Friends of Hobbs
State Park-Conservation Area

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  • 11 Dec 2017 11:22 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It was an entire year.  Austin Jones, Distinguished Doctoral Fellow and Graduate Assistant at the U of A, accumulated and identified creepy crawlies at Hobbs State Park just east of Rogers.  He collected specimens in five different Park habitats; Creek Riparian, Reservoir Riparian, Wooded, Upland, Cleared Upland Field, and Glade.  Austin’s project is the first at Hobbs to trap, identify, and now disseminate information on the arthropods, bugs, and insects found within the 12,054 acres of Arkansas’s largest state park. 

    Several years ago Arkansas State Parks began to participate in the Natural Resource Inventory Database, NRID.  Birds, mammals, reptiles, trees, flowers, bushes, amphibians, butterflies, etc. have been noted and inventoried at the 52 Arkansas state parks, but Austin Jones’ year-long list will now allow some of our often missed critters to be included in this extensive inventory.  Jones’ December 2017 program will be the first time anyone, even the staff of Hobbs State Park, will have knowledge of his fascinating study results.

    Join Austin and his cadre of multi-legged friends at his upcoming family- friendly program.  You will be among the few to be the very first to hear the results of this year-long study of the arthropods, insects, bugs, and other charming creatures that inhabit Hobbs State Park – and maybe your house.

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

    When:   Saturday December 16, 2017

    Time:     2:00 pm

    Cost:      Free


  • 17 Nov 2017 11:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    According to Rebekah Penny, interpreter at Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area, “Instead of stressing out about finding a good deal on the latest gadget this holiday season, let’s all take the time to be thankful for all that we have here in northwest Arkansas– clean water and air, and time with friends and family. ‘Green Friday’ is a chance to give a gift that is priceless – a connection – a memory!  There is true value in our natural areas, recreational activities, and traditions.  Getting out and exploring them with friends and family are those priceless connections – those priceless memories”.   What is your “Connection”?  A hike in the woods?  Doing a craft?  

    Penny further added, “Find a real value at Hobbs State Park on Friday, November 24th.   Reconnect with the things that most of us find important in life.  Hobbs is the ideal place to avoid the stress of crowds, long lines, and rain checks on sale items usually associated with the holidays.  Consider new family traditions that you may just find priceless.  The memories you make will last far longer than the latest gadget.”

    Green Friday activities at Hobbs State Park happen all day and include a run with the Ranger, scavenger hunts, a backpacking clinic, a fly tying exhibition, eagle watch cruise, plus crafts and educational activities for the entire family.

    When:  Friday November 24, 2017
    Where:  Hobbs State Park’s visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east       of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.
    Cost:   All activities Free except eagle cruise.  

    Eagle Cruise is $10 Adults + tax, $5 + tax for Children (6-12)   Call for eagle cruise reservations or for more information about all of the Green Friday family activities.  479-789-5000


  • 13 Nov 2017 5:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hobbs State Park and the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society have enjoyed a long partnership of presenting free astronomy programs to families living in northwest Arkansas.  The November 2017 program includes what to expect from this year’s Leonid meteor shower, and of course night sky viewing through the Sugar Creek group’s powerful telescopes.

    Tempel-Tuttle is a periodic comet discovered by Wilhelm Tempel on December 19, 1865, and by Horace Parnell Tuttle on January 6, 1866, with an orbital period of 33 years.  It is the parent body and source of the Leonid meteor showers.  An annual Leonid meteor shower may deposit 12 or 13 tons of particles across the entire planet.  In mid-November, these spectacular “shooting stars” will streak through the night sky as they invade the earth’s atmosphere.  The Tempel-Tuttle comet is responsible for some of the most intense meteor storms in history.  This November we should expect to see 10 to 20 “shooting stars” per hour. 

    What to Bring if you can:

    ·      Flashlight (covered with a red cloth or red balloon)
    ·      Binoculars and/or telescope (if you have)
    ·      Folding chair – one per person
    ·      Star chart (if you have one)

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

    When:   Saturday November 18, 2017

    Time:     4:15 pm Lecture   5:15 for night viewing

    Cost:      Free

    To learn more about the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society, go to: https://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/club-view.cfm?Club_ID=1804

    For more information:  479-789-5000


  • 08 Nov 2017 1:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Did you know that Arkansas has an official state cooking vessel?  We do -- the Dutch oven, and for some reason, food always tastes better cooked in one.  Arkansans have been preparing culinary delights in these deep cast iron pots for generations.  You can carry on the tradition. Embrace your Arkansas heritage by attending this fun and tasty 4-hour workshop led by park interpreters.

    Participants will learn how to care for cast iron, and will cook a three course meal to enjoy together.  Participants will also receive a Dutch Oven Cooking guidebook. 

    When: Saturday November 17, 2018, 10 am – 2 pm

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

    Cost: $40.00 + tax per person

    Registration and pre-payment required:  To register and for more information call:  479-789-5000


  • 06 Nov 2017 3:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area offers eagle watch tours on Beaver Lake November 2017 through February 2018.  Tours will take place on the following dates from 3PM-4:30PM:

    November:  4,5,11,12,18,19,22,24,25,26
    December:  2,3,9,10,16,17,22,23,27,28,29,30,31
    January:  1,6,7,14,15,19,20,21,27,28
    February:  3,4,10,11,17,18,19,24,25

    January 13:  Special tour on How to Photograph Eagles
    · Adults only – seriously wanting to know how to photograph eagles
    · 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
    · Includes lecture by a professional photographer from the Photographic Society of Northwest Arkansas

    According to Rebekah Penny, park interpreter, “We have always been lucky seeing eagles on our tours; some mature, some immature, and we always see other beautiful wildlife as well.  It could be migrating osprey, great blue herons, king fishers, deer, or red-tailed hawks.  No one will ever be disappointed on our eagle tours.”  Penny added, “We can only take 20 guests at a time, so it’s important that folks call the park in a timely manner to ensure that their names get on the boarding lists.”

    Tickets must be purchased in advance.  Adults $10.00 + tax. Children 6-12   $5.00 + tax.  Tours depart Rocky Branch Marina promptly at 3:00 p.m. (except for the special tour on January 13, 2018) For more information call: 479-789-5000


  • 29 Oct 2017 2:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Do you have an insatiable thirst for adventure? Would you like to be able to visit places few people are able to go?   Backpacking can open many doors to exploring the great outdoors.  Backpacking simply is carrying what you need on your back to camp and to travel.  However, with all the information on the Internet about backpacking, sorting out relevant information for the beginning backpacker can be overwhelming.

    Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area is ready to help the beginning backpacker get started through our Intro to Backpacking Clinics.  These hands-on, overnight trips are designed for people with little to no backpacking experience to try out backpacking and learn some tricks to having a positive experience on the trail.   The clinics are led by a park interpreter along our 8.5-mile Pigeon Roost Trail.  Participants will be able to try out their own equipment in a safe environment with expert guidance.  Topics covered during the clinics include: packing, cooking, safety, leave no trace, and navigation.

    If you’re ready for a new kind of adventure, then contact Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area to register for one of these Intro to Backpacking Clinics.

    You will need to bring your own food, water, and equipment to camp overnight.  If you don’t have much equipment or are unsure of what to bring, make sure to ask for our gear list when you register.  Are you ready to answer the call of the wild?

    Where:  Meet at the Pigeon Roost Trail Head, on Hwy 12, 6/10 mi. east of the Hobbs State Park visitor center
    When:  
    2:00 p.m. Saturday, November 11 –  12:00 p.m. Sunday, November 12
    2:00 p.m. Friday, November 24 – 12:00 p.m. Saturday, November 25
    2:00 p.m. Saturday, December 9 – 12:00 p.m. Sunday December 10
    Cost:  $10 person + tax…16 yrs. and older only…Prepayment required:  To make reservations call:  479-789-5000


  • 29 Oct 2017 2:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Read this, then jump back.  According to the Northwest Arkansas Open Space Plan, “Between 2010 and 2030, Northwest Arkansas is projected to have the highest growth rate in the central United States.  The projected population growth rate of 58% roughly translates to an increase in population from 500,000 today to 800,000 in 2030.”  (And you get annoyed at the I-49 traffic today.)

    As Northwest Arkansas grows we lose farmland, habitat for native plants and animals, and an unpolluted watershed for Beaver Lake, the water source for 1 in 8 Arkansans.  The overall quality of life in Northwest Arkansas is very slowly fading.  What can be done to cope with this declining advance?   

    According to Elizabeth Bowen, Project Manager/Regional Planner at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission, “We must preserve some of our country as we grow in order to maintain our clean water supply (Beaver Reservoir), save our natural beauty, and retain a diversity of recreational activities that keep us physically fit and emotionally satisfied.”

    The NWA Open Space Plan is a voluntary program providing efficient and effective conservation initiatives and was adopted by the Commission of our two county judges and 32 mayors of NWA.  Join Elizabeth Bowen at Hobbs State Park for an open public presentation to find out what the Plan entails and how you can help preserve some of your community. 

    Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.
    When:  Sunday November 5, 2017
    Time:  2:00 pm
    Cost:  Free


  • 24 Oct 2017 3:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s a first.  Hobbs State Park offers eagle watch cruises, sunset cruises, and special dinner cruises, but this is the first time that the Park will team up with the Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society for two November loon cruises.

    Each cruise will be led by Joe Neal, Joan Reynolds, and Rick Jones.  Neal is author of articles and books on birds, including being coauthor (with Doug James) of Arkansas Birds.

    Reynolds has served as past president of the NW Arkansas Audubon Society.  She also serves as a volunteer and an interpretive naturalist for Hobbs State Park.  Her area of expertise spills over into Arkansas wildflowers.

    Jones has been an avid birder and conservationist for over fifty years.  He is currently a volunteer interpretive naturalist for Devil's Den and Hobbs State Park Conservation Area.  He is a Cornell Lab of Ornithology certified bluebird nest box monitor with an established nest box trail at the Botanic Garden of the Ozarks.  With these three expert guides, the “deck is stacked” for a good time.

    During November 4th and the 18th, the waterfowl migration will be in full swing.  According to Joe Neal, “I expect there will be MANY bird species to see and identify.  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.”

    When:  Saturday, November 4 and Saturday, November 18 
    10:00 a.m. until Noon
    Where:  Rocky Branch Marina
    Cost:  $10 + tax - adults (13 yrs. and up) These are adult-only  tours.                

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


  • 24 Oct 2017 3:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Join Mother Nature as she introduces her many woodland friends at Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area’s “Living Forest” on Saturday October 28th.

    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, 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, and Mother Nature’s gift bags for the first 100 children.

    Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center on Highway 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection
    When:   Saturday October 28, 2017 - Come any time from 1 pm – 5 pm  
    Cost:  Free

    Kids of all ages are invited to participate.  For more information, call:  479-789-5000


  • 09 Oct 2017 12:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Do you still have the heebie-jeebies from watching Pet Cemetery, Poltergeist, or The Night of the Living Dead?  Horror films successfully tap into our collective subconscious fears of death, what lies beyond (or even beneath, for that matter).  But really - Do you shudder just hearing the name Stephen King?  When you visit a cemetery do you feel like a hand will appear through a menacing pall to lunge at your ankle?  Jump back!  You may be a coimetrophobe.    Coimetrophobia is the fear of cemeteries.  Symptoms include panic attacks, dizziness/vertigo, headaches, and sense of pending doom.  Coimetrophobes may also fear decomposition, decay, and even getting buried alive.    

    On the other hand, you may be a taphophile like the upcoming speaker at Hobbs State Park, Abby Burnett.  A taphophile visits cemeteries for fun, and like Abby they take an interest in cemeteries, tombstones, or the memory of past lives.  There is beauty and peace in a cemetery.  Instead of fearing that there is a ghoul lurking around the next head stone, or that a zombie will appear from behind the next tree dragging his leg in your direction, Abby wonders what the people were like, or what they died from.  She studies the symbolism carved on each stone, looking for clues that could lead to more information about the deceased.

    In Abby’s presentation she will show us gravestones that either hint at something, or tell us outright how the person died, such as being struck by lightning, or killed by a falling tree.  A stone may state “Killed by ---” and even give the murderer’s motive, but there is always more to find out.

    Not only are Abby’s programs extremely entertaining, they are always fun.  Whether you are a coimetrophobe or a taphophile, you will be glad you came to Abby’s program at Hobbs State Park.

    When:  Sunday October 15, 2017  -  2:00 p.m.
    Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle intersection
    Cost: Free

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000


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