BELTON — If you need to get out of your house and shake off the quarantine blues, you don’t need to go any farther than the Nolan Creek Hike and Bike Trail.
This trail runs from the back of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor campus, along Nolan Creek, through Yettie Polk Park and all the way to The Gin at Nolan Creek.
My friend, Jessica, and I had frequented this trail in college at UMHB when we took a walking class. I enjoyed it mostly for the ducks that you can find alongside the trail in the park. We hadn’t visited this trail for a couple of years and were excited to see if we would notice anything different.
Many people were out walking, biking and playing in the creek even though the temperature was incredibly hot.
We noticed a good amount of wildlife on our walk. The first we noticed was an abnormally large amount of snails on the railing of the trail behind the College View apartments on the UMHB campus. There were easily over 100 snails.
We continued down the trail to the bridge that runs over Nolan Creek and watched as families enjoyed floating in the creek on inner tubes. As we went on, we noticed several squirrels and passed alongside Mount Zion Methodist Church. The Church was built in 1893 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
We proceeded down the trail, passing each trail marker, slowly approaching the spot where I knew the ducks would be waiting. I was most excited to see all of the ducks and feed them some bread that Jessica and I had brought along. Not only were their ducks, but pigeons as well. They were more than happy to hog all of the bread for themselves. The ducks, however, managed to get a few crumbs with a couple of well-placed tosses by Jessica.
As our bread quickly ran out, we noticed more and more ducks and pigeons were beginning to swarm around us. They definitely didn’t stick to the social distancing rules. After we tossed the last crumb of bread we made a quick getaway and walked down the trail a little farther to see where many people had gathered to play in the creek. Right across the water was The Gin at Nolan Creek restaurant and the rest of downtown Belton.
After taking our trip down memory lane we made our way back to where my truck was parked behind Crusader Stadium.
I remember when I first walked the trail in college, I was amazed how I could walk from the back of campus all the way to downtown Belton in around 30 minutes. I was also amazed how I used to walk the trail and not be too incredibly winded when I finished.
This trail is great for those wanting to get out of the house, but not wanting to adventure too far. Not to mention, you’ll get to see the ducks. Just remember they’re still having trouble social distancing.