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Have you ever gone to a hot spring? If so, you know how relaxing and calming that warm water can be. But if not, you may be wondering why on earth anyone would want to go somewhere where the water is so hot. Well, let us tell you why!
Hot Springs are Great for Relaxation
First and foremost, hot springs are great for relaxation. The warmth of the water is one of the best places to help soothe your muscles and ease any tension or stress in your body. Plus, it’s just plain fun to float around in a hot tub of water all day!
Hot Springs are Good for Your Health
Hot springs aren’t just good for relaxation with the water temperature; they’re also great for your health. The minerals found in many hot springs have been proven to provide beneficial effects on the body, including helping with pain relief and improving circulation.
Additionally, these natural mineral waters can help detoxify the body by flushing out harmful toxins that build up over time. So if you’re looking for a natural way to improve your health and well-being, then visiting a hot spring is something you should definitely consider doing.
Hot Springs Make Great Getaways
Finally, hot springs make great getaways. Whether you’re looking for a romantic weekend overnight stays or you just want to escape from the hustle of everyday life, there’s nothing quite like soaking in warm mineral-rich waters surrounded by beautiful scenery.
Plus, most hot springs offer additional activities such as hiking trails or yoga classes which makes them even more appealing as getaways. So if you’re looking for something different than your typical vacation destination, then visiting a local hot spring could be just what you need!
Although it is located in the middle of the United States, most people do not consider Illinois a hot springs paradise. After all, Illinois winters can be severe, and the state’s open-water swimming is best enjoyed during the warm summer months. The prairie state does, however, offer some alternatives for those looking for a more secluded mineral bathing experience.
The state of Illinois used to be a mecca for thermal springs. Many people in the late 1800s and early 1900s visited spas to regain health and vitality. The abandoned city of Vishnu Springs, whose entire economy relied on visitors to its hot springs, is proof of this.
Once home to a hotel for weary travelers, a racetrack, and a horse-drawn taxi service, this community is now a ghost town. While Illinois had a hot springs boom in the past, there is now just one central spa available.
Guests can enjoy the hot springs and stay at the resort anytime in this southern Illinois location. In addition, several municipal, state, and national parks feature natural springs that are open to the public. If you’re looking for a place to cool off in the water during the summer or warm up during the winter, Illinois has you covered.
Mineral-Rich Water Soaking: It’s Good for You
Some of the many positive effects of soaking in these mineral-rich, naturally occurring waters include the following:
● Soaking in hot water, and especially in hot and cold water alternately, has been shown to boost blood circulation and oxygen levels.
● Relieving Stress and Pain Naturally
People who suffer from sore muscles and joints turn to hot springs for relief. Soaking in hot springs may ease tension in their backs and relieve stress from strenuous workouts.
● Several skin-friendly minerals are dissolved in the waters.
The mineral silica, which is included, can be used to treat skin that is too dry or inflamed to handle other treatments.
These spots are suitable for taking the kids and aren’t too difficult to get to, so plan a family vacation now. The next time you and your family are in Illinois, check out these swimming holes and springs we’ve found! Here’s a collection of swimming spots and both cold and hot springs in Illinois that you may visit or take the kids to.
BELL SMITH SPRINGS
Bell Smith Springs Road, Ozark, Illinois.
The Shawnee National Forest is home to Bell Smith Springs. Bell Smith Springs is a popular summer destination because of the many streams visitors can wander through, the exciting rock formations, and the breathtaking canyons that offer a spectacular view. This Illinois spring is worth the eight-mile journey to get to it, which is only considered challenging in terms of distance.
The Shawnee National Forest is not a boring place to go for a hike because of the variety of flora and fauna that is native to Illinois. If you look closely enough, you can spot an armadillo. The distinctive geological characteristics that dominate the area earned this spot the designation of National Natural Landmark due to the large number of plant and animal populations that thrive there.
Considering that you can also see Boulder Falls and Devil’s Backbone, this swimming hole becomes a must-see. The rock formations, vantage points, secret springs, and abundant flora and fauna along these routes make for a popular hiking destination (excluding Redbud Campground).
Frequently, the most enjoyable goals are out of reach. However, the rewards for uncovering these hidden gems far outweigh the time and effort required. During the spring, the creeks will have water up to the middle of your calf. The water in the pools beside the streams remains deep throughout the seasons. Trekkers can cool themselves in the springs and pools during the warmer months.
Perhaps the most visually stunning swimming area is in the turquoise waters near the Devil’s Backbone, a famous cluster of large rocks and a sandstone wall. Nothing beats a refreshing dip in a natural pool, and in a setting as enchanting and beautiful as Bell Smith Springs, there are few better options.
SILVER SPRINGS STATE PARK
13608 Fox Road Yorkville, Illinois 60560
Illinois is home to a spectacular natural spring, one of the world’s seven wonders. People from all over the state visit Silver Springs State Park in Yorkville, Illinois, to swim in the spring-fed pool. The Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area gets its name from a pool of beautiful, flowing water that looks like it’s made of silver in the light.
This pool does not freeze even on the coldest days, and its surrounding watercress beds are a source of wonder for tourists. More than 30 acres of restored prairie have been established, recreating the original landscape of the Midwest. Indian grass, coneflowers, and lead plants are only a few of the native flora. Oak and hackberry trees are also common.
Pheasants and other small game roam the woods, and the river teems with fish, including bluegill, carp, catfish, and northern pike. Native wildflowers, songbirds, ducks, and upland game are all a part of the original environment you can re-experience through a natural prairie restoration project.
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During the warmer months, guests can enjoy a seven-mile equestrian trail and various outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, hiking, and more. If winter sports such as ice skating, sledding, and cross-country skiing are among your favorites, you’re in for a treat. There is a snowmobile trail that extends for an extra four miles.
The park is beautiful, with its tall trees and open fields. The Fox River and several smaller artificial lakes contribute to the beauty of this area. The entire 5-mile length of the Silver River and the adjacent sandhill forest are included in the 4,000-acre Silver Springs State Park, which is home to the springs themselves.
Explore the park’s rich history by exploring the ancient buildings and peaceful gardens around the central spring. Proceed to the Silver River Museum. In some of the best-managed sandhills in the state, kayakers on the Silver River can paddle through a pristine forest wilderness linked by trails and sprinkle with pleasant campgrounds.
There are two accessible parking spaces available on a paved lot close to the park’s administration building. The distance between the information counter and the main office is approximately 50 feet. It’s a concrete walkway out there. The entrance to the office is accessible by a ramp for those using wheelchairs.
To the east of the parking lot is a pier where you can go fishing. The dock is made of wood and is about 570 feet away. The park has four wheelchair-accessible toilets. In the day-use area of Loon Lake, accessible from the east entrance, there are two vault toilets. You can find the third in Tall Oaks, and the fourth is along Fox View. There are no restrooms for visitors to the park office.
Tall Oaks Picnic area is a great spot for a family outing, as it features an asphalt parking lot and an easily accessible shelter. In the park, service animals are permitted. A water bowl spicket can be fastened to the park’s drinking fountains. Silver Springs is an ideal vacation for those who want to unwind, exercise, or take in the beauty of nature.
HEART OF HISTORIC OKAWVILLE
Public parks across the country and state are home to several open natural springs. Although swimming in one of these natural pools is sure to be invigorating, visitors should remember that they are only accessible during the warmer months of the year. These are not some of the hot springs in Illinois.
At his shop in Okawville, Rudolph made harnesses and saddles for horses and other riders.
His business required water, so he dug a well. Before he realized the water had eaten a hole in his tin kettle, he didn’t think anything was wrong. He voiced his displeasure to the maker, who promptly sent a copper replacement kettle, which also cracked.
After conducting tests, a chemist in the area concluded that the water was mineral-rich.
When word of this reached the local doctor, he decided to put the water’s purported healing abilities to the test on one of his long-suffering rheumatic patients, and the results were immediate.
Pledge risked everything by building a mineral bathhouse, expecting customers to flock to the establishment to enjoy the water’s therapeutic properties. The small bathhouse soon began to attract a steady stream of customers. As news of the therapeutic properties of mineral springs spread to all parts of the world, the number of established spas increased dramatically.
The Original Springs hotel, known by various names throughout its history, has undergone consistent modernization efforts and is now the only one remaining. The hotel, located in southern Illinois, is open throughout the year and features hot springs for guests to relax. In 1978, the National Park Service included it on the national register of historic places.
You’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time when you take advantage of the hotel’s private mineral baths and swim in the indoor pool that’s been heated to a comfortable temperature. The spring water at the Original Springs Hotel can be enjoyed in the privacy of your room, making a soak there an intimate and therapeutic experience.
You can relax and unwind with one of their many therapeutic spa treatments, such as a deep tissue massage, reflexology session, or even a session with hot stones. Relax as a detoxifying body wrap gently envelops you in its warm embrace, or select from various facials to bring out the radiance in your skin.
At the full-service restaurant, guests can indulge in various delectable dishes. They provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner, are open very early in the morning, and stay open late at night, so even picky eaters can find something they like.
In addition, the outdoor beer garden serves a variety of traditional as well as original cocktails.
You may be sure that you will enter a state of profound relaxation if you choose to spend the weekend at The Original Springs Hotel. If you’re looking for a spa experience unlike any other, the Original Springs Hotel in Okawville, Illinois, is the place to be.
Aire Ancient Baths
800 W Superior St, Chicago, IL 60644-0114
AIRE Chicago is in a refurbished factory from 1902 in River West, not far from the West Loop. Beyond those doors lies a cultural and physical trip through the historic bathing rituals of the Romans, the Greeks, and the Ottomans.
The AIRE Experience features a thermal tour in a one-of-a-kind, open-air setting. Strolling through baths of varying temperatures will take you on a sensory adventure while exposing you to a remarkable piece of urban architecture.
Candlelight and an orange blossom scent will lull you into a profound state of relaxation; a massage or ritual will complete the wonderful experience. In this tranquil, lighted area, you can soak your cares away in one of many different baths, each with its temperature, medicinal powers, and ambiance.
Guests can enjoy a variety of spa treatments, such as a private massage or salt exfoliation, as well as the communal bathing circuit. The Thermal Baths provide six different types of thermal pools for visitors, including a hot pool, an ice pool with cold plunges, a warm pool, a salt pool, and a jet pool.
There are also different steam rooms with different levels of steam and aromatherapy. Each guest’s 90-minute soak session can extend into three hours with the addition of day spas. Every guest needs to be over the age of 18. Your mind and body will thank you for taking a break at AIRE Ancient Baths, a one-of-a-kind sanctuary from the pressures of regular life.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON HOT SPRINGS IN ILLINOIS
If you’re looking for a place to cool off in the water during the summer or warm up during the winter, Illinois has you covered. The most difficult part of taking your family on a tour of Illinois’s swimming holes and natural springs is determining which one to go to first.
A diverse selection of options is available, ranging from the Shawnee National Forest to a defunct limestone quarry. While soaking pools in geothermal water don’t make this a serious hot springs destination, there are several places with healing waters to get a good soak. Let’s face it, mineral pools can make for a romantic getaway as the best part? It is who you share them with.