BELTON — Nestled near the Belton Dam is Miller Springs Nature Center and Park, which offers the adventurer challenging trails to explore.
My friend, Jessica, and I had never been to this trail before and we were excited to check it out, however, this trail was a little bit challenging to navigate. Even finding the parking lot was a challenge.
The parking lot for Miller Springs Nature Center is hard to see from the road. My friend and I drove around in circles multiple times trying to find the entrance after my GPS told me to turn onto a road that leads into a gated community.
While trying to find the entrance, we found a lookout area on the Belton Dam where several people have put locks along the fence. It was fun to see all of the different padlocks people have left and see what was written on them.
Once we did find the parking lot for Miller Springs Nature Center, we made our way onto the trail and toward the large mural which features images of things that scream Texas. There isn’t any shade on this part of the trail and the heat from the sun had its effect on us early in our walk.
Once we passed the mural, we found a map that showed all of the different trails that visitors can walk on. We found one trail and stuck to it and after walking down a ton of stairs, we made it to a place where the trail split into two paths.
It was here where we began to get confused. The map pointed out where we were, but we were left guessing which trail was which. This is where we thought some color-coded arrows would be useful in helping to determine which path to take.
The trail split off a few more times as we continued to walk on, but we saw no more maps. We were left guessing which way to go to return to the mural. Part of the trail did lead to a place where the dam is visible, but we had ventured farther than planned. We ventured through some very overgrown parts of the trail and eventually made it back to a familiar area.
There was also more wildlife than the other trails we have walked. At one point during the walk while we were in the woods, it sounded like some type of animal was following us and we couldn’t get away from the masses of grasshoppers, especially in the overgrown areas.
Though we walked for more than an hour and explored more than we planned to, and we only saw a small portion of the trail, there were at least five more trails we didn’t explore.
This trail was not my favorite to walk. Several parts of the trail could use some maintenance to help ease the navigation. The biggest change I would make is putting more maps and clearer trail markings. On the map, each trail is color coded, but you’re left guessing which trail is which when they split.
I would not suggest taking children to this trail. Since this trail is more overgrown in some areas it would make it harder for them to navigate through parts of the trail.
Though it wasn’t my cup of tea, I’m sure avid hikers would enjoy what Miller Springs Nature Center has to offer.
I would suggest making sure you have a lot of time to explore everything it has to offer and make sure you have plenty of water since summer is here.