Dresden Files: Hot Springs
From hot mineral baths to a renowned film festival, America’s “first resort” is steaming.
Nestled in the Diamond Lakes region of the Ouachita Mountains, Hot Springs inherited a natural destiny of sorts as a peaceful spa town due to the wealth of healing mineral springs in the area. Legend has it that the water’s allure was so powerful that hostile Native American tribes would put down their weapons to enjoy a hot soak in the valley. Millions followed after Congress, in 1832, set aside land—about 2,500 of the current 5,500 acres—to create the Hot Springs National Park, the first in the nation’s history, with forty-seven hot springs feeding the historic bathhouses with 147-degree thermal waters.
Today, rumor has it that one of those springs may be the legendary fountain of youth. With many springs unused or undiscovered, and many springs existing underground, the location and the validity of the rumor is anyone’s guess.