About Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park is a 5,500-acre park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, that preserves geothermal spring water and resources related to therapeutic bathing. Congress created the park in 1832 when it designated the land as Hot Springs Reservation, making it the first area nationwide to be set aside for protection by the federal government. In 1921, the reservation’s name changed to Hot Springs National Park. Today, Hot Springs National Park preserves and manages its natural and cultural resources for over 1.5 million annual visitors. Located about 55 miles southwest of Little Rock, Hot Springs National Park encompasses mostly forested mountains, but includes a developed urban edge formed by Bathhouse Row, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987.
Bathhouse Row is a ¼-mile-long row of eight bathhouse buildings along Central Avenue. It is the most heavily visited part of the park. This area encompasses six acres formally landscaped with open lawns, trees, shrubs, fountains, a formal staircase entrance, a promenade in front of the bathhouses, and a Grand Promenade behind the bathhouses. The Buckstaff Bathhouse and the Administration Building, located at the southern end of the row, are the only structures used for their original purposes. All other bathhouses have been adapted for other uses by either the NPS or private sector partners.
Hot Springs National Park collects and distributes thermal water for use in park buildings and public fountains as well as by area hotels and a local hospital. The park uses an extensive underground collection system that is largely concealed from public view as most of the 47 springs are capped to prevent contamination. Recent studies have shown that the greatest threat to the health of the thermal springs may be from development outside the park as most of the water recharge zone is beyond the park boundary.
Source: Foundation Document Overview – Hot Springs National Park
|Date the Park was Established:||March 4, 1921|
|Park Area (as of 2019):||5,554.15 acres (22.5 km2)|
|Recreational Visitors (2018 Total):||1,506,887 visitors|