Hot Springs National Park

Escape into secluded woodland and breathe in the scent of mineral-enriched water that bubbles from the ground in America’s original spa district. 

Stroll through pine forests and see steaming water flowing from rocky sources in Hot Springs National Park. Dip your feet in a stream to feel the liquid’s mystical healing powers or fully immerse yourself at a luxurious bath house. 

Make your way through forest near the city of Hot Springs to discover hiking trails that twist and turn through more than 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares) of park land. Hawks and kestrels glide through the clear skies above the mixture of pine, oak and hickory. Set off to find one of the park’s famous springs where 143˚F (62˚C) water seeps into trickling streams. Feel this natural phenomenon for yourself and bring a bottle in order to collect a unique souvenir. 

Before you leave the forest behind, take a trip to the mountain tower, a 10-minute drive northeast of the visitor center. From this 216-foot-high (65-meter) lookout, gaze for miles across the forest canopy all the way to Lake Ouachita to the west. On your way out, stop at the gift shop on the ground level of the tower. 

After a morning in the wilderness, return to the bustling city and check out the park visitor center located right in the old Fordyce Bathhouse. Find out more about the region’s intriguing history and look inside an Edwardian-period bathhouse. 

No trip to Hot Springs would be complete without a visit to one of the modern spas. Simply put your feet up and relax in a bath of the area’s famous water, taken straight from the ground. 

Hot Springs National Park was established as a national reservation in 1832. The park surrounds historic Bathhouse Row buildings developed as bathhouses as early as 1912. The park itself is free, but bathing and camping have fees. The woodland paths are open for use year-round. Get information from the visitor center in the city. 

From hiking rugged terrain to exploring caves to relaxing in natural hot springs, U.S. national parks offer affordable adventure for all types of travelers. Enjoy your trip to the urban and woodland areas of Hot Springs National Park. 

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