Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs

Hot Springs is a resort city and the 11th most populous city in the state of Arkansas with an estimated population of 37,930 and the county seat of Garland County.

Hot Springs is part of the Hot Springs National Park, established in 1921 to protect the 47 hot springs and their watershed.

Hot Springs National Park stands as a testament to history, housing the oldest federal reserve in the United States at the heart of Hot Springs. Revered for centuries for its reputed healing properties, the hot spring waters have been the stuff of legend among various Native American tribes.

Fast Facts About Hot Springs

Hot springs, natural marvels heated by geothermal activity, have fascinated and benefitted humanity for centuries. Let’s dive into some fast facts about these geothermally heated wonders.

  • Hot Springs was a common place for baseball spring training in the late 1800s through around 1940. The players used the many bathhouses and the water’s reported curative powers to get ready for the season.
  • Hot Springs National Park, spanning 5,550 acres, is the smallest national park in the United States.
  • The thermal water found within Hot Springs National Park is ancient spring water in its natural state, dating back nearly 4,000 years, According to the National Park Service.

Find more interesting facts about Hot Springs

Brief History of Hot Springs

The area around Hot Springs has been inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years, including the Quapaw, Caddo, and Choctaw, who revered the thermal springs for their believed healing properties. They often used the springs for medicinal and ceremonial purposes.

The first European explorers to encounter the hot springs were likely Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century. However, it wasn’t until the early 19th century that European-American settlers began to establish permanent settlements in the area.

The United States acquired the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, which included the land that encompasses present-day Hot Springs.

Recognizing the significance of the thermal springs, the U.S. government designated the area as a federal reservation in 1832, making it the first federally protected area in the nation’s history. This eventually evolved into Hot Springs National Park, established in 1921.

In 1921, Hot Springs Reservation was redesignated as Hot Springs National Park, becoming the 18th national park in the United States. This ensured the preservation of the natural thermal springs and surrounding landscape for future generations.

Hot Springs continues to attract visitors with its blend of natural beauty, historic charm, and recreational opportunities.

Hot Springs, Arkansas
Hot Springs, Arkansas