"Fordyce Visitor Center" Top 5 Page for this destination Hot Springs Things to Do Tip by Small_World

Hot Springs Things to Do: 50 reviews and 111 photos

  Fordyce Bathhouse Visitor's Center, interior
by Small_World

I remember my friends going to Hot Springs to be pampered by the baths and massages, even in recent years, so I was surprised to see that most of the bathhouses are not in operation anymore. I haven't figured out what's going on yet, or why they've covered up the springs with concrete boxes. Seems strange that something that was so popular at one time has virtually disappeared.

Almost all the bathhouses are vacant now awaiting rennovation (except for the one still in operation), and the only one besides the Buckstaff that you can actually enter is the Fordyce Visitor Center, an opulent Spanish Renaissance Revival bathhouse built in 1915 and opened as a visitor's center in 1989.

The geology of the springs fascinates me. Arkansas doesn't have any underlying magma near the surface, like the springs in Yellowstone Park, but I do know there's the New Madrid fault that runs through Arkansas. So this is what I've gleaned from reading about it: The hot springs in this area come from a couple of types of rock that through the process of uplift have been slanted into a vertical position, resulting in rainwater flowing through the cracks and being heated deep in the earth. Ultimately the water resurfaces, at 143 degrees F., in the area of Hot Springs called Bathhouse Row, where people have traveled from all over for many years to benefit from the springs' healing powers (in a luxurious atmosphere).

Address: Central Avenue
Directions: Downtown Hot Springs

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jun 18, 2006
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