An easy walk down the trail alongside Geyser Creek in Saratoga Spa State Park provides for an opportunity to see, touch, feel, and climb (yes it has stairs!) a giant dome created by mineral deposits from the Orenda Spring over the course of approximately 100 years.
If you ever have attended a concert at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and walked across the pedestrian bridge and looked down, you would notice this magnificent pale orange and yellow tufa formation in the creek, colored in a rainbow of hues from the high salt and potassium iodide in the water.
The Mohawk tribes were attracted to this land for hunting, and they believed that the springs had healing powers. In the mid-1800s, Saratoga became popularly known as a health destination with many bathhouses and mineral spas springing up that are still open to the public today. There are 18 public mineral springs in the town, some of which can be seen during the walk down the half-mile trail along the Geyser Creek, along with the tufa.
Before entering the trail, you are welcomed by the Hayes Well Spring, where you can easily taste some of the mineral water and learn some historical facts about the area. At the start of the trail is the Geyser Island Spouter (also a tufa), located on an island of hardened minerals with waters constantly being pushed out to the top by pressurized carbonic gas. Should you feel inclined, there is a way to access and stand on the mound around the other side of the creek.
A short walk down the flat and picturesque trail brings you to the Orenda Spring tufa and a waterfall. The water that trickles over and down the tufa formation gives the illusion that the mound would feel slimy. However, it is quite solid and sturdy.