The Mountain State is known for its splendid scenery full of natural landmarks like the Appalachian Mountains. This rugged range passes through the state offering year-round recreation, including natural springs. The town of Berkley Springs in the northeast corner is home to natural hot springs for soaking.
Berkeley Springs State Park – Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
Home to the country’s first spa, Berkeley Springs State Park, Berkeley Springs has also been voted “Best Historic Small Town” numerous times. The local Berkley Springs State Park is famous for its warm springs, which stayed naturally heated to 74.3 degrees Fahrenheit. With world-class dining, a multitude of shopping opportunities, full-service spas, and countless places …
Berkeley Springs State Park – Berkeley Springs, West VirginiaRead More
List of Warm and Hot Springs in West Virginia
Nestled in the corner of the state by Maryland and Pennsylvania, the town of Berkley Springs showcases an authentic warm spring with a constant temperature of 74.3 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s located in Berkeley Springs State Park and has several bathhouses, where you can rent whirlpools heated to 102 degrees, and filled with mineral springs water.
Map of Warm and Hot Springs in West Virginia
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Guide to West Virginia’s Natural Hot Springs
West Virginia has some great options for anyone looking to bathe in the curative waters of hot springs. Here, you can visit one-of-a-kind spas, visit a town originally named Bath after its main attraction, and hike through hills chock full of both history and sulfur water.
Choose whether you want to relax indoors or feel the bracing but refreshing breeze while bathing outdoors. Keep in mind that West Virginia is a snow state in the winter, averaging between forty and fifty inches of snow during the coldest months.
At The Greenbriar, a resort and spa in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, spa-goers can book a hydrotherapy session that involves the mineral water travelers have been flocking to for a quarter of a millennium. This small, sleepy town is south of Frankfort and, if you’re feeling like a little extra extravagance, you can buy the fruit and cream bath in which fresh fruit and coconut milk are added to the spring water.
Capon Springs and Farms is another luxury bathing experience. Located in High View, West Virginia, the indoor mineral bath consists of a tiled pool that is filled with steamy spring water and then drained after each individual bather. The resort prides itself on being close to DC in location but miles away in feel. Like so many others, Capon Springs and Farms started as a place to “take the waters” in the 19th century and has remained dedicated to therapeutic bathing ever since.
Most of us think of state parks as places to hike, bike, and fish. While those activities are possible at Berkeley Springs State Park in West Virginia, the real draw is the Roman Bathhouse where the hot spring water is piped in. Because the healing soaks were the staple activity for the area, the town was originally called Bath, like its resort-town sister in England. George Washington famously visited the site regularly to ease his many aches and pains.
Berkeley Springs State Park also has outdoor hot springs features, like Lord Fairfax’s Spring. The story goes that when Fairfax built a wooden structure around this swimming hole, he became the first bathhouse owner in the United States. While the bathhouse doesn’t survive today, this hot spring well is still open to bathers.
Historic Natural Springs
Lost River State Park is located in Mathias, West Virginia. You can be forgiven if you’ve never heard of it, as the town consists of less than 1,300 people. The closest population hub is Harrisonburg, which lies south of Lost River State Park. The park is sectioned by several tributaries of the Lost River.
Across one of the smaller creeks lies the Lee Sulphur Spring, also known as Howard’s Lick, another popular bathing spot for 19th-century patients seeking better wellness. There are no walls around the structure, just a roof and fence and historical marker. While you cannot longer bath there, the stone bath still stands, and there is a tap to fill up mineral water with a sulfur scent and take home.
Sweet Springs Sanitarium gets an honorable mention, although it is currently not open to swimmers. The pool there in Gap Mills, WV, which once was the center of a busy resort, is known as ‘Old Sweet.’ It stays a comfortable 73 degrees no matter what the weather is like.
From the early 1940s, the resort was used as a sanitorium and final resting place for many of the tuberculosis patients that passed through its doors. Though you cannot bathe at Sweet Springs today, you can visit during either a Heritage Tour or a Paranormal Tour.
The Mountain State
With the Appalachian Mountains cross through the whole state, it’s easier to find adventure here. And for a state east of the Mississippi it has a plenty of options for those seeking a restorative dip.
First and foremost, Berkeley Springs State Park is a must-see. Spas like those at The Greenbriar and Capon Springs and Farms cater to those seeking a truly first-class experience. And for those more interested in the history and legacy of hot springs healing, there’s the chance to take part in a thrilling tour of Sweet Springs Sanitarium.