There are upwards of 60 natural springs within Eureka Springs’ city limits, many tucked away in small caves, nooks, and crannies. As its name may suggest, springs have played a large part in the history of Eureka Springs. Its growth in the late 19th century in large part derives from its popularity as a spa and resort town, thanks to its springs that were believed to have healing properties. Many have been preserved and have parks or gardens around them. Below are some of the most popular (and readily accessible) natural springs in Eureka Springs.
Discover Eureka Springs’ Natural Springs
Considering their influence upon the city’s past, a visit to Eureka Springs is not quite complete without a visit to one of its many springs. Its one of the best free things to do in Eureka Springs! With the intimate, hushed parks that surround many of the springs, it’s also one of the most romantic things to do. For a route that takes you by many of the more significant springs, walk the Eureka Springs’ Natural Springs Trail! It leads you along Spring Street in the heart of downtown Eureka Springs, so you’ll get to explore the city as you go.
Originally known as the Indians’ Healing Spring, you’ll find this spring in a park named after it in downtown Eureka Springs. In fact, it’s off of Spring Street, as are many other major springs. Of the springs in the city, Basin Spring is likely the most famous. It is the spring that was primarily considered by Native Americans to have healing properties and was the spring that initially attracted Europeans to the area. So, in a sense, Eureka Springs owes its existence to Basin Spring.
Today, you can visit Basin Spring at Basin Spring Park. The park is in the center of downtown Eureka Springs and is a wonderful place to rest awhile. You can often catch a musical performance, as people often play live music in the historic bandshell.
The Blue Spring Heritage Center protects a breathtakingly gorgeous coldwater spring. The Heritage Center claims that the spring pours 38 million gallons of water into the sparkling blue lagoon each day. Spend some time admiring the clear aquamarine waters, and then meander along the nature trails that wind through the Blue Spring Heritage Center.
There’s also a small bluff shelter onsite, thought to be used by Native Americans for thousands of years in their visits to the sacred spring. In fact, Blue Spring was used by Osage Native Americans as a trading post.
You’ll find this spring next to the Eureka Springs Historical Museum. You’ll also find one of only a few remaining stone structures in town originally built to purify water (unfortunately, they didn’t work, which is why few remain).
Crescent Spring is within Crescent Spring Park, and in its heyday was almost as popular for its healing waters as Basin Spring. It is named after a nearby crescent-shaped rock outcropping (which also gave the Crescent Hotel its name).
The entrance to this somewhat hidden spring is flanked by beautiful, lush trees, bushes, and flowers. Follow the stone steps down into the small cavern, passing the inscription “Esto Perpetua” in stone as you go.
Protected since 1886, Harding Spring was the site of one of Eureka Springs’ most famous healings, where a blind woman’s sight was purportedly restored after using the waters from the spring. Today, a lovely garden and small park surround the spring.
Another of the better-known springs in Eureka Springs, you’ll find Magnetic Spring off Magnetic Road. There is a large pavilion with picnic tables, making it a good place to relax for a while and enjoy the natural surroundings, perhaps even with a picnic. It is anecdotally rumored to magnetize any metal that is immersed in its waters.
Sweet Spring is perhaps one of the most visually striking springs in town. You’ll find Sweet Spring off of Spring Street across from the Eureka Springs Post Office. Stone and greenery combine to create charming surroundings, and a small spiral staircase leads down into the spring’s basin.
If you are looking for other unusual things to do in Eureka Springs, you won’t be disappointed. There are many curiosities nearby—it all depends on what you want to do! If you are interested in more natural phenomena, explore some of the mysterious caves. Do you enjoy architecture? Be sure to stop by the glass chapel and Quigley’s Castle.
Stay in a Tranquil Haven
Return from a day exploring the iconic natural springs of Eureka Springs to a beautiful cottage nestled in the forest. Beaver Lake Cottages overlook the blue expanse of Beaver Lake and the Ozark landscapes that surround it. Every single cottage has a view of the lake, a plush king-sized bed, and a luxurious Jacuzzi for two. The unique architecture of our cottages allow for stunning views; glass fronts and gables let in the surrounding panorama so you can enjoy it from the comfort of the cottage.
Take a look at all of our accommodations, and book your dream vacation in a Beaver Lake Cottage today!