregion SW Southwestern portion of the Edwards Plateau, Val Verde and Kinney counties in particular NW Northwestern portion of the Edwards Plateau, Crockett, Schleicher and Sutton counties in particular NE Northeastern portion of the Edwards Plateau Nesting status N regular and widespread breeding species N* regular breeding species, but has a more local distribution N** very rare as a breeding species, often only one record N? status as a breeding species is uncertain CITATION Lockwood, M. W. 2008. Birds of the Edwards Plateau: a field checklist. Natural Resource
-Official- FA C I L I T I E S MAPS Get the Mobile App: ACTIVITIES texasstateparks.org/app Toyota Tundra Let your sense of adventure be your guide with the Toyota Official Vehicle of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation Tundra — built to help you explore all that the great state of Texas has to offer. | toyota.com/trucks BUILT HERE. LIVES HERE. ASSEMBLED IN TEXAS WITH U.S. AND GLOBALLY SOURCED PARTS. Contents 4 6 8 10 Activities and Programs Parks Near You Places to Stay Recreational Vehicles 12 Tips for Time in Nature Ray Roberts Devils River 14 Visitor Fees and Passes Directory TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT 18 Big Bend Country 26 34 48 56 64 80 86 Gulf Coast TPW COMMISSION S. Reed Morian, Chairman Houston Arch “Beaver” Aplin, III, Vice-Chairman Lake Jackson James E. Abell Kilgore Oliver J. Bell Cleveland Anna B. Galo Laredo Jeffery D. Hildebrand Houston Jeanne W. Latimer San Antonio Robert L. “Bobby” Patton, Jr. Fort Worth Dick Scott Wimberley T. Dan Friedkin, Chairman-Emeritus Houston Lee Marshall Bass, Chairman-Emeritus Fort Worth Hill Country Panhandle Plains Pineywoods Prairies and Lakes South Texas Plains Carter P. Smith Executive Director Rodney Franklin State Parks Director Josh Havens Communications Director Facilities and Activities Index 44 State Parks Map Special thanks to Toyota and advertisers, whose generous support made this guide possible. Texas State Parks is a division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Cover photo: Tyler State Park, Chase Fountain Texas State Parks Official Guide, Seventeenth Edition © TPWD PWD BK P4000-000A (5/20) TPWD receives funds from the USFWS. TPWD prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, and gender, pursuant to state and federal law. To request an accommodation or obtain information in an alternative format, please contact TPWD on a Text Telephone (TTY) at (512) 389-8915 or by Relay Texas at 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2989 or by email at accessibility@tpwd.texas.gov. If you believe you have been discriminated against by TPWD, please contact TPWD, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. In accordance with Texas State Depository Law, this publication is available at the Texas State Publications Clearinghouse and/or Texas Depository Libraries. WELCOME from Rodney Franklin, State Parks Director   Texas contains some of the most diverse public lands in the country. There is a wealth of cultural heritage. Wildlife abounds, landscapes flourish with beauty and our history is abundant. Your state parks are a part of the legacy that makes Texas proud. The people of Texas recently helped secure that legacy for future generations by voting yes to Proposition 5. Thank you! These 630,000-plus acres showcase some of our state’s greatest treasures. Parks help people make memories with family and find respite in nature’s playground. They strengthen local economies and bind communities. Most of all, parks enable each of us to spend time outside to recharge, be healthy and relax in our own way. I invite you to enjoy your state parks, exploring the best of Texas with friends and family. The parks are here for you. They belong to you. Please visit, have fun, and help protect them forever! Thank you, Texas! Texans voted to approve passage of Proposition 5 in the November 5, 2019 election. Now 100% of the sporting goods sales tax will go to fund the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas Historical Commission. This funding will help secure the future of local parks, state parks and historic sites for generations to come, all without increasing taxes. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude. See what’s in store for Texas State Parks: texasstateparks.org/better ACTIVITIES & PROGRAMS What is there to do in state parks? Enjoy a family picnic, tour a hallowed historic site or choose from some of these visitor favorites: Bike Pedal across parks at any speed, in any style, with any group. Choose the routes, surfaces and distances that fit your comfort zone. Walk Start with a shorter loop, tackle tougher terrain or join a guided tour. Fish Fish without a license in as many as 70 state parks. Many offer tackle loaner programs and special learnto-fish events. Boat or Paddle Rent canoes and kayaks, explore a Texas Paddling Trail or launch a boat. View Wildlife Discover the birds, mammals and plants that live in Texas. Many parks have signage and checklists to help you learn more about the wildlife around you. 4 Camp Swim Find a site that meets your needs. Test out new recipes, share your favorite stories and enjoy the stars. Beat the heat at creeks, rivers, lakes, springs, pools and ocean beaches. More information & reservations: texasstateparks.org (512) 389-8900 Many state parks offer special guided and self-guided progra
Guía de Parques INSTALACIONES Descarga la Aplicacíon Móvil MAPAS ACTIVIDADES texasstateparks.org/app ¡Los niños entran gratis! La entrada es gratis para los niños de 12 años y menores. Encuentra un parque: parquesdetexas.org Contenido Estero Llano Grande SP 2 4 6 8 9 10 18 Actividades y Programas Parques Cercanos Lugares para Quedarse Tarifas y Pases Directorio Mapa de Parques Instalaciones y Actividades BIENVENIDO Rodney Franklin, Director de Parques Texas tiene algunas de las tierras públicas más diversas del país, con una gran riqueza natural y cultural. La vida silvestre está por todas partes, los paisajes florecen con belleza, y la historia es abundante. Sus parques estatales son parte del legado que nos enorgullece. La gente de Texas ayuda a asegurar ese legado para las generaciones futuras al visitar y ser voluntarios. ¡Gracias! Estos más de 630,000 acres exhiben algunos de los grandes tesoros del estado. Los parques nos ayudan a crear recuerdos con la familia y a encontrar consuelo en la naturaleza. Los parques fortalecen las economías locales y unen a las comunidades. Sobre todo, los parques nos permiten pasar tiempo al aire libre para recargar energías, estar saludables y relajarnos a nuestra manera. Les invito a disfrutar de sus parques estatales, explorando lo mejor de Texas con amigos y familia. Los parques están aquí para todos. Nos pertenecen a todos. ¡Visítelos, diviértase y ayude a protegerlos para siempre! Foto de portada: Estero Llano State Park, Chase Fountain © 2021 TPWD PWD BK P4000-000A (5/21) TPWD recibe fondos del Servicio de Pesca y Vida Silvestre de EE.UU. (USFWS por sus siglas en ingles). TPWD prohíbe la discriminación por raza, color, religión, nacionalidad de origen, discapacidad, edad y género, conforme la ley estatal y federal. Para solicitar un acomodo especial u obtener información en un formato alternativo, por favor contacte a TPWD en un Teléfono de Texto (TTY) al (512) 3898915 ó por medio de “Relay Texas” al 7-1-1 ó (800) 735-2989 ó por email a accessibility@tpwd.texas.gov. Si usted cree que TPWD ha discriminado en su contra, favor de comunicarse con TPWD, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744, o con el Servicio de Pesca y Vida Silvestre de EE.UU., Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. De acuerdo con la Ley de Depósito del Estado de Texas, esta publicación está disponible en el centro de Distribución de Publicaciones del Estado de Texas y/o las Bibliotecas de Depósito de Texas. ACTIVIDADES Y PROGRAMAS ¿Qué puedo hacer en los parques estatales? ¡Disfruta de un día de campo, visita un sitio histórico o elige entre muchas otras opciones! Bicicletas Pedalea a lo largo de los parques a cualquier velocidad, en cualquier estilo, con cualquier grupo. Elige las rutas, el tipo de terreno y las distancias que cumplan con tu zona de confort. Caminatas Empieza con un circuito más corto, avanza a terrenos más difíciles o únete a una caminata guiada. Pescar Puedes pescar sin licencia en tantos como 70 parques estatales. Muchos parques ofrecen equipo para pescar a manera de préstamo y eventos especiales para aprender a pescar. Barcos Renta canoas y kayacs y explora uno de los senderos acuáticos en Texas. Nadar Animales Silvestres Acampar Descubre aves, mamíferos y plantas que tienen su hogar en Texas. Muchos parques tienen señalamientos y listados que te ayudan a aprender más. Encuentra un lugar que cumpla con lo que quieres. Prueba nuevas recetas, comparte historias favoritas y disfruta de las estrellas. 2 Más información y reservaciones: parquesdetexas.org Escape del calor en arroyos, ríos, lagos, manantiales, piletas y playas del mar. Tu seguridad en el agua es muy importante. Lleva el chaleco salvavidas. Aprende a nadar. Guarda a los niños. (512) 389-8900 ¡Pregunta en tu parque cuáles están disponibles! Los niños de 12 años y menores entran GRATIS Cielos Estrellados Escapa de las luces de la ciudad y goza de maravillosas vistas del cielo que no encontrarás en ninguna otra parte. Ven a una fiesta de estrellas o toma una excursión de constelaciones auto-guiada. Familias en la Naturaleza Elige un taller o diseña tu propia aventura. ¡Monta una tienda de campaña, cocina al exterior, prende una fogata y juega al exterior! Nosotros te Toma una publicación gratuita de actividades o pregunta por los paquetes gratuitos con los parques proporcionamos todo el equipo. No es necesario tener experiencia. participantes. Usa los binoculares, lupas, libros de bosquejos y libros de guías para explorar el parque. Mochilas para Exploradores Soldados Búfalo de Texas Descubre la historia con cuentos, vestuarios y herramientas. Sigue la pista de un animal, pesca con caña, cocina sobre una fogata, visita los fuertes y más. Adéntrate en las historias de vida de aquellos que sirvieron valientemente en los primeros regimientos Áfrico-Americanos de las Fuerzas Armadas. ! Seguridad en el Parque Ten cuidado con el agua Pr

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