Warm Mineral Springs, Florida

WARM MINERAL SPRINGS

12200 San Servando Avenue
North Port, Florida 34287

I originally wrote about Warm Mineral Springs, Florida in 2015.

This post is an update with new information and photos.

 

 

Why Go To A Mineral Springs

 

We’ve all heard of the Dead Sea and how healthy Dead Sea salts are. Why? Because of the heavy concentrations of minerals.  I have bought Dead Sea salts for bathing, but I will probably never make it to the actual Dead Sea. Soaking in mineral waters is an ancient practice. Pilgrims in search of healing have “taken the waters” for centuries, looking for miracle cures for diseases ranging from skin disorders to arthritis. Andrew Weil, M.D., says that warm mineral springs can ease the pain of arthritis, lessen the fatigue associated with fibromyalgia and reduce stress.  Then I learned about a warm mineral spring right here in Florida.  I have lived in Florida many years, but I had never heard of Warm Mineral Springs in North Port, Florida until 2013. It is the only naturally formed warm springs in Florida, is the largest warm mineral springs in the world, and is a constant 87 (F) degrees. It has the highest mineral count of any springs in the United States. The pond is replenished daily by approximately 9 million gallons of water discharged by the three vents that feed the spring. The vents dredge up countless minerals and sulfur gas believed to cure everything from stress to psoriasis to kidney problems to slipped discs.

 

 

 

 

 

A review published in August 2016 in the International Journal of Biometeorology looked at eight studies and found that mineral baths eased the activities of daily living in people who have rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

 

Sulphurous mineral waters have been traditionally used in medical hydrology as treatment for skin, respiratory, and musculoskeletal disorders. However, driven by recent intense research efforts, topical treatments are starting to show benefits for pulmonary hypertension, arterial hypertension, atherosclerosis, ischemia-reperfusion injury, heart failure, peptic ulcer, and acute and chronic inflammatory diseases. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After I heard about it, I searched online for information. Historically, the springs was used by native Americans, considered as a possible Fountain of Youth by Ponce de Leon, and has drawn archaeologists since the 1950’s exploring the bottom. Ancient artifacts have been found, and scientists believe the cave on the bottom floor of the pond was originally a dry cave. It is believed that an earthquake caused a cave-in and a sink hole formed the pond approximately 20,000 years ago. In 1973, divers uncovered the remains of an almost completely preserved 10,000-year-old man at a depth of 155 feet, making Warm Mineral Springs one of the most important archaeological sites in the country. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

 

 

 

Recent History

 

On my first visit in 2013, the springs was owned by Sarasota County and the City of North Port. In partnership, they had purchased the springs some years before, had made it a county park, and contracted for operations of the park. At that time, the contracted LLC had a spa, free classes, and an organic garden providing food for their on-site restaurant. July 1, 2013, the contract with the LLC was ending, and after much discussion and disagreements by the city and county, the contract was not renewed and the spring closed. For the next year, there were demonstrators at council meetings, discussions at council meetings on the future of the spring, and the spring stayed closed. Many residents of Sarasota County had purchased homes in the county to be close to Warm Mineral Springs and felt betrayed by the two governments. Finally, the county sold its half to the City of North Port. The spring re-opened in September 2014 owned and operated by The City of North Port. The daily fee is $20 a day for non-residents of Sarasota County.

 

 

 

 

In May 2013,  my friend and I drove 2 hours to North Port and spent two days in the springs, had lunch in the restaurant, and enjoyed their gift shop. I loved my first visit; I felt a difference in my arthritis and it lasted several weeks. My arthritis was improved and I knew I would return. Since then, I have been to Warm Mineral Springs multiple times. I try to spend at least 45 minutes to 1 hour in the spring. I am very fair and the sun in Florida reflecting off the water can easily burn me. Usually I have a shirt on over my bathing suit. The spring pond is circular, and the depth increases as you walk in. The center reaches a depth of 250 feet. There is a odor of sulfur and other minerals in the water. The spring is feed from a cave on the bottom at the 250 depth in the center. The pond is surrounded by green lawns and chairs, and is perfect for swimming and sunning. The water feels “thicker” due to the minerals and it is easier to float. When I get out, my skin feels sticky. After trying the showers and dressing room once, I no longer shower at the springs. I now sit for about an hour until all the minerals on my skin are absorbed.  I came for the minerals and it is foolish to immediately wash them off. I’ve read posts by researchers who say DO NOT TAKE A SHOWER IMMEDIATELY.  When the minerals are absorbed, I no longer feel sticky and then shower and dress. The effects of the spring are so relaxing, I usually want a nap.

 

 

 

 

 

From the research I read about the effects of mineral springs, especially sulfur, I understand why I feel better after soaking in the springs. It is believed that the minerals turn off the pain receptors in the brain, and you don’t feel the pain or it is diminished.  This is so much better than taking a pill.  If I ever move again, I want to move to Sarasota County close to Warm Mineral Springs. Then besides the resident discount for a visit, there are annual passes and passes for 10 or 30 visits for reduced prices, such as $150 for 30 visits for residents.  Spa services are also available but must be scheduled prior to your visit.

 

 

 

 

Check out mineral springs close to you

 

Most mineral springs in the United States are hot springs. Some of the best hot springs in the United States are located in remote natural surroundings that could be damaged by heavy human traffic. With this in mind, visitors should tread lightly by visiting in small groups, packing out any trash, and following Leave No Trace principles.

 

In the East, check out Guide to Southern Healing Waters at Blue Ridge Outdoors.com, which discusses mineral springs in West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Hot Springs, North Carolina has been a popular spa destination since the late 1700’s when people began to make pilgrimages over long distances to experience the restorative properties of the natural mineral-rich thermal waters. Today you can expect a complete vacation and spa experience at the Hot Springs Resort and Spa.  My favorite spring on their list is God’s Tax-Free Mineral Springs near Blacksville, South Carolina. When the last owner died in 1994, he deeded the springs to “Almighty God” for the use of the people forever. A big sign at the springs announces, “This historical property has been deeded to God for public use, please revere God by keeping it clean.” Deeding the springs to God might not be as altruistic as it sounds. The deed freed the property from taxation and forced local government to assume responsibility of upkeep. The state routinely tests the springs to ensure the safety of the water for the carloads of people who visit the springs.   I’d love to visit it.

Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas has multiple hot springs and spas to fit most budgets.  Another place on my list to visit.

Most of the country’s hot springs are concentrated in the western United States, a region particularly conducive to producing geothermically heated water. A long line of active, dormant, or even extinct volcanoes all along the west coast of the USA is responsible for the large number of natural hot springs found in the western part of the country.

Check out one of the lists in Resources to find a hot spring to visit. Western states include Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado, California, and Washington.

 

 

 

Photos taken over several years.

 

 

Resources

 

10 Best Hot Springs in the USNever Idle Journal

25 Amazing Hot Springs in the US, Local Adventurer

The Best Natural Hot Springs in America, Reserve America

Guide to Southern Healing Waters, Blue Ridge Outdoors

Miracle Lake, Sarasota Magazine

Mystical Waters of Warm Mineral Springs Has Become a Place of Healing, Fox 13 Tampa Bay

Sulphurous Mineral Waters:New Applications for Health, NCBI

Warm Mineral Springs, North Port Magazine

Warm Mineral Springs, The Fountain of Youth, ADM Exploration Foundation & Curt Bowen

 

 

 

 

 

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Carol

I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

39 thoughts to “Warm Mineral Springs, Florida”

  1. Oh, Carol, your visit to the hot springs makes them sound so appealing! We swim in the hot springs whenever we go out to visit my son and daughter-in-law in Steamboat Springs, Colorado – even in the middle of winter! Next time we visit my sister in Florida I am going to Google this one to see how far she is from it. I would be worth a drive to spend an afternoon there!

    1. Warm Mineral Springs is just below Venice, FL in North Port. It is on the southwest coast about an hour north of Ft Myers. You should try it if you like mineral springs.

      1. Oh, we were there years ago. We took a group of kids on a field trip to the Everglades and the Keys. I thought the photos looked familiar!

  2. This was so interesting. I was happy to find out there are hot springs in NC. I think I may do some research and perhaps make a vacation of it with my hubby. This sounds amazing. That’s funny deeding the property to God. I love it. 🙂
    TFS

  3. Very interesting narrative. I wonder about the heat source, presumably geothermal as the water source is so far underground. I have heard that some of Florida’s springs are in trouble because of pollution and diversion of water.

    1. Nestle is trying to drain millions of gallons of spring water daily – govt gave them a permit for about $200. Lots of protesting going on.

  4. I love hot springs. When I was a kid we would go to Lidy hot springs close to Dubois, Idaho. They had a swimming pool and several private rooms with small pool. The water was very warm which was a treat in the winter time. The place was open for years and closed about 50 years ago and the family started a mining operation on site. What a pity.

    1. oh how sad – I read about one somewhere here in Florida that was filled with concrete in the 1960’s. now a non-profit has been formed several years ago of folks trying to get the concrete out.

  5. You have written a fascinating article on mineral springs. I have been to Hot Springs in Arkansas, and I remember swimming in a natural warm springs swimming pool in Colorado. It would be lovely to be near one all the time.

  6. A visit to a spa where there are hot springs would be a treat. We have some in Italy in the region we visit and I’ve experienced swimming in the Dead Sea resort. My aunt used to go to one of the UK spas for her rheumatic problems – these places are important for their natural resources and it’s good that most are maintained well and kept open for all. Wishing you a good weekend.

  7. Morning Carol,
    This is very interesting…….I live in Florida and I have never heart of North Port Florida nor about the Hot Springs.
    Thanks for sharing this.
    Hope this finds you doing well.
    Blessings,
    Nellie

  8. Carol – how wonderful that you have found a place that helps with some of your pain. A couple of summers ago, we visited my brother in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, which has a couple of large establishments featuring hot springs. We went to one of the newer, smaller ones and it was a real treat. Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday and sharing so many valuable tips with our readers!

  9. Looking at your stunning photos one could really believe that the fountain of youth is located there! Wishing you a great new week Carol.

  10. Thank you for this post. I am very interested in warm springs and just like you I may not be able to see the Dead Sea. I’ll keep this in mind next time I go somewhere in Florida to catch a cruise or something.

  11. I’m always learning new things about Florida. Living in Georgia, Florida is only a hop, skip, and a jump away from me. Maybe I’ll go check out the warm springs at some point in the near future. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes we’re pretty close. Back in my 20’s for several years I drove to Atlanta to see the pretty flowers and blooming trees.

  12. Looks awesome! Thanks so much for linking up with me at my #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 9 where I comment on and share on social media if share option is available, open February 1 to 26.

I love to make new friends and get to know you.

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