Saratoga Spa State Park

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Saratoga Spa State Park
Saratoga State Park Hall of Springs 01Aug2008.jpg
The Hall of Springs, 2008
Saratoga Spa State Park is located in New York
Saratoga Spa State Park
Location Saratoga Springs, New York
Coordinates 43°3′4″N 73°48′14″W / 43.05111°N 73.80389°W / 43.05111; -73.80389Coordinates: 43°3′4″N 73°48′14″W / 43.05111°N 73.80389°W / 43.05111; -73.80389
Built 1835
Architect Multiple
Architectural style Colonial Revival, Beaux Arts, Other
Governing body State
NRHP Reference # 85002357
Significant dates
Added to NRHP September 12, 1985[1]
Designated NHL February 27, 1987[2]
Towering trees line the Avenue of the Pines in Saratoga Spa State Park.

Saratoga Spa State Park is a state park located in Saratoga County, New York in the USA. The park is in the City of Saratoga Springs, near US 9 and NY 50.


The area, part of which became the park, drew interest from Mohawk and Iroquois Native American tribes for its hunting and mineral springs. The Native American name for the area was "Kayaderosseras." The first recorded use of the springs was by Sir William Johnson during the French and Indian War; brought to Saratoga to recover from wounds.

The Saratoga Springs area has the only active spouting geysers east of the Mississippi River in the United States. The mineral springs for which the area is famous arise from fissures in the Saratoga Fault, which runs 65 miles (105 km) from Whitehall to Albany. The carbonated water which vents in springs and geysers is rich in minerals and salts.

Two of the most visited springs today are Island Spouter and Orenda Spring, along Geyser Creek. Island Spouter, which sends a narrow plume of water 10–15 feet (3–5 meters) into the air, first emerged in the early 1900s. Since that time, it has deposited minerals which grow a tufa deposit at the rate of two inches per year. Orenda Spring has created a massive tufa dome, which continues to fossilize leaves and other debris as it grows.

In the nineteenth century, the area became much visited for its purported medicinal effects. Entrepreneurs dug wells and bottled the mineral water for sale and gas companies sold the carbonation to soda fountains, reported Spa Park employee Ed Murphy.[3] In 1907, the stage was set to protect the springs in a lawsuit Frank Hathorn vs Dr Strong's Sanitarium, which proved that pumping on one well decreased the flow of water in wells across the city.[citation needed] The court certified the relationship between wells and when Dr Strong stopped pumping the flow of water in Mr Hathorn's well resumed its natural flow. In 1908, as the springs were being depleted, the New York Assembly passed an injunction against pumping water. The injunction was ignored; in 1909, governor Charles Evans Hughes signed into law a bill which made the springs of Saratoga a state Reservation. In the 1930s Reconstruction Finance Corporation funds were used to develop bath houses. research facilities and a drink hall. The Saratoga Reservation was designed with graded walkways intended to help rehabilitate those with heart conditions. After World War 2 veterans were welcomed as part of their readjustment and Holocaust survivors began using the baths[citation needed] as part of their healing process. The Spa was named a State Park in 1962. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.[2][4][5]

The park hosts numerous theater and other events. The Saratoga Performing Arts Center, located on the State Park grounds, has been the summer home of the Philadelphia Orchestra and New York City Ballet since 1966. Jazz and dance are featured at SPAC. The SPAC Amphitheater itself is 110 feet (34 m) high, sits in a natural, curved bowl that is bordered by large pine trees and a large lawn space, but is afflicted by the roar of nearby Geyser Creek, which creates serious acoustical problems. Inside the amphitheater is seating for 5100, the lawn can easily hold an additional 20,000 people. The park is also home to the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame, the Saratoga Automobile Museum, the Lincoln Mineral Baths and Spa, and the Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa.

The park offers picnic tables and pavilions, a pool, a playground, recreation programs, a nature trail, hiking and biking, fishing, tennis, golf, cross-country skiing and a museum and performance theater.

On March 19, 2007, it was confirmed by state officials that the reportedly "pure" mineral water used in the public baths at the state park is actually mixed with tap water from a nearby source. Admission to the baths at the park is $20.

Springs in operation[edit]






State Seal


Lincoln (Baths)


Spa Park is very versatile in terms of recreational opportunities. Some areas require small admission fees.

Peerless Pool - A complex of three pools. Contains a Kiddie pool, water slides and a Zero Depth entry Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Victoria Pool - A smaller pool with covered arcades surrounding. Set near the Golf course this pool was built when the original park buildings were constructed. Historically the bath house was on the north end while the golf house was on the south end. Today there is a restaurant in the former golf house.

SPAC Amphitheater - home to the Philadelphia Orchestra, NYC Ballet and site of numerous pop, rock rap and country and western concerts. SPAC can hold approximately 25,000 patrons.

Spa Little Theater - A theater that has many plays throughout the year although most tend to be in the summer and spring. On the north side of the park office.

Tennis Courts

Golf Courses - 2 Golf courses. A par 29 and "Executive" Golf Course. Designed to give a cardiac workout.

Picnic Areas - Eight picnic pavilions. The prices vary. Some areas have horse shoe pits, Softball fields and volleyball nets, some areas equipped with electricity and all are convenient to restrooms. Picnic tables and grills in Geyser Loop area.

Geyser Creek - fishing

Hiking Trails

Winter ice Skating and Snowshoeing


Museum of Dance and Auto Museum

Many interpretive programs throughout the year.

Host the annual New York State Section 2 Cross Country Championships.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b "Saratoga Spa State Park". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-19. 
  3. ^ Murphy, Ed (1977). "The Politics of Hydrotherapy, and the Development of a New York State Policy". available through the Saratoga Springs Public Library's Saratoga Room. a collection of local histories 
  4. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination" (PDF). National Park Service. July 1985. 
  5. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination" (PDF). National Park Service. July 1985. 

External links[edit]