How many can say you’ve soaked in naturally made, mineral-enriched thermal springs that are consistently heated by the Earth’s core? Soon this could be you! Since the middle of the eighteenth century, the state of Virginia has become the place to visit to experience the benefits and joys found in thermal springs.
Of course, you can find naturally heated springs all over the world. Still, when it comes to Virginia, it’s home to geothermal springs ranging from lukewarm temperatures to an alarming one hundred degrees Fahrenheit! So come explore with me, and let’s find the top hot springs in Virginia that need to make their way to your traveling bucket list!
What’s a Thermal Hot Spring?
Geothermal springs, or thermal springs, are natural wonders! Naturally heated springs are the product of large pools of water whose water creates temperatures higher than the commonly expected spring temperatures. These springs use geothermal heating, which is heat radiating from the Earth’s interior, to reach their cozy heated temperatures.
These naturally heated thermal springs will heat up anywhere from lukewarm temperatures to scorching hot Farheinheits. The temperatures are decided depending on the rising heat levels developed in the Earth’s core or magma heated from an unerupted volcano.
During your visit to hot springs in Virginia, please be aware that some of these geothermal springs will reach extreme temperatures entirely too hot to enjoy!
How Are These Hidden Gems Formed?
It all begins with rainwater for these naturally heated pools of water! Then, the thermal temperatures of the Earth’s core begin to quickly and naturally rise and circulate through faults of hot rock deep in the Earth.
Thermal springs are said to range in temperatures from lukewarm to what we recognize as humanly comfortable such as bath water temperatures, finally up to one hundred degrees Fahrenheit or higher!
Exploring the Legends of Hot Springs in Virginia
Sometimes it all boils down to history. Legends speak of the Allegheny Mountains as the leading creator of these naturally heated pools. In the 1600s, Native Americans discovered these first two main springs while they journeyed across the water to private meeting grounds. One of the traveling Native Americans accidentally fell into the waters and not only found the springs to have great warmth but also felt how this type of water heals and comforts your skin.
Looking back in the mid-eighteenth century, the first visits to these springs happened, and the rest is history! I will focus on the thermal springs with the highest temperatures, but it’s important to note that there are even more hot springs in Virginia to explore! In addition, each of these springs ranges in temperature, so what’s comforting to one person may not necessarily be comfortable to another.
11 Hot Springs In Virginia You Need To Check Out
Are you ready to explore some natural hot, thermal, and warm springs? Grab your travel journal and a cup of coffee, and let’s get started!
Major Thermal Springs in Virginia
1. Alum Springs
First, let’s talk about Alum Springs! This thermal spring lies in the city of Fredericksburg within Allum Springs Park. Alum Springs is labeled as one of the major thermal hot springs in Virginia. You’ll find it averages at a consistent temperature of about seventy-two degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’d like to stay nearby this thermal spring, I highly recommend checking out Alum Spring Park. It’s a great place to find shade, camp out, grill, and spend time with your family while visiting this hot spring.
2. Bolar Spring
Warm Springs, Virginia
Another one of the major thermal hot springs in Virginia is Bolar Springs. Bolar Springs is located in the city of Warm Springs, Virginia. Bolar Spring is also a much larger spring that maintains an average temperature of seventy-three degrees Fahrenheit.
You can come and stay at Bolar Mountain Recreational Area and take in the gorgeous views and fantastic camping locations. Also, make sure to check out its featured blue waters; they are absolutely breathtaking!
3. Bragg Spring
Raleigh County, West Virginia
Sometimes thermal springs only heat to lukewarm temperatures. For example, there’s another major thermal spring called Bragg Spring that’s located in Raleigh County found in the region of Charlottesville in western Virginia.
Bragg Spring is a naturally heated body of water that will, on average, remain at only seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit. It depends where you stand and how much heat underneath the ground has trickled through the surface. It’s also important to note that the local Bragg Family previously renamed this location.
Naturally Heated Hot Springs in Virginia
4. Falling Spring
Come and enjoy the beauty found in this natural thermal spring. Falling Spring is a hands down, stunning eighty-foot tall natural waterfall. You will find this gorgeous spring located at Alleghany Highlands in Alleghany County.
This naturally heated waterfall maintains temperatures at or around a consistent seventy-seven degrees Fahrenheit. In the past, Thomas Jefferson described Falling Springs Falls to be “remarkable.” This thermal spring continues to make history as it’s also the largest waterfall in the whole state of Virginia.
5. New River White Sulphur Springs
Appalachian Mountains, West Virginia
You will find The New River White Sulphur Springs is located in West Virginia among the famous Appalachian Mountains. This natural thermal spring keeps a comfortable and consistent temperature of eighty-five degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year.
New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is a national park that works hard to protect and maintain this historic natural spring. The surrounding New River Gorge Bridge is also a beautiful site. Gorge Bridge is an iconic arched bridge in the city of Victor. You will see this bridge was constructed using steel materials and labeled as one of the highest and longest bridges in the world!
Popular Warm and Hot Springs in Virginia
6. Warm Springs
Warm Springs, Virginia- Bath County
The area of Warm Springs is one of the more well-known and popular areas to visit thermal hot springs in Virginia. If you go and visit Bath County and Rockingham County, you’ll find branches of the main springs that started it all, specifically Jefferson Pools.
These thermal and healing water springs can reach high temperatures of around ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit. Since the typical heated bath water temperatures we are the most use to fall between ninety-five to ninety-eight degrees, these springs will make you feel warm and cozy!
7. Berkeley Springs
Berkeley, West Virginia
Other than the excitement of naturally heated waters that sometimes resemble a hot tub are the healing powers found in soaking up the benefits found in mineral waters. This warm spring’s water will run at a constant temperature of just over seventy-four degrees.
You will find Berkeley Springs State Park, which is a beautiful state park located at the very center of the historical Berkeley Spring. This state park features a spa you can visit that’s been around since the colonial years. Old Roman and Main bathhouses are available for spa service, saunas, massages, mineral baths, and showers.
8. Blowing Springs
Blowing Springs, Virginia
You have to talk about the spa-themed natural waters when discussing unique hot springs in Virginia, such as Blowing Springs. Blowing Springs is a must-see natural spring located near Jefferson Pools near the famous Omni Homestead Resort.
Natural springs are the product of underground waters that flow freely to the surface. You can expect these springs to create natural heat from within the Earth’s core while not using the assistance of outside temperatures. As you stand in these springs, you’ll feel the glorious and comforting warmth radiating from below.
9. Healing Springs (Rubino Healing, Sweet Alum)
Warm Springs, Virginia
This fantastic natural hot tub, Healing Springs, also goes by the name of Rubino Healing as well as Sweet Alum. Healing Springs is a great place to experience natural healing waters. You’ll love the soothing and relaxing feel of the maintained eighty-six degrees Fahrenheit throughout the entire year.
Healing Springs is historic and very rustic. I highly recommend enjoying the spring for soaking, never swimming. You’ll be truly amazed at how soft your skin will feel after your soak. If you want to soak in your “birthday suit,” they have quarters sectioned off for men and women.
10. Shenandoah Hot Springs
Come and soak in the healing waters at Shenandoah Hot Springs. Interestingly enough, when you visit, you’ll find that Shenandoah has now grown into a public water park. In addition, Shenandoah will maintain its own temperature and stays constant at seventy to seventy-two degrees Fahrenheit.
The outdoor portions of this natural hot tub are open to the public when the weather itself is at seventy degrees or higher. If you visit during a time when these temperatures are below the limit, Shenandoah is still available for your viewing pleasure, but you’ll have to save soaking and swimming for another time. The rest of the time, you can enjoy the indoor portions of Shenandoah.
If you’d like, I also recommend exploring the Shenandoah National Park nestled against the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s a place to stay while you’re visiting, and it comes with beautiful sights and camping locations.
11. Hot Springs
Hot Springs, Virginia
I think the perfect way to end this list of thermal and hot springs in Virginia is to talk about the most prominent location. The great city of Hot Springs is where all the action seems to stem from or be most prevalent when it comes to exploring hot springs in Virginia. Not only is Hot Springs the name of the town, but it’s also home to the primary and well-known hot springs and thermal springs you can come to enjoy and visit.
These hot springs in Virginia date way back to Native Americans. Scientists have found that reaching about five thousand years ago. Legend has said that Native Americans were among the first people to discover the feel, benefits, and soothing effects of these healing mineral waters.
Beware of the Hot Springs in Virginia’s High Temperatures!
So now that you know where to go to visit the best hot springs in Virginia, here are some tips and benefits. However, before dipping in any of the hot springs in Virginia, beware, as these thermal springs can maintain temperatures in the nineties all the way up to over a hundred degrees Fahrenheit; now that’s hot!
Since typical bath water temperatures ideally should only reach a few degrees above body temperature, when these springs rise to the upper nineties in temperature, it can be extremely harmful to the human body and, in some cases, fatal!
Why Are They Called Healing Waters?
You may now wonder why these bodies of water, thermal, warm, and hot springs in Virginia, claim to have healing powers. There are two big reasons. Think of these springs as a giant liquid hot pad!
Rich In Healthy Minerals
Thermal and hot springs are loaded with a rich source of sulfur and are perfect for treating things such as skin irritations and even infections. Thermal and hot springs are also great if you suffer from rashes such as eczema or experience dry skin.
In addition, if you suffer from issues such as a dry scalp, arthritis, digestive problems, and menopause, these hot springs in Virginia will provide you with soothing, mild levels of relief!
The Benefits of Soaking
Soaking in geothermal water has been proven to relieve muscle and back aches, improve your mood, and cause natural sweating that allows the body to release toxins.
Another name for this naturally claimed treatment is the practice of balneotherapy or hydrotherapy. Balentherapy focuses on helping treat arthritis and skin disorders, while hydrotherapy is used primarily for muscle and joint aches and other types of body pain.
Don’t forget it can also simply just be a form of relaxation! You don’t necessarily need a medical condition to enjoy these hot springs in Virginia. For example, have you ever soaked in a hot tub on vacation or at home after a long day of work? These natural hot tubs will give you the same “ahh” feeling while maintaining their temperatures!
Money and Energy Savers!
The best part about these hot springs in Virginia is the fact that they will maintain their temperature at all times and sometimes in all seasons!
Thank’s to the Earth’s core, you can simply come and enjoy these springs and never have to worry about an expensive electrical bill or a “grin and bare it” jump into freezing bodies of water. Even at lukewarm temperatures, these springs are pleasant to soak in and sometimes swim within.
It’s Clear You’ll Need To Check Out These Hot Springs in Virginia
After exploring this list of fantastic thermal hot springs in Virginia, I hope you’ve added some of these unique locations to your travel list! You’ll genuinely enjoy soaking and relaxing in these amazingly heated natural bodies of water and will never need to worry about freezing, cold water!
If you love these, I encourage you to check out more great posts about the other natural hot and thermal springs spread across America. As always, thanks for stopping by Beyond The Tent! We wish you many exciting adventures!