Back when the weather still had a crispness in the air, we took a drive one evening along a winding, tree-lined highway to visit this magical forest oasis we heard about. Adventure was finding a camp spot along a dark dirt road, sleeping in the back of the Jeep, hiking through a soggy forest the next morning, and soaking in mineral water pools as rain drops rolled off my cheek bones. What could be better than that.
It was mid-October, rain was the norm by now. What can you do outside whilst giving no care to the fact that you will be wet the entire day? There are a few, the ones that come to my mind are: waterfall hikes and hot springs. This day was definitely going to be a hot spring day. So Saturday evening rolled around and we decided to pack up some blankets and breakfast and drive in the middle of the night all the way to the springs and camp out till dawn. For those of you thinking you might have waited till morning to head out, trust me I would have but more than sleep, I wanted to be first to the springs to claim a tub for ourselves.
We arrived down the road from Bagby shortly after midnight, we found a raised spot off the main drive to rest for the night, if we hadn’t been so tired we would have even utilized the perfect rock fire pit someone had left behind. When we woke up the sun had already been up for a couple hours, but who would’ve known with the thick cloud cover and relentless rainfall.
We promptly pulled ourselves, gracefully of course, out of our sleeping bags and into the front seats and rattled on down the road to the trail head. We noticed maybe one or two other cars, but we were virtually going to have the place to ourselves, at least for a while.
We gathered our bags and started down the trail it is about a 1.5 mile hike to the springs. relatively easy stroll, with a few bridge crossings. It was pouring our entire walk up so we were more than ready to get warm when we arrived. There are a few choices, you can choose a large tub (3) in the common area which could comfortably fit 2-4 people or an individual tub (also 3) could fit 1 person comfortably 2 if you’re real friendly, these are enclosed in your own room (much more private). We chose a large tub in the common area, one because they were outside and we wanted the view, 2 because we wanted to take in the outdoors as these tubs are only partially covered.
The large common area with the 3 large tubs is partially covered with little tea lights placed every so often against the back wall, flickering in the rain created such a moody ambiance. The area was pretty unkempt, you must police yourself and clean up after when you leave. We tidied up from the previous guests and spent a lovely morning soaking in the rain. We kept buckets of cold spring water next to us to add into the tub as it filled, the water was pretty hot. a nice problem to have if you ask me. It was easily one of the most relaxing Sundays this past fall.
After a couple hours others started to show up, which seemed as good as time as any to make our way back. As planned we had our soak in the forest spa all to ourselves. On our hike back we spotted lots of edible and inedible mushrooms, which we stopped to investigate further. This time of year is perfect for a day at the hot springs, but it could be just as enjoyable on a clear spring day.
Remember if you visit Bagby to pack out what you pack in and be respectful of the property, we noticed some of the tubs and pipes were either out of service or not working properly due to individuals not being respectful. We should all keep in mind to leave it better than we found it so others can enjoy it the way we had the opportunity to. happy trails.