Hot Springs National Park is located in the US state of Arkansas. Every year over 1.5 million visitors come here to hike, enjoy nature or treat themselves to a medicinal bath. There is enough space for every visitor on an area of 20 km². Hot Springs National Park was established on March 4, 1921. See directoryaah for museums in Arkansas.
The name of the park
As the name Hot Springs suggests, there are hot springs here in the Hot Springs National Park. These are said to have a healing effect, the water that gushes out of them has always been used in this way by the locals. The entire source area was a so-called war-free zone, which means that neither wars nor hostilities were allowed to penetrate here. It was and is a place of peace and tranquility. Therefore it is a bit astonishing that the park has commercialized the mineral springs so much nowadays. Most of the 47 springs are located at the foot of the Hot Spring Mountains. There are 17 bathhouses. Incidentally, the hot springs have been used for business for 120 years. Two of the springs are not used for bathing and can only be visited.
History of the Hot Springs National Park
Many years before the Spanish immigrants came to the area, the residents used the springs as bathing water. In 1541 the Spaniard de Soto came to the area and “discovered” the bathing springs. At that time he was led to the springs by a local resident. He was informed that the water from the springs should have healing properties. It was decided to declare the headwaters as a neutral place. Everyone could linger and bathe in this place without being disturbed.
In 1803 the area began to be developed as a spa resort. Simple log huts then served as accommodation for bathers. Just 30 years later, the entire area was placed under protection. In 1921 the park was finally declared a national park.
Animals in the Hot Springs National Park
It is striking that there are no large mammals to be found in the Hot Springs National Park. There are the smaller species like foxes, raccoons, lots of rabbits and ground squirrels. But as I said, big animals like bears are completely absent here.
Opossums can be found here in abundance, however. They are the only species of marsupial in North America.
Birds, on the other hand, are more numerous. With more than 200 different species, these are well represented in the park. There is a bird in the park that looks very similar to our native blackbird. But it is about the traveling thrush. She has company with the cheeky blue jay and the blackbird, among others.
Among the reptiles there are snakes, lizards, salamanders, some species of frogs and also turtles.
You can find mixed forests in which mainly oak, hickory and pine grow. In summer you can find many meadow flowers on the large grassy areas, which make a colorful sight. Ferns, mosses and mushrooms can also be found here. Many trees are covered with lichen, as there is high humidity here due to the large amount of water.