Hot Springs National Park

Travel Guide North America USA Southern United States Arkansas Hot Springs National Park

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Introduction

Hot Springs National Park is a United States National Park in central Garland County, Arkansas, adjacent to the city of Hot Springs, the county seat. Hot Springs Reservation was initially created by an act of the United States Congress on April 20, 1832 to be preserved for future recreation. Established before the concept of a national park existed, it was the first time that a piece of land had been set aside by the federal government to preserve its use as an area for recreation. It is the smallest national park by area in the United States. Since Hot Springs National Park is the oldest park maintained by the National Park Service, it was rightfully the first to receive its own US quarter in April 2010 as part of the America the Beautiful Quarters coin series.

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Geography

The area is primarily forest. The northern slopes of the ridges and basins provide a suitable habitat for deciduous forest dominated by oak and hickory. Pines predominate on the south sides of the ridges. There are 93 ha of unlogged pine and oak forests on North and Hot Springs Mountains, and 36 ha on Sugarloaf Mountain. These old-growth forests contain shortleaf pine, blackjack oak, and white oak; many of the trees over 130 years old, and a few over 200 years old.

Plains bison, eastern elk, North American cougar and red wolf left the region after European settlement. Present day fauna include white tail deer, turkey, squirrel, rabbit, Virginia opossum, gray fox, coyote, skunk, raccoon, gopher, long-tailed weasel, American mink, rat, chipmunk, frog, and nine-banded armadillo. Some migratory birds following the Mississippi Flyway spend part of the year in the vicinity.

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Cost

The $10 per day fee for camping is the only fee.

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Getting There and Around

From Interstate 30 take the Hot Springs US 70 West exit south of Benton, the Hot Springs US 270 West exit at Malvern, or the Hot Springs Ark. 7 North exit near Arkadelphia.
If traveling south on Ark. 7, come through downtown Hot Springs where the visitor center is located.
If traveling south on US 71 from Fort Smith, or north on US 71 from Texarkana, take the US 270 East exit and take 270B through town.
Coming from Oklahoma on US 70 go all the way into Hot Springs. When you get into the city you will see signs for the National Park.

Personal vehicles or bicycles can be used on the roads. The City of Hot Springs runs a trolley to the tower on Hot Springs Mountain from May to October. Vehicles more than 30 feet long are prohibited on Hot Springs Mountain because the road has hairpin curves.

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Eat/Drink

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Accommodation in Hot Springs National Park

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This is version 1. Last edited at 7:52 on Apr 22, 16 by Utrecht. 5 articles link to this page.

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