The County of Bath is named for the English resort city of Bath, an ancient city visited for its healing spring waters since Roman times. For over 200 years the County of Bath has been defined but its natural beauty, the minerals springs that define some of its landscape, and southern hospitality. Located along the western, central border with West Virginia, Bath County encompasses 540 square miles. 89% of Bath County is comprised of forest, with 51% in national forest and 6% under state park. The Nature Conservancy also owns more than 9,000 acres of critical forest habitat.
From the earliest days when weary travelers stopped to rejuvenate in the healing springs now known as the Jefferson Pools tourism has played a major role in the development of Bath County. Since the first Homestead Resort was built in 1766, the community of Hot Springs has been a nationally recognized four season resort attraction. The popularity of “taking the waters” in the mid-18th century secured Bath County’s place as a tourism attraction. The tourism sector employs almost 65% of Bath County’s workforce and generates upwards of $225.7 million in revenues.
The County seat is located in Warm Springs. The County is governed by an elected Board of Supervisors, one from each of the 5 magisterial districts: Cedar Creek, Millboro District, Valley Springs District, Warm Springs District, and Williamsville. Warm Springs is home to the County Court House, the County administrative offices, Sheriff’s Department, Public Library, along with a budding arts district and an historical museum and genealogical library.
What makes Bath County most unique is its people. It is a community where farmers have worked the same land their families have owned for hundreds of years. It is a community where visitor meet people born and raised in Europe who have chosen to live in Bath County. It is a community where the person you bump into at the farmers market may have studied piano at Juilliard School of Music.