The Stone Bridge is out and access to the prairie area is therefore limited to hikers. The water levels on the Leon River are returning to normal and the wet areas will be draining during the next few days so many trails will remain muddy. For this reason the Nature Center remains closed to cyclists for safety reasons.
The Miller Springs Nature Center is located directly north of Miller Springs Park. There are two entrances to the Nature Center. The main entrance is just north of Lake Belton dam, off of Highway FM 2271. The parking lot is adjacent to the principal trailheads for hikers, joggers and birders, and includes large parking spaces for buses and cars, picnic tables, a covered pavilion, and several handicap-accessible trails. The park is also a popular site for geocaching*. The south entrance to the Nature Center (currently closed) is via Miller Springs Park, just off of Lake Road (FM 439) in Belton. This entrance is used by hikers, bikers, joggers, canoers and kayakers and birders. Walk west from the circle drive, on the dirt road upstream along the river, and one may enter thru the swinging gate adjacent to the dam outflow channel.
The Nature Center is a 260-acre scenic natural area located between the Leon River and 80 foot high bluffs, immediately east of the Lake Belton Dam. With nearly 11 miles of trails there is something for everyone! It is home to over 200 species wildflowers and more than 80 species of mushrooms. The natural preserve is open to the self-guided public, at no charge, every day of the year, from 8am to dusk.The Nature Center is overseen by the Miller Springs Alliance, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation, whose purpose is to promote conservation and management of natural and cultural resources, and to provide an educational and recreational nature area at the Miller Springs Nature Center. The Miller Springs Alliance values volunteer efforts and community donations.
Click on the trails for more information. Scroll on the map to zoom. Or, visit our Trails page.
About the Park
Miller Springs Park is a 360-acre park located below Belton Lake, on the Leon River, in Bell County, Texas. The Park spans both sides of the Leon River, includes much of the Miller Springs Nature Center, and is accessible from the Belton side of Belton Dam, via the Park Road off Highway FM 439, and from the Temple side, via the Nature Center entrance, off Highway FM 2271. Restrooms, trash bins, and fishing areas are accessible from the south (Belton side) parking lot
The park and nature center contain diverse riparian terrain, including limestone bluffs, estuarial wetlands, mountain cedar hilltops, and riverside cottonwood and sycamore stands. Numerous trails traverse prairie-like open spaces and forests of native cedar elm, live oak, and red oaks. Recent floods have created a new canyon that reveals numerous layers of sedimentary rock and fossils. Area wildlife includes white-tail deer, grey foxes, coyotes, black squirrels, armadillos, and more than 90 species of birds in the course of the year. It also provides easy access for canoers and kayakers to more than 3 miles of the Leon River, its backwaters and the SE areas of the Nature Center.
While Miller Springs Park contains numerous species of wildlife and some challenging hiking trails, safety in the park is uncommonly good, due to convenient road access and cell phone service throughout the park. Please respect other hikers by not using your cellphone in the park, except for emergency situations.
- There is no trash collection in the park; “Pack it in, Pack it out.” Please.
- Federal statutes prohibit: Collection, destruction, defacement, or removal of cultural or geologic features, or removal of, or injury to, plant or animal life.
- Alcoholic beverages are not allowed.
- Pets are not permitted.
- Motorized vehicles are not permitted in the park.
- Smoking is not permitted during the current Burn Ban.
- Please respect other hikers by not using your cellphone in the park, except for emergency situations.
*No digging is allowed in the park nor may any geo-locations be placed near the dam’s structures or outlet area.
A Special Request for support
Miller Springs Alliance is working hard to improve and maintain the trails and natural habitat in the Nature Center. This includes
- grooming of trails,
- removal of fallen trees,
- removal of more than a thousand invasive trees and plants, in the past year alone, and
- construction of animal habitats.
- construction of restroom facilities near the parking lot
All of this work is done by volunteers. We need your donations, and your help! Please sign up for “Friends of the Park News” (in the adjacent right column) to be notified of upcoming volunteer events. You will also receive (easy opt in/opt out) periodic photos of recent happenings in the park. All of the tools and materials critical to improving and maintaining the park are purchased using donations from park visitors like you. Thank you for your support!