List of Mineral Hot Springs in Pennsylvania
Map of Mineral Hot Springs in Pennsylvania
Guide to Pennsylvania’s Natural Hot Springs
Known for its popular chocolate factory and being the home of the Liberty Bell, Pennsylvania also has a few luxury hot springs spots where those seeking a soothing mineral bath are specifically catered to. The “Keystone State” actually has a long history of being a destination for those looking to “take the waters”.
Two hot springs resorts continue this therapeutic bathing tradition, and it’s those two active resorts we’ll focus on first: River Mountain and Omni Bedford Springs Resort.
River Mountain is located in Everett, PA, and is a convenient two-hour drive from Washington, DC. There are many options for overnights at the property including a room in the main lodge, private cabins that can accommodate up to twelve people, yurts aimed at those who glamp, and a ‘tents in the trees’ option for those ready to truly commune with nature.
All of these options have easy access to the cedar soaking tubs that are filled with water from the springs scattered throughout the 150-acre campus.
At Omni Bedford Springs Resort guests are wrapped in luxury while completing the ‘Bedford Bath Ritual’. This process starts with what’s called a mineral deluge shower, continues with a soak in the hot mineral pool, and culminates with a hydrating mist.
The resort touts its long history with mineral bathing, explaining on its website that the springs were in use before the continent was discovered by Europeans when Native populations sought healing while soaking. Later on, this hotel would feature one of North America’s first indoor pools.
History of Geothermal Bathing in PA
At the end of the 1700s, an entrepreneur named Edward McGinnis built a resort that took much of its design from steamboats. At this resort, called Frankfort Springs Mineral Resort, cosmopolitan people of the time would flock to “take the waters” and be fed healing fare. The resort stayed in operation until WWII when it pivoted to serve only as a restaurant.
In 1932, the resort/eatery burned in a fire and was never repaired. The old hotel grounds and ruins are now part of Raccoon Creek State Park. Visitors hike in the park, muse over the historical site, and still wade in the cool waters of the springs at Frankfort Mineral Springs Falls. The falls aren’t soaring or powerful, but the grotto they fall over has earned the nickname “Naiads Well”.
Another former hotspot for hot springs tourism was Cambridge Springs in the northwest corner of the state. Here 40 hotels stood to accommodate the 80,000 yearly visitors that flocked to the springs. Magnesia Springs was just one of the spring houses that offered therapeutic bathing to those needing to recuperate or looking for miracle cures.
A local doctor also bottled the spring water from Cambridge Springs and sold it as a health supplement. The last remaining spring house, Riverside: The Inn at Cambridge Springs, burned down in 2017.
Both the Omni Resort and River Mountain serve up beautiful views and the ultimate relaxation that is a soak in mineral water from a natural spring. Each of these campuses is close to urban centers, making it easy to experience both nature and culture in one trip.
Pennsylvania is also chock full of springs that, while not heated beneath the earth, are still marvels. One such spring is Children’s Lake, a manmade feature that collects and holds water from 30 different local springs.
Learn more about what makes Pennsylvania famous on our sister site, La Vida Nomad.