Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas–a Discovery with Ranger Miguel Marquez

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Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas is just an hour from the Capital City of Little Rock, but it’s light years away. Native American Indians were here first, but by the 1830s, western migration had brought settlers and attendant out of control development of healing hot spring hotels.
The Federal Government, cognizant of the propensity for despoliation, sought to preserve the area’s unique natural allures through an act of congress in 1832 with a formal designation as the Hot Springs Reservation recreation area.
By the 1880s professional baseball leagues from around America started coming to Hot Springs, creating the country’s first Spring Training destination, long before the popularity of Florida and Arizona training camps. Spring baseball training continued on Hot Springs right up through the mid-1940s. Hot Springs was designated a National Park in 192.
But that didn’t stop mobsters such as Al Capone and bank robbers such as Bonnie & Clyde, and the Barker Gang from coming to town to savor the thermal healing spa resorts, and the gambling joints and the brothels just across the street from the National Park’s border. Hot Springs is also Bill Clinton’s hometown, and he frequently returns for visits. Join Correspondent, Tom Wilmer at Hot Springs National Park for a conversation with, Park Ranger, Miguel Marquez.

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Mountain top vista at Hot Springs National Park
NPS Ranger points out the panoramic view from the mountain top at Hot Springs National Park. Photo Credit; Tom Wilmer
NPS Ranger Miguel Marquez, Hot Springs National Park
National park Ranger Miguel marquez on duty at Hot Springs National Park , Arkansas. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer
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A forest of trees is inches away from downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas, Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer
Observation Tower Hot Springs NPS
Observation Tower at Hot Springs National Park. Photo Credit:Tom Wilmer
hiking in Hot Springs National Park
Hikes from easy to challenging are available at Hot Springs National Park, Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer
Panorma from atop NPS mountain top
Panormac overlook serveys historic downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer
Hot Springs NPS vista
Hot Springs mountain top vista. Photo Credit; Tom Wilmer
Hot Springs NPS vista
View from observation tower at Hot Springs National Park. Photo Credit; Tom Wilmer
One of eight remaining historic hot springs spas
One of the restored, historic bathhouses lining main street. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer
Stain glass ceilings add an elegant note to the interiors of the stately old bathhouses
Within the bathhouses are elegant stained glass ceilings and walls to add a touch of elegance, Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer
Stain glass art at Hot Springs bathhouse
Stain glass on the walls of the bathhouses in Hot Springs Arkansas. Photo Credit Tom Wilmer
Bathhouse Row with grand dame Arlington hotel in distance
View down bathhouse row with the iconic Arlington Hotel at the end of the line. The Arlington remains as Arkansas’s largest hotel even though it was completed in the mid 1920s Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer