We recently decided to make a day trip to Saratoga Spa State Park, which looked like it would be a great way to spend the day as a family (and it was!).
This is quite a large park, with a lot to offer, including two pools, hiking, a nature center, playgrounds, picnic areas, golf, and much more. We paid an $8 entry fee to use the park for the day.
I recommend a map, since the park is so big.
We started off by the nature center.
While it wasn’t open, it was a good place to start exploring the different mineral springs.
We checked out the Island Spouter first, which is a Tufa, or basically a large deposit of minerals from the flowing water.
The view from the other side, plus some information. It was very interesting to read about the history of the Springs.
The Hayes Mineral Springs are one of many, and located right near the parking lot. This is a spring for “tasting”, not “drinking”. We brought water bottles along with us, and after tasting, you will see why you won’t want to drink a full bottle of this mineral water! (Note the map – there are springs for drinking, and springs for tasting).
We enjoyed walking around the park, and while we didn’t do a ton of hiking, there are quite a few trails.
We stopped at several spots around the park to try the mineral water. It is amazing how fast the mineral deposits build up over the years.
After trying so many of the tasting springs, it was nice to find the drinking water!
There is plenty more to do at the park, including visiting the playgrounds and pools, walk on the paths, and explore the buildings.
The park was busy for a September weekend, but because it is so large, with parking lots in different areas, I think you can still enjoy the park even during busy times. We visited on a hot day, and the pool got quite busy. I was told that the pool gets extremely busy, especially on summer weekends, which is something to consider.
Read about our fun at the Victoria Pool here.
Visit Saratoga Spa State Park at https://parks.ny.gov/parks/saratogaspa