Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Hot Springs National Park is located in central Arkansas next to the city of Hot Springs.

Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park

The Hot Springs National Park is 40 years older than Yellowstone National Park. For about three hundred years people have used the hot spring mineral-rich water to treat rheumatism and other illnesses. Today you can bath in approved facilities and there are numerous camping and picnic areas and hiking trails. The Fordyce Bathhouse in downtown operated from 1915-1962 and today it is the parks visitor center. The water is what attracts people to the Hot Springs National Park and many visitors (and residents) collect the water, from the fountains, in bottles and other rigid containers and take it home with them. A lot of people are also coming to the area because of the flowers and animals in the park.

Hot Springs National Park History

Native Americans had lived around the valley for over 8,000 years when the Spanish explorer, Hernando de Soto and his troops, in 1541, were the first Europeans to see the springs. In the late 17th century, hunters, traders and trappers often visited the area. Log cabins were built and some rudimentary shelters were used by the hunters and trappers. Around this time people began to visit the springs for healing purpose. Many believed (and still beleave) that the mineral-rich waters was good for the skin, to treat rheumatism and other diseases. In 1807, the first white people settled in modern Hot Springs and in 1851, the city of Hot Springs was incorporated. The park was initially created by an act of the U.S. Congress in 1832. In 1921, Hot Springs National Park was established and now it became popular for many athletes to visit the bathhouses to treat their sore muscles.

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