Natural Bridge Caverns is off I-35 exit 175, then 8 mi. w. on Natural Bridge Caverns Rd. (FM 3009). Determined to prove the existence of caverns beneath a 60-foot limestone bridge, four St. Mary's University students embarked on an unforgettable adventure in 1960. During their fourth trek they discovered 2 miles of underground corridors.
The guided 75-minute Discovery Tour takes visitors 180 feet below the surface through a half-mile of rooms and passages. Stunning formations range from the 40-foot King's Throne and Watchtower to tiny, delicate soda straws. Other highlights include Purgatory Creek, Sherwood Forest and the Natural Bridge.
Lasting 70 minutes, the Hidden Passages Tour explores two large underground areas adorned with soda straws, cave ribbon and other natural phenomena. A high-tech lighting network uses both light and darkness to intensify views—at one point total blackness envelops visitors. Adventure tours involving hiking, crawling and rappelling are offered by reservation.
Other activities include gem and fossil mining; Canopy Challenge, a four-tier obstacle and zipline course; and the AMAZEn' Ranch Roundup maze. Weight and height restrictions apply for Canopy Challenge.
Comfortable walking shoes are required.
Guided tours are available. Picnicking is permitted. Food is available. Time: Allow 1 hour, 30 minutes minimum.