At the top of the list are the two bat caves – Frio Bat Cave near Concan, and Devil’s Sinkhole, near Rocksprings. During the summer millions of Mexican free-tail bats emerge from these caves at dusk, a sight you (and especially your children) will not soon forget. There are often raptors, including peregrine falcons, snatching dinner from the air. Both sites offer tours: for more information contact Frio Bat Cave at 830-966-2320 or The Friends of Devil’s Sinkhole at 683-2287. (The Devil’s Sinkhole is the closer, and more dramatic, of the two).
The Nueces River
The are several crossings of the Nueces off of Highway 55 that offer nice places to swim in the river and relax. Some of them are popular on weekends, but some of them are less well-known and thus not so crowded. The first is right up our road. The area above the crossing is a particularly nice, long, deep pool. The other nice crossings are in the Montell area; two very nice ones are Witt’s Crossing, found by turning east on Witt Road just north of Montell, and going about a mile; and the Montell Creek crossing, found by turning east off Highway 55 on County Road 412, where Montell Creek crosses the highway (normally you will not see water in the creek here – it runs under the gravel). There are also two parks along Highway 55: Cooksey Park at Lake Nueces, a small lake formed by a dam on the Nueces 4 miles south of Camp Wood; and Park Chalk Bluff, a private campground located about halfway between Camp Wood and Uvalde. It includes a nice stretch of river, and is a well-known hot- spot for birders.
Another possibility for an excursion is to turn right on highway 55 in Barksdale, then take Ranch Road 335 where it splits just outside Barksdale. This will take you north along the Nueces river through Vance, then along the steep canyon formed by Hackberry Creek, another of the headwaters of the Nueces river. It is a beautiful, winding drive, that dead-ends at Highway 41. Turn left there, go to Rocksprings, then take highway 55 back down to Barksdale, a more open but also scenic drive.