Saratoga Springs: A Mineralized Oasis

Magic is real and you can find it in water.

Saratoga Springs, New York, is home to the most famous water in all of New York State (NYS.) Water is pulled directly from the earth and raised through clever irrigation systems and naturally formed underground waterways. The springs release water infused with carbon dioxide gas and numerous minerals, making Saratoga Springs one of the only places in NYS to get naturally carbonated water.

The Mohawk Indians drank and bathed in the Saratoga Springs water as early as the 14th century. The tribes believed the water held magical healing properties, a belief that has since carried on into modern time. When European colonizers learned of the water’s magical properties, they exported some to Europe, calling it “Medicine Spring of the Great Spirit.” Once word of the healing capabilities was spread through the mainstream, some springs dried out due to excessive commercial pumping. Many of these springs were never recovered.

saratoga springs
Image par Larry White de Pixabay 

After the natural water sources started to disappear, NYS took the initiative towards protecting the remaining cluster of springs. Out of this, the Saratoga Spa Park was established. The Spa became a resort/hotel/spa where guests may come and bathe in the mineralized water to heal whatever ailments plagued them. One such customer was none other than President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who infamously suffered from polio, a debilitating disease in which the sufferer experiences permanent paralysis that, in many cases, is fatal. After hearing about a boy with polio suddenly being able to walk again after frequent exposure to the Saratoga Springs water, FDR went to the springs out of desperation. To his surprise, the hydrotherapy allowed him to walk slightly better within a few weeks. After getting other “survivors” of polio to come out and experience the magical water, FDR helped the struggling small town’s population, reputation, and popularity.

saratoga springs.
INSTAGRAM @saratoga_ny

There are approximately 21 mineral springs located in Saratoga Springs. Due to the varying mineral composition, no two spring water tastes alike, their health benefits are also said to differ as a result. The water is high in salts from iron, which is excellent for blood, especially for those following vegan or no-meat diets. The water is also high in alkaline, which helps with upset stomach and heartburn. Other benefits include clearing the skin, digestion health, and boosting the immune system. It is said that Saratoga’s water can alleviate chronic pain and cure some diseases.

13 out of the 21 mineral springs are found in Saratoga Spa State Park. The park is home to various theaters, museums, and the notorious Gideon Putnam/ The Roosevelt Bath and Spa Resort, which houses some of the more critical springs. Popular springs include:

Hathorn Spring #3:

Hathorn #3, Saratoga Springs
Hathorn #3, Saratoga Springs. INSTAGRAM @mdruziak

Located in Saratoga Spa State Park, this spring has one of the highest mineral quantities. Its health benefits include a slight cleanse from its magnesium content. The high mineral component makes this water the most saline of the mineral waters.

Hathorn #1:

Hathron #1
Hathron #1. PHOTO

Situated in Congress Park and, like Hathron #3, is high in its own unique mineral makeup. The spring is marked by another pragmatic pavilion common with popular park springs. Its health benefits include digestive cleansing and stomach aid.

Congress Spring:

congress springs.
Congress Springs. PHOTO

Also in Congress Park, Congress Spring is considered as the most popular of all Saratoga’s springs. The pavilion which shields the water spouts is a regional icon in its own right. The health benefits include alleviating skin ailments, gout and helping with dyspepsia

State Seal:

State Seal
State Seal. PHOTO

Located in Saratoga Spa State Park, this water is considered the best tasting water of all the springs, with many comparing the taste to Fiji water. The spring has constant flowing taps that are popular amongst Saratoga water lovers. Bring your jugs and fill up!

Old Red Spring:

Old Red Spring
Old Red Spring. PHOTO

Inside High Rock Park is Old Red Spring, known to help with skin disorders. Hence it’s also often referred to as “The Beauty Spring.”

Pro Tip: Be sure to fill up mineral water in glass bottles. The high mineral content is known to distort or even burn plastic bottles.

Daniella Fishman


Daniella is an NYC born adventurer with a love of traveling, writing, eating, and rollerskating. Dani is passionate about supporting local communities and exploring everything from bustling city life to quiet woodland retreats. There is an adventure around every corner if you open your eyes and mind to it.

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