Hot Springs, Arkansas, a city and the seat of Garland County. Hot Springs is in the Ouachita Mountains, 47 miles (76 km) southwest of Little Rock. It is served by a railway and three airlines. Aluminum ingots and parts, shoes, and lumber products are manufactured here. Hot Springs National Park, completely surrounded by the city, attracts more than a million visitors yearly. Ouachita National Forest and three lakes offer fishing, hiking, and other recreational activities. Oaklawn Park, a horse-racing track, is another attraction.
The Hot Springs area was probably visited by De Soto during his explorations in 1541. Permanent settlement began in 1807. In 1832, four years before Arkansas' statehood, the federal government created a reservation around the hot springs. The city was incorporated in 1876. In 1921 the reservation was made a national park.