You may have heard about the seven hot springs in Mankato, Minnesota. Are there really seven hot springs in the southern Minnesota city, though? The answer might not be what you’re expecting.
We learned the truth about Minnesota hot springs, and it’s quite astounding! In this post, we’ll share with you everything we know about hot springs in Minnesota and how the discussion of these springs originated.
Keep reading to learn all about hot springs in Minnesota. Then read on to learn about stunning natural springs in Minnesota as well as impressive hot springs near Minnesota in neighboring states.
The Truth About Minnesota Hot Springs
“Mankato, Minnesota is truly a wonderland. Tucked into the Emerald Green Valley in Southern Minnesota, it is the hidden vacation Mecca of scores knowing Midwesterners,” reads the top Google result when you search Mankato Hot Springs.
The website goes on to claim that Mankato neighborhoods never drop below 70 degrees, and the earth’s crust heats the water in the city to well over 165 degrees. The website also claims, “At present, there are seven hot springs…”
Any Midwesterner may find this information suspicious, and they are correct to question it. Unfortunately, this is false information created by a professor in the 1990s to teach his students about credible internet sources.
Although the website has plenty of red flags indicating the information on it is fake, rumors still spread like wildfire about hot springs in Minnesota. People from all over the world have traveled to Mankato only to experience disappointment.
Tony Williams, a radio reporter for the KFAI radio station out of the Twin Cities, did a story on this rumor. The radio show includes an interview with the creator of the website.
While we wish there were hot springs in Minnesota, sadly, there are none. The good news is, though, there is no shortage of natural springs in Minnesota. In fact, there are so many that the Minnesota of Natural Resources developed an interactive map dedicated to them.
Why should you check out Minnesota’s natural springs? Natural springs, like hot springs, have long been used as healing waters. They’re often sites of historical significance, and many Minnesota natural springs are sources of the freshest drinking water in the state.
We’ll share with you six of the best natural springs in Minnesota.
Amazing Natural Springs in Minnesota
1. Boiling Springs
Located in Savage, Minnesota, Boiling Springs is the closest natural spring you will find to a hot spring in Minnesota. However, it is not a thermal spring of any kind.
Water escapes through a bedrock and is blocked by the overlaying sand. Then pressure builds up so the water creates an illusion of water boiling to the surface as it releases in bursts.
The spring is also called Maka Yusota and is a sacred site admired by the Dakota people. The water never freezes and doesn’t drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of the warm water temperatures, the water boils even in the winter.
2. Coldwater Spring
Located in St. Paul, Minnesota, Coldwater Spring was restored in January 2010 and added to the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. This spring has an important history since it served as a crossroads for Native Americans and traders who used the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers.
United States soldiers camped at Coldwater Spring during the construction of Fort Snelling, which was completed in 1825. After, a small village was created to service trade occurring near the spring.
Coldwater Spring provided water for Fort Snelling at later Upper Post. Horse-drawn water wagons transferred the water, and then railcars would deliver water from this natural spring in Minnesota until the 1870s.
In 1880, the United States Army developed an official waterworks at Coldwater Spring. The Minnesota natural spring served as an army water source until the 190s, which is when the Army began relying on the City of St. Paul for its water.
The Coldwater Spring site became home to the Bureau of Mines Twin Cities Research Center, constructed in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The building was demolished in 2011.
Today, the area surrounding Coldwater Spring is a park featuring a crushed limestone trail where visitors can walk to Coldwater Spring. The park is a lovely place for photography and viewing wildlife.
3. The Drink
The Drink is a hidden gem also located in St. Paul. Although this is technically not a natural spring, it is a well with tapped natural spring water. It can be found under St. Paul’s Historic Schmidt Brewery.
This ancient water source features pure, ancient, glacial water. Water sourced from the aquifer goes as low as 1,100 feet under the surface. This water is more than 30,000 years old!
Vending machines dispense the glacial water 24 hours a day, all year long, so that you can taste the ancient natural spring water for yourself. The water is described as “cold, clean, and delicious”.
4. Dickinson Spring (NOW CLOSED – SEE PETITION TO REOPEN)
**** UPDATE ****
Unfortunately MNDOT has closed Dickinson Spring
Petition to reopen this spring can be found here.
Just off Highway 55 between Buffalo and Rockford, you can find Dickinson Spring. Although it contains natural spring water, the spot is technically a well. This well was named after the ghost town of Dickinson, Minnesota, which used to be a stop on the Soo Line Railroad.
This natural spring in Minnesota is a popular place for visitors. The water comes from deep underground and rises to the surface naturally without a pump. Many visitors swear this is the best-tasting spring water.
The artesian well was originally dug by a farmer named Thomas Dixon. It dried up during the 1934 drought and was rediscovered four years later when construction workers were building the highway. It has been a hydrating natural spring in Minnesota ever since.
The Minnesota Health Department regularly tests Dickinson Spring and has proclaimed it safe to drink. There is no charge to collect water from the spring, and it flows 365 days a year. Visitors can pack a car full of water jugs and fill them with as much Minnesota spring water as desired.
5. Fredrick-Miller Spring
Located in Eden Prairie on the edge of the Richard T. Anderson Conservation Area is Fredrick-Miller Spring. This natural spring in Minnesota flows with water all year from a spigot. Visitors can frequently be found with jugs in their hands.
The history of this natural spring in Minnesota dates back to 1890 when William Fredrick piped the water to the surface for its first use by the public. The spring looks not much different than it did over a century ago.
The City of Eden Prairie frequently tests Fredrick-Miller’s spring water and says it is safe to drink. The spring water does not have fluoride or other chemicals found in the city’s tap water. The water is described as “cool, crisp, and clean.”
6. Camden State Park
Camden State Park is home to a spring-fed swimming pool in the northern section of the park, near the picnic area. This natural spring in Minnesota is known for the water that flows through the pond and over the rocks to the Redwood River.
This is the perfect spot for new swimmers to enjoy shallow waters near a sandy beach.
Hot Springs Near Minnesota
Although there are no hot springs in Minnesota, there are hot springs near Minnesota. The most popular place to enjoy natural hot springs near Minnesota is South Dakota. Wisconsin is also home to several man-made hot springs near the Wisconsin Dells area.
Hot Springs in South Dakota
Depending on where you are in Minnesota, South Dakota is a short road trip. Check out these natural hot springs in South Dakota!
Cascade Springs and Cascade Falls
Cascade Springs and nearby Cascade Falls are located in the Black Hills National Forest of southwestern South Dakota, just 10 miles south of the town of Hot Springs.
Cascade Springs is classified as a warm spring rather than a hot spring since its temperature is a constant 67 degrees Fahrenheit. (The water temperature must be at least 95 degrees Fahrenheit to be considered a hot spring.)
Cascade Falls is the more popular destination and is a popular place to swim and picnic. Many call this area a natural waterpark because of the numerous small swimming holes and pools.
Evans Plunge Mineral Springs
Located in Hot Springs, South Dakota, Evans Plunge Mineral Springs is the world’s largest indoor waterpark that uses natural spring water. Although this is not a hot water spring, the natural mineral water stays consistently at 87 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.
The waterpark is filled with 5,000 gallons of water from mineral springs every hour, which refreshes the pool several times a day.
The waterpark is the oldest attraction in Black Hills National Forest and is currently operated by the City of Hot Springs.
Moccasin Springs Natural Mineral Spa
Located in Hot Springs, South Dakota, Moccasin Springs is a natural mineral spa located at the historic ruins of the Hot Springs Hotel. Moccasin Springs is named after its original moccasin-shaped pool that was carved from sandstone and used by indigenous people.
The resort is connected to the area’s Native American history. It has four hot springs pools for daily use and offers many traditional spa services such as massages, aromatherapy, and reflexology.
Stroppel Hotel & Mineral Baths
Located at the historic Stroppel Hotel in Midland, South Dakota, two hours from the Black Hills Forest, this hot spring southwest of Minnesota has deep waters to provide healing heat.
It all started in 1939 when John Stroppel dug a well of 1,780 under the ground and reached 119-degree mineral-rich water. The tradition continued, and the rustic hotel has invited generations of travelers and locals seeking the healing touch of natural mineral water.
Hot Springs in Wisconsin
While there are not any natural hot springs in Wisconsin, the Minnesota neighbor does offer several man-made hot springs near the Wisconsin Dells area. Wisconsin is also home to a number of natural springs.
Wrapping up Hot Springs in Minnesota
Hot springs are relaxing, healing, and stunningly beautiful–it’s no wonder why you’d want to visit one. Although we’re sad there are not any hot springs in Minnesota, we’re glad that you don’t have to drive too far to experience the tranquility of natural or man-made hot springs.
If you aren’t up for the road trip, you can enjoy fresh spring water at the natural springs in Minnesota we’ve shared on this list. If you’re in southeast Minnesota, you won’t have to look far.
Hopefully, we’ve answered all your questions about hot springs in Minnesota. Make sure to read our complete guide on natural hot springs to learn all about the best hot springs in the United States!
- About the Author
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Nicole Kinkade grew up in campgrounds in the Midwest with her family in their RV and has many fond memories around the campfire. She and her husband took many tent camping trips at the beginning of their relationship, and she looks forward to sharing the outdoors with her young son as he gets older.
She loves discovering new camping techniques and sharing them with the world. With a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Media Communication, she is a passionate writer who loves sharing her knowledge online.
Nicole can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org