Saratoga Spa State Park

The state of New York does it again. Like Niagara Falls State Park, the state restored the Saratoga Springs area from an industrial wasteland back to a more natural state: Saratoga Spa State Park. I enjoyed the day hiking around and visiting 9 0f the 13 springs in the park. I tasted the waters at each of the springs, and they were not my favorite. The water was very salty – all different sorts of salty based on the depths of the springs. I did like the bubbles, and I rinsed my hands and arms in the water and my skin was soft afterwards. I found a few “art in the park” pieces. Tomorrow I am going to indulge myself in a mineral bath and massage at the Roosevelt Baths & Spa.

During the 14th century the Iroquois were initially attracted to the area for its hunting. The high salt content in the waters attracted animals to the site. They guarded the springs with secrecy. It was their belief that the springs had special healing powers and that the spring were a gift from the great spirit. Eventually the Iroquois introduced the early settlers to the springs as a cure for ailments. By the mid 1800s bathing in the mineral waters had become a popular treatment and several bathhouses came into operations. Saratoga had become the seasonal “watering hole” for the rich and famous. By 1880, private industry also discover also discovered a use for the springs. Over 200 mineral water wells were in operation, may used for the extraction of carbon dioxide gas, Inevitably, this process became abused by 1908 and the state of New York stepped in and passed the anti-pumping legislation, followed by the formation of a state reservation to protect the mineral waters.

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