Hot Springs National Park Facts

Hot Springs National Park Facts
Hot Springs National Park is a 5,550 acre park located in Arkansas in the United States. It is most famous for its hot springs, a feature that Native Americans have treasured medicinally for many centuries. In 1832 the hot springs were protected by Congress as Hot Springs Reservation. It was the first time in America's history that land was set aside by the federal government for recreational use, even before the concept of national parks existed. In 1921 Hot Springs Reservation became Hot Springs National Park and the area it encompassed was expanded by 900 acres. It was later further enlarged to its current size.
Interesting Hot Springs National Park Facts:
Native Americans referred to the hot springs at Hot Springs National Park as 'Valley of the Vapors'. They have been using the springs for at least 8000 years. The springs are included in many Native American legends.
The first non-Native American known to see the hot springs was Hernando de Soto in 1541.
When Hot Springs Reservation became Hot Springs National Park it was expanded and included North Mountain, West Mountain, Whittington Lake Park, Sugar-Loaf Mountain, and Hot Springs Mountain.
In the 1870s the waters of Hot Springs were being prescribed by doctors for various ailments. Patients were advised to spend a specific amount of time in the tub baths and steam baths depending on the illness.
Hot Springs National Park is one of the few national parks that make up a part of a city rather than being located miles from developed infrastructure.
Major League Baseball used the city of Hot Springs as the location for spring training at one time, allowing players to soothe their sore muscles in Hot Springs National Park when they felt it necessary.
The thermal waters at Hot Springs National Park can be enjoyed by its visitors. The water in the thermal pools is 143 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hot Springs National Park provided a good source of income to the city of Hot Springs with many patients staying for extended periods up until the 1950s.
There have been a variety of bathing customs at Hot Springs National Park including standing over them to inhale the vapors, lounging in the water, taking steam baths, using vapor cabinets, and even drinking the water.
An Army and Navy hospital which is now a rehabilitation center in Hot Springs made use of the hot springs in its treatments. This building is now historically significant.
Most of Hot Springs National Park is forest with deciduous trees such as hickory and oak. There are many trees in the old growth forest over 130 years in age.
Animals that can be found in Hot Springs National Park include white tailed deer, gray foxes, coyotes, minks, nine-banded armadillos, opossums, turkeys, raccoons, and skunks.
When the Europeans settled the area animals such as the red wolf, cougars, elk, and Plains bison left.
Visitors to Hot Springs National Park can go on guided tours, enjoy the hot springs, and hike on trails in the park.
There are approximately 1.5 to 2.5 million visitors to the park each year.

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