Hot Springs, Arkansas the Gateway to Lake Ouachita and the Ouachita National Forrest
Hot Springs is a unique resort town located in the foothills of the Ouachita National Forest.
For Things To Do Places To Stay, Calendar of Events, Restaurants and more in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Visit the Hot Springs Visitor Information center.
Come enjoy Beautiful Lake Ouachita! Located In the 1.8 million acre Ouachita Mountain National Forest just 10 miles west of Hot Springs Arkansas, Lake Ouachita is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you are looking for quiet relaxation or need a adventure, Lake Ouachita fulfills them all.
Hot Springs is home to Oaklawn Park thoroughbred race track which has been in operation since 1904. The meet which is annually held from January through mid April each year is sometimes referred to as the "Fifth Season" and features the "Racing Festival of the South" during the last week of the racing season each April.
Hot Springs gets its name from the natural thermal water that flows from the hot springs on the western slope of Hot Springs Mountain in the historic bath house row district. About a million gallons of 143-degree water flow from the 47 naturally flowing thermal springs on the southwestern slope of Hot Springs Mountain each day. Hot Springs National Park is the smallest and oldest of the parks in the National Park System, dating back to 1832, when Congress established the first federally protected reservation in the nation's history, 32 years ahead of Yellowstone. Hot Springs Reservation, which was renamed Hot Springs National Park in 1921, originally was created by Congress to protect the Hot Springs.
Studies by National Park Service scientists have determined through carbon dating that the water that reaches the surface in Hot Springs fell as rainfall in an as-yet undetermined watershed 4,000 years ago. The water percolates very slowly down through the earth's surface until it reaches superheated areas deep in the crust and then rushes rapidly to the surface to emerge from the springs.
In 1818, the Quapaw Indians ceded the land that had the hot springs to the United States in a treaty. After Arkansas became its own territory in 1819, the Arkansas Territorial Legislature requested in 1820 that the springs and adjoining mountains be set aside as a federal reservation. Twelve years later, in 1832, the Hot Springs Reservation was created by the US Congress, granting federal protection of the thermal waters. The Reservation was renamed Hot Springs National Park in 1921.
Hot Springs National Park is the oldest federal reserve in the United States.