December 24th – The Old River trail, the road and trail at the base of the dam are closed while construction work proceeds on the Dam.
Miller Springs Park is now CLOSED – Miller Springs Nature Center remains open!
The Park closure could last through March of 2015 while work on the dam’s outflow channel and infrastructure is carried out. This closure has blocked the access to the bike trails from the south. Bike access is now via the Emergency Spillway, west side. The Miller Springs Nature Center will remain open.
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 and is the principal trailhead for hikers, joggers and birders and includes a large parking lot 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 is via Miller Springs Park, just off of Lake road (FM 439) at the south end of the nature center. This entrance is used by hikers, bikers, joggers, canoers and kayakers and birders. 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 map to zoom.
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.
The Miller Springs Alliance is working hard to improve and maintain the trails and animal habitat in the Nature Center. This includes the grooming of trails, removal of fallen trees, removal of more than a thousand invasive trees and thousands of invasive plants in the past year alone. It also includes the construction of animal habitats. All of this work is done by volunteers and we need your donations and help! Please sign up for “Friends of the Park News” (right column) to be notified of upcoming volunteer events. All purchases of tools and other materials critical to improving and maintaining the park are made using donations by the general public and the occasional grant by local groups. Please visit our donations page to help us support the nature center!