SAN ANTONIO — It’s finally cooling off in Texas, which makes it the perfect time to visit Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio.  

Natural Bridge Caverns was initially discovered by four college students from St. Mary’s University in 1960. A 60-foot natural bridge structure made of limestone gave the students the inkling that a vast cavern system existed underneath the area, and after obtaining permission to explore, the students began to make expeditions. On their fourth try they felt a cool draft in a crawlway that they had dug, and knew it meant that their hunch was going to be proven right.   

Today, Natural Bridge Caverns is home to several different tours, the most popular being the Discovery Tour. This tour takes you down 180 feet and is about a ¾ mile walking distance, taking about an hour to complete. There are many stairs and inclines on this tour, so definitely take that into consideration when planning your visit. Tours depart from anywhere between every 10 and 40 minutes. The temperature within the cavern is 70 degrees with 99% humidity. In cooler months, visitors may want to bring a light sweater.  

On the Discovery Tour you will have the chance to see many different types of rock formations, from stalactites to soda straws. There are many different rooms to venture into, providing stunning views. The whole tour is lit up by LED lighting, which makes it easier to see where you’re going, but also adds a certain ambiance to the tour. Guides let you know that you could see bats on your tour, but it is not guaranteed. Photo taking is encouraged, but if there is wildlife present, you can’t use a flash.  

When you’re done with your tour there is still much to do on the grounds. For the adventurous there is a ropes course, zip line and maze. The ropes course and zip line are 60 feet above the ground, and for the children there is also a mini version. Gem and fossil mining is also really fun, getting your hands dirty is always a hit among the younger crowd.  

After taking part in all the activities, you probably will have worked up an appetite. The Cavern Café provides many delicious lunch options, and an on-site general store has candy, ice cream and yummy treats.  There is something for everyone’s taste and the best part is that you don’t have to leave to seek out food and drinks. Something really neat that visitors can do nearby is the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, a drive through safari.  

Tickets for Natural Bridge Caverns can be purchased on their website, https://naturalbridgecaverns.com, or at Fort Hood Leisure Travel Services for a discounted price. Grab your family and friends and get ready for a day of discovery at Natural Bridge Caverns.