Home to the countries first spa, Berkeley Springs State Park, Berkeley Springs has also been voted “Best Historic Small Town” numerous times. With world-class dining, a multitude of shopping opportunities, full-service spas, and countless places to stay the night, it’s no wonder this West Virginia town is so popular.
Situated within the West Virginia mountains, and located an hour and a half from Baltimore, Maryland, Berkeley Springs is a beautiful place to visit year-round. Once a prime location for Native Americans, these mineral-rich springs were “discovered” in 1747 by Thomas Jefferson’s father and named the “Medicine Springs” on the maps he created.
In 1748, George Washington visited the spa for the first time at age 16 and became a regular visitor. Twenty years later, with the help of family and friends, they bought and incorporated the nearby town of Bath, where Berkeley Springs is located, into a health resort.
In 1948, a new spring was found while excavating the grounds for an addition, bringing the total number of springs to 5 springs. Because of its long, fascinating history, the Berkeley Springs State Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also a site on the Washington Heritage Trail.
The Mineral Spring Baths
Flowing at a constant temperature of 74°F, the mineral spring water emerges from the Oriskany sandstone of Warm Springs Ridge. Containing a significant amount of minerals, the healing water is known to help with skin issues, digestive disorders, and a variety of other health ailments.
Praised for the stress-reducing effects that come from soaking in the waters, it has also been accredited with helping relieve gout, arthritis, epilepsy, and neurological issues.
The healing water flows at 750 to 2,000 gallons per minute. At this rate, the water is pristine, crystal clear, and mineral-rich. There are 9 individual bathing rooms within the bathhouse, holding a total of 750 gallons of natural spring water. The water is heated to 102°F to maximize soaking pleasure and increase the absorption of the healing minerals.
The spring water also serves as the source of the municipal water supply and flows from every tap in town. It is also bottled and sold commercially, spreading the healing mineral water far and wide.
Massage Services and the Museum
While visiting Berkeley Springs, you can take part in several extra services. Sauna use, massages, and bath treatments are all available year-round, and reservations are recommended. Some of the massage services offered include:
- Therapeutic massage
- Prenatal massage
- Hot stone massage
- Watsu massage
- Couples massage
Additionally, the Museum of the Berkeley Springs is located within the bathhouse, on the second floor. Open since 1984, you can find many historical items that are rich in cultural significance. There is also a small gift shop where you can purchase refreshments and souvenirs.
While there is no camping at the park or official lodging, those looking to spend the night can look at nearby campgrounds, cabins, lodges, and unique stays.
Address: 2 S. Washington St., Berkeley Springs, WV 25411
Season: Year-Round | Day-use only