Saratoga’s Famous Springs and Mineral Waters

Do Mineral Waters Possess Healing Powers?


Hamilton Spring Although medical opinion now discounts the benefits of mineral water treatments, many people swear by them.

Throughout the 19th and much of the 20th centuries, medical doctors endorsed the health benefits of “taking the waters.”

Today’s spa users and spring water drinkers would most likely agree with them.

During the heyday of the State Reservation and the Spa from the 19-teens through the early 1950s, the state employed medical researchers who studied and analyzed the spring waters, documenting and explaining their health benefits.  Saratoga’s bath houses were filled with customers. In high season, they might provide 3000 or more physician-supervised treatments per day.

Eager health-seekers settled in for the full recommended course of 1 bath daily for 21 days; and most went away refreshed and satisfied, fully convinced of the benefits of their treatment.

The Springs in a Bottle


Bottling Plant As owner of the Saratoga Reservation, New York State also possessed the right to bottle and sell the spring waters.  For more than half a century, Saratoga waters marked “Bottled by the State of New York” were distributed to customers far and wide.

The Springs: A Scientific Explanation


Spouting Spring A mineral-rich natural reservoir deep underground produces Saratoga’s spring waters.

Local geology has created the only active carbonated mineral springs east of the Mississippi River.  Several layers of limestone lie beneath the region’s topmost layer of shale bedrock.  As deep underground water percolates through the limestone layers, it dissolves and absorbs some of the minerals from the rock. This explains the high mineral content found in the spring water. 

Charged with carbon dioxide, the water forces its way up through faults, or cracks, in the shale bedrock, creating Saratoga’s springs.  

This area’s shale bedrock separates the deep mineral water from the shallow groundwater that lies very close to the surface.  Scientists have offered a number of explanations for how the reservoir is supplied, but no definitive answer to this question has yet emerged.  Scientists agree, however, that all of Saratoga’s springs are fed by a single, interconnected reservoir network.  This finding helped lay the legal foundation for the Saratoga Reservation that protects the springs.
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"It was a lovely and gracious resort and I wished that I had more time there. It was very convenient to the town of Saratoga Springs and the Victorian street festival was a bonus. I live in an area that has mostly national retailers and it was refreshing to be able to shop in so many unique local retailers."  ”

– Eileen