Description - **Information provivded by West Virginia Division of Natural Resources**
Berkeley Springs State Park is located in the center of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. The Bathhouse first opened in 1930. Since then, thousands have enjoyed the variety of baths and treatments in the warm mineral waters that flow from the springs at a constant temperature of 74.3 degrees Fahrenheit. The springs discharge from five principle sources and numerous lesser ones, all within a hundred yards, approximately 2,000 gallons of clear, sparkling water per minute. Bathing in the springs has been popular since before the days of George Washington.
- Long before the first Europeans discovered the warm waters of Berkeley Springs, it was already a famous health mecca which attracted Indians from the St. Lawrence Seaway in Canada and the Great Lakes to the Carolinas. Those first settlers, who came in 1730, learned the uses and value of the springs from the Indians and began spreading the word of its benefits throughout the settlements of the east.
Perhaps the most notable and influential advocate of the curative powers of the springs was George Washington, who, at 16, visited them as a member of a survey party. As the party, which was surveying the western limits of Thomas Lord Fairfax's lands, camped there for the night, young Washington noted in his diary, "March 18th, 1748, We this day called to see Ye Fam'd Warm Springs."
For many years afterwards, George Washington visited the springs regularly, and it was largely through his efforts that its fame as a health spa grew throughout the colonies. At the urging of the Colony of Virginia and in the public interest, Lord Fairfax conveyed his land holdings at the springs and fifty adjacent acres to the Colony of Virginia in 1776. Shortly thereafter, the land was offered for public sale. George Washington, three signers of the Declaration of Independence, four signers of the Constitution, seven members of the Continental Congress, and five Revolutionary generals were among the prominent colonists who made initial purchases there. Hence, the springs' reputation as a health resort became firmly established.
Borrowing the name of a famous counterpart in England, the General Assembly of Virginia formed the town of Bath on this location in 1776 and created a board of trustees to govern the new town. James Rumsey, who later invented the first successful steamboat, was then contracted to construct five bathhouses and several other public buildings. This officially established the springs as a resort facility.
Recreation - Roman Baths
Not a whirlpool or Jacuzzi, but 750 gallons of mineral water in a ceramic tile, walk-in private tub (can be shared with someone of the same sex). Heated to a maximum water temperature of 102 degrees Farenheit, the Roman Bath is a tub big enough to stretch out in, to float, read, or just relax. There are metal railings for exercise use and safety. Bath time is 15 minutes if you are also having a massage; 20 minutes without a massage.
Luxuriate in 6 1/2 foot Victorian-style footed bathtub with mineral water heated to a maximum temperature of 102 degrees Farenheit. Bath time with a massage is 15 minutes; 20 minutes without a massage. Footrests and pillows are available.
Enjoy thirty or sixty minutes of Swedish-style full-body rub down with massage oil in a traditional mixture of pure olive oil and 190 proof ethyl alcohol. Massagers are trained and instructed. There are female massagers on the women's side and male massagers on the men's side. Sensitive areas will be fully draped at all times during your massage.
The steam cabinets are heated to 124 degrees Farenheit and enclose the entire body, except for the head, for eight minutes. The steam treatment may be included with a Bath/Massage package.
This treatment uses a standard heat lamp for eight to ten minutes at a time-an excellent therapy for isolated body parts (shoulders, hip, etc.).
At the end of your massage you may take a five minute shower or you may elect to shower immediately following your bath. Another option is to follow your treatment with powder and no shower-this is especially good for those with dry skin.
Mineral Content of the Waters
Free Carbonic Acid
Carbonic Acid in Bicarbonates
Open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
the last appointment taken at 4:30 P.m.
Friday hours are extended to 9 p.m. from April 1 through October 31.
The bathhouse is closed Easter Sunday and Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's days.
Reservation Policy: All reservations require full advance payment or credit card guarantee. If reservations are canceled within 24 hours of the scheduled appointment, the full amount will be refunded. If reservations are canceled less than 24 hours in advance of the appointment, a refund will be granted only if the appointment is re-booked.
Climate - West Virginia experiences four distinct seasons, none of which are extreme. Temperatures in the highlands of the Allegheny Mountains are somewhat more severe than the rest of the state. Generally temperatures during the winter months range from 15 to 40 degrees F. Ample snow accumulation provides for cross-country and downhill skiing opportunities. Spring brings blooming trees and shrubs to the forested regions of the state, as well as warmer temperatures. During this season, March through May, expect mild temperatures between 45 and 70 degrees F. Summers are normally hot with high humidity, especially at lower elevations. Expect temperatures to range from 70 at night to 95 during the dog days of August. Fall brings cool, crisp air to West Virginia and spectacular foliage color changes. Bring a light jacket for this season, which brings temperatures between 35, at night, to 70 degrees F, during the day.
Located in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. From major east/west highway I-70 (Hancock, MD), take US 522 south six miles to the park. From the south, the park is accessible from north/south I-81, by taking US 522 north at Winchester, VA, and traveling 34 miles to the park. Locally, WV 9 provides access to and from the Martinsburg area, I-81 and several nearby attractions.