Hot Springs National Park, 5,549 acres (2,247 hectares), W central Ark.; est. 1921; nearly surrounded by the city of Hot Springs. Visited by Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto in 1541, the springs, long used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes, became a Federal Reservation in 1832. More than a million gallons of water a day, with an average temperature of 143°F (62°C), flow from 47 springs. The National Park Service collects, cools, and supplies water to bathhouses in and out of the park. See National Parks and Monuments (table).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.