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State Park-Conservation Area

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Arkansas’s Only Trail Maintenance Supervisor to Retire

24 Mar 2017 10:26 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

It was back in 2001 that Al Knox began to volunteer for trail maintenance at Hobbs State Park.  For two years he regularly visited the Park with chain saw, weed eater, grass whip, McLeod, and Pulaski.  He maintained and re-routed old trail, while developing new sections.  Nothing made Al happier than to be in the woods maintaining trail for his fellow man and woman to enjoy.  Then in 2003 Knox was on the payroll.  He became the only Trail Maintenance Supervisor ever hired by any Arkansas state park.

Hobbs State Park boasts 35 miles of trail with 24 of those miles being multi-use.  Multi-use means that in addition to hikers, the trail is used by horses, and non-motorized bikes.  Horses and bikes are exceptionally hard on trails; however, for 14 years Knox and his community volunteers have kept all 35 miles of trail in a continuous state of excellent repair…not an easy task.  It has been the Al Knox love of the woods and the love of his work that has endured him to the thousands of trail users that visit Hobbs State Park every year.  At age 81, Al will be hanging up his trail tools, trading them for a rod and reel and some well-deserved fishing time.

In honor of the exceptional service he has provided the largest state park in Arkansas, “Al Knox Trail Day” has been established as an annual happening at Hobbs State Park.  The very first will be April 1, 2017.

The public is invited to an open house Saturday April 1st from 10 am to 2 pm.  Cake and drink will be provided for all.  Al will want to see everyone who has enjoyed the Hobbs State Park trails.

In addition to the open house, a full array of guided trail tours will take place the same day:

Time                 Trail Head                     Trail                        Leader                 Trail Use Type
8 am            Piney Trail head         Bashore Loop          Diane Gately                Hike
8:30 am         Van Winkle                Sinking Stream        Rick Jones            Bird Watching
9 am             Townsend Ridge          War Eagle                 Tomac                        Bike 
9 am             Townsend Ridge          Little Clifty               Saddle Up                 Horse
9:30 am         Visitor Center                OPT                   Rebekah Penny               Hike
10 am           Pigeon Roost             Dry Creek                  Kathy Mayhue        Photography
                                                       2.5 miles down to
                                                       Water and back         Joan Reynolds       Wildflowers

10am – 2 pm  Visitor Center      Open House     Spend time with Al

Time               Trail Head                     Trail                         Leader            Trail Use Type
2 pm                Piney                   Dutton Hollow              Chelsea            Hike
2:30 pm      Shaddox Hollow      Shaddox Hollow            Nikki                Hike
3:30 pm        Van Winkle                Van Winkle                 Steve               Hike

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