Friends of Hobbs
State Park-Conservation Area

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Events & Programs 

If you can't find something fun to do every week at Hobbs you are not trying very hard! There are weekly programs put on by park interpreters, guest speakers, special events, programs put on by outside groups -- something for everyone to enjoy!   

Weekly Program Schedule

Every week, park interpreters at Hobbs put on informative programs on a wide range of topics. Learn how to pitch a tent, take a guided hike, be a nature detective, listen to a story told by Mother Nature, learn the principles of Leave No Trace -- there is no end to the topics!  Some are directed toward children and others toward adults. Some activities last 20 minutes, some last an hour. Most are free! Take a look at the calendar and see what might interest you!

Guest Speaker Series

In Northwest Arkansas we are blessed with many gifted speakers ready to pass along fascinating information about our natural world. Guest speakers present programs at 2PM on Sunday afternoons at the Visitor Center, unless otherwise stated.  Learn about the Beaver Lake Bald Eagle population, local bug life, duck hunting, dowsing rods, float fishing, or meet Igor the Turkey Vulture up close -- to name just a few topics. Check the calendar to see what is coming up. These presentations are free.

Astronomy Nights

The Sugar Creek Astronomy Association is pleased to offer several opportunities to study the stars. They offer a brief lecture on an informative topic, like how to purchase a telescope, or viewing the planets, then they move outside for some celestial viewing. No registeration is required. You may use their telescope, "Big Boy," or bring your own. Binoculars work too. Bring a flashlight with a red lens cover, such as a cloth or balloon, and a star chart if you have one. You may also bring chairs and drinks for outdoor comfort.  

Nature Exploration Day Camp Program

Looking for a way to get your kids outdoors during the summer? Hobbs offers 3-day camps for different age ranges in June and July each year. Day camps for older children are from 9AM-3PM, children will bring a sack lunch and spend the day observing nature while hiking, playing nature games and crafting.  If the weather is right, we sometimes take the groups out on Beaver Lake.  Sometimes to snorkel or sometimes to kayak. The younger groups are from 9AM-Noon, however we keep them safe in or around the visitor center.  Reservations and payment are required in advance. Space is limited.  Call 479-789-5000 for more information. 

Workshops & Special Events

Step back in time at the Hobbs Fall Festival, celebrate conservation at Aldo Leopold Day, take some lessons on mobile phone photography, take a stroll through the "Living Forrest" with Mother Nature -- these are just a few of the great events and workshops that take place throughout the year at Hobbs. Check the calendar and see what is coming up!

Photographic Society of NWA

The Photographic Society of NWA (PSNWA) will be at Hobbs State Park for a series of free instructional photography programs to the public. Anyone of any photography skill level is encouraged to attend the classes, however, please note the skill level for the Photo Walks are designed for experienced amateurs, hobbyists, and accomplished photographers.  PSNWA professionals will explain the different photography-learning opportunities through classes, lectures, and photo walks within the park on the first meeting, which is October 17th.. Check out to learn more about PSNWA.  No reservations are required, just show up at Hobbs State Park Visitor Center.

Upcoming events

    • 29 Sep 2019
    • 27 Oct 2019
    • 3 sessions
    • Visitor Center

    Learn more about our turtle residents and join in for a short tale on turtles. Children of all ages are welcome, but story is best suited for children 3-6 years of age.

    • 29 Sep 2019
    • 31 Oct 2019
    • 7 sessions
    • Rocky Branch Marina

    Nothing could be more enjoyable than a beautiful sunset out on Beaver Lake.  Many birds will be coming back to their nests this time of day.  We will look for them, and listen for their calls.  Don’t forget your cameras.

    Tickets must be purchased in advance.  Adults $10.00 + tax.   Children 6-12   $5.00 + tax.    Tours depart Rocky Branch Marina promptly at stated times. 

    Registration and pre-payment required. Call 479-789-5000

    Departure Times from Rocky Branch Marina      

    Sunday Sept. 29              5:30 p.m.
    Thursday, October 3   5:30 p.m.
    Thursday, October 10 5:20 p.m.
    Thursday, October 17 5:10 p.m.
    Sunday, October 20 5:00 p.m.
    Thursday, October 24 5:00 p.m.
    Thursday, October 31 4:50 p.m.

    • 12 Oct 2019
    • 14 Dec 2019
    • 3 sessions
    • Visitor Center

    Boy we’re lucky.  Here and there we hear about our great friend Mother Nature, but at Hobbs State Park you can actually see her.  Yes!  Every second Saturday of each month at 10:30 am, all throughout the year, she visits the Park.  Her favorite thing to do is to read nature-related stories of the forest and the animals that live there.   Those who visit her always remember an educational, memorable, and fun time. FREE event.

    Story time will be followed by “hands-on” nature-craft activities.  Children of all ages are welcome, however most stories will target children 3-6 years of age.

    What:  Fun with Mother Nature
    Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy. 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.
    When:  Every second Saturday of the month at 10:30 am

    Mother Nature Visits and Reading Subjects for the Rest of the Year:
    (Keep this list on your refrigerator so you never miss Mother Nature.)

    October 12th:  Bats – Not Really Scary
    Circle around as Mother Nature sits in the rocker to read a story about the nature that surrounds us. Story time will be followed by an outdoor activity, weather permitting, and a craft. Children of all ages are welcome, but stories will target those 3-6 years of age.
    November 9th It’s Turkey Time
    December 14th Who Goes There?   Footprints and Animal Signs

    • 13 Oct 2019
    • 27 Oct 2019
    • 4 sessions
    • Visitor Center

    Do you know the destination of a trail? And just what is the Ozark Plateau? Join Interpreter Steve to learn more about your State Park.

    • 20 Oct 2019
    • 2:00 PM
    • Visitor Center

    Abby Burnett, frequent cemetery visitor, comes back to Hobbs State Park to present one of her interesting, odd, or surprising programs on cemeteries.  Be prepared to be entertained.  

    We Americans love our domesticated animals.  We pet them, scratch them, build elaborate things for them to climb on.  We build fancy houses for them.  We take them on long walks and teach them parlor tricks.  Some of us even dress them in human clothing.  There is however nothing that shows that we love our pets more than when it comes to that last dog bone in the sky, yes, cemeteries.

    Perhaps a special pet cemetery becomes the last resting place, but it is just as easy to find humans’ grave markers containing photos, statues or laser images of a beloved dog, cat or other animal, or at least epitaphs referring to them.  The reality of these instances can, to say the least, be enlightening.

    According to Burnett, “My presentation will include stories of life-sized sculptures of pets and their owners, tombstones showing circus and rodeo performers with their animals, and tell the tale of Missouri’s psychic ‘Jim the Wonder Dog.’”

    Sound like fun?  Don’t be dogmatic.  Bring your friends and neighbors to this one. 

    When: Sunday October 20, 2019

    Where:  Hobbs State Park’s visitor center located on Hwy. 12 just east of the Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

    Cost: For more information on Hobbs programs, trails, picnicking, or meeting room rental:  Call:  479-789-5000

    • 26 Oct 2019
    • 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    • Visitor Center

    Join Mother Nature as she introduces her many woodland friends at Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area’s “Living Forest” on Saturday October 26th.

    Listen to each animal’s story.  They have a lot to tell us.  These educational messages will be uncomplicated and easy for young children to understand.  Teenagers and adults will learn too!  Living Forest is for families with members of all ages.

    Who are these critters who will be delivering the informative messages?  They include:  barred owl, deer, spider, bat, blue jays, skunk, raccoon, eagle, squirrel, and more.  Costumed Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists will be delivering the meaningful messages. 

    Join in this fun, 40- minute, non-scary, fall treat for the whole family.  Strollers and wagons are welcome as you meander along a wide, paved, barrier-free path.  If you want to be like Mother Nature’s animal friends, come in costume.   Also experience:  crafts and free S’mores – yum.

    Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center on Highway 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection
    When:    Saturday October 26, 2019 -- Come any time from 1 pm – 5 pm
    Cost:       Free

    For more information on Hobbs programs, trails, picnicking, or meeting room rental:   Call:  479-789-5000

    • 27 Oct 2019
    • 10 Nov 2019
    • 3 sessions
    • Rocky Branch Marina

    No, it doesn’t matter if you are a birder or ornithologist, new to it or an old hand.  Going for a Hobbs State Park Loon Cruise on Beaver Lake with bird experts Joe Neal and Joan Reynolds, and a seasoned captain named Bob Ross, you’re going to have fun.  Joe, Joan and the group might espy loons and other birds on the water but count on Bob Ross to imitate the cry of our feathered friends…really!

    According to Joe Neal, co-author (With Doug James) of the book, “Arkansas Birds”, “I expect there will be MANY bird species to see and identify on these cruises.  Besides Common Loons, we could also see Red-Throated Loons.  I expect we will see both Pied-Billed and Horned Grebes.  Western and Eared Grebes are also possible.  These trips fall right in the middle of waterfowl migration, and I expect we will see 10 or more species of ducks. We may see 1-3 gull species.  Bald Eagles should be visible too.  We will explore a loop that starts at Rocky Branch, goes down the lake towards Twin Cove, crosses to Lost Bridge-Glade and a little further west, then finish the loop back to Rocky Branch.”


    • Sunday, October 27th
    • Saturday, November 2nd
    • Sunday, November 10th

    Leave Rocky Branch Marina at 10:00 am - 2-hour cruise  

    Where:  Rocky Branch Marina – Hwy 303 north of Hwy. 12

    Cost: $10 + tax - adults (13 yrs. and up) These are adult-only tours.      

    Reservations are necessary.  For more information and to make reservations call:  479-789-5000

      • 27 Oct 2019
      • 10:00 PM - 10:30 PM
      • Visitor Center

      Do you know the symbols of Arkansas? Some of the symbols are easy, and others you probably have never heard of. Did you know we have a state soil and a State beverage? Join interpreter Steve to learn some of the symbols of Arkansas.  Visitor Center. 

      • 03 Nov 2019
      • 2:00 PM
      • Visitor Center

      The Friends of Hobbs are always looking for interesting and different programs to present free to the public.  This one gives a glimpse into the intensive training a bloodhound must undergo to become a certified search hound.  The bloodhounds will be there too.  There will be a live demonstration of how these dogs help to save lives.

      The program will be given by the Arkansas Alliance of Bloodhound Search Specialists (AABSS).   This is a state-wide, all-volunteer organization formed in 2005.  They are a 501(c)3 public charity.  The members are concerned citizens from a multitude of occupations who are dedicated to helping save lives.    Their programs focus on safety, and cover what to do if you become separated from the rest of your group and ways to help keep you safe while participating in outdoor activities.

      Training a search and rescue dog takes on average 18 months depending on the discipline.  Any breed can work in search and rescue if they have the proper personality, temperament, drive, interest, and stamina to do the job – which may cover large areas and many hours when searching for a missing person.

      The Friends of Hobbs organization is pleased and in fact excited to make this program available to the public and encourages families and individuals to participate to learn about this free, lifesaving service.

      When:  Sunday November 3, 2019 at 2:00 pm

      Where:  Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area visitor center located on Hwy. 12 just east of the Hwy 12 War Eagle Road intersection

      Cost:  FREE

      This presentation is a continuation of the Friends of Hobbs Speaker’s Series. 

      For more information on Hobbs State Park programs, trails, picnicking, or meeting room rentals:   Call:  479-789-5000

    Upcoming events

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