Magazine  >  Issue 59  >  Hot Springs: This Historic Spa Town Rejuvenates Fido and Family

Hot Springs: This Historic Spa Town Rejuvenates Fido and Family

Bathhouse Row, mountain trails and gardens lift the spirits

In Hot Springs, Arkansas, the watering stations are geared to humans, who can fill all of the bottles and bowls they desire without paying a dime.

Each day, nearly a million gallons of 143-degree water flow from 47 springs on the west slope of Hot Springs Mountain. The waters originate from 4,400-year-old rainfall that percolated into the earth, bubbling back up fortified with revitalizing minerals. For centuries, Native American peoples such as the Quapaw came to the “Valley of the Vapors” to bath in the thermal waters before Spanish explorers led by Hernando de Soto discovered their peaceful haven.

In 1914, convinced the town’s waters cured his Civil War injuries, Colonel Samuel Fordyce erected the opulent Renaissance Revival-style spa that still bears his name. To this day, many “take the waters” to treat headaches, arthritis, hypertension, skin disorders, lung diseases and even depression.


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