Kickapoo State Park is located 22 miles north of Brackettville, Texas, and is a relatively small state park, but with clean facilities and friendly staff. If you are looking for a place to go and escape the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day life this park is the park for you. It is literally in the middle of nowhere — meaning no cellular service, no noisy traffic basically other distractions. Just you and your family away from everyone else in the peaceful outdoors.We stayed in one of their 15 camp sites (some for big and small RVs and some for tent campers). I really enjoyed our campsite it was hidden and surrounded by lots of trees and cactuses. This was the first state park that offered firewood and bags of ice and only asked for a donation in return. This was a huge help since we were so far from town. Being so far from town has its perks especially at night. One perk is that you will have an amazing view of the stars. I would suggest if you are not familiar with the constellations you get familiar with them so that you can enjoy them.
Wildlife at the park
Since we are far away from the town you are able to see many different animals. We saw owls and eagles by the cave. I think they were waiting for the bats so that they could eat them. We also saw a wild pig just running in the parking lot. Both nights that we were there we were visited by an armadillo. He just came right up to our campfire. He seemed so unafraid. This was a treat especially because we had never seen an armadillo so close. The park ranger said we had to be careful with raccoons because they like to raid the campsites. We were lucky no raccoons came to visit us. Kickapoo is home to 240 species of wonderful birds. Cool right! Well, it gets better! Kickapoo is home to half the number of bird species recorded in the entire state of Texas!!! Wow, so if bird watching is your thing I would strongly suggest you stop by Kickapoo.
Kickapoo Cave Tour
The main attraction for this park is the cavern and it is totally worth seeing. What sets this cave apart from any other cave you ask? Well, Kickapoo Cavern is approximately one-quarter mile in length. Not that long right well, it is actually the largest cave formation in the state of Texas. So just how large is this cave well inside there is a giant natural column formation that rises as tall as an eight-story building!!! Does this sound like something you want to see? Well, you’re in luck they have ranger led tours on Saturday and you must call and make reservations for the Wild Cave tour (they limit them to 20 people per tour). They call it a Wild Cave tour because it is an unimproved natural cave system. What does that mean? Well, basically it means it’s a wild cave there are no stairs, no guardrails, no lighting and no walkways, just a cave. Make sure to be prepared for the tour.
- Bring your own flashlight or a head strap light
- Wear comfortable shoes because you will be climbing up and over rocks.
- Water bottle that you can wear (Camelback)
The great thing about this type of cave exploring is it makes you feel like you are truly exploring this cavern for the first time. Cool right! Oh, they will provide you with a helmet and you will have to sign a liability waiver. You can still see some names etched on ancient formations that are dated from the 1800’s. Most of this cave is formed of dead and fossilized formations.
If trails are your thing this is definitely a fun stop to make. Kickapoo State Park is made up of 6,368.4 acres on the Southern Edwards Plateau and has numerous marked trails. We wanted to go on some of the trails but we decided not to because there are ticks at the park (which really was the only down fall). So I strongly recommend you take Tick repellent with you. They were also a few ticks at the campsite we got maybe 6 of them during our stay. If ticks are not a big worry for you then I would suggest you go on the trails because they looked like fun.
Watch the Bats Emerge from Cave
Stuart Bat Cave is a 1,068-foot deep cave and it is home to many Mexican Free Tail Bats. So, if you would like to see the bats and a porcupine emerge from a cave at dusk this would be a good stop for you. The bats emerged around 8:30 pm and it went on for about 30 mins. The cool thing about this cave is that the ranger allowed us to be about 5 feet from the cave entrance! It was amazing the kids really did enjoy it because there were bats flying around them. The ranger did tell us that it is illegal to catch a bat so if they go to close to you just duck down. It was really cool to see them come out because when they fly out they don’t just fly straight out. They circle around in a spectacular, whirling mass that looks kinda like a black tornado. The ranger went on to explain to us that the reason they do this is to build up momentum before they head out to search for insects in the near by ranches. If you are an early riser and you think you can be at the viewing site about 5:30 am then you can see the bats are returning. We wanted to do this but since we were staying up late to see the stars, make smores and tell stories we were unable to attend the bat return viewing.
All in all we really did enjoy our weekend stay at Kickapoo State Park and would recommend it to anyone who wants a real away from town experience. If you enjoyed this post and would like to follow us please subscribe……
Happy Trails to you all