The Bald Eagle has been the national emblem of the United States since 1782 and for native Americans a spiritual symbol for far longer than that. These majestic raptors (Birds of prey) are seen migrating through northwest Arkansas November through February, mainly around bodies of water since fish are the main element of their diet.
An easy, comfortable way to view and get photos of these gorgeous birds is on one of the eagle watch tours offered by Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area on beautiful Beaver Reservoir. Many dates are available this eagle watch season.
November: 6, 7, 13, 14, 27, 28December: 4, 5, 18, 19, 23, 26, 27, 31
January: 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 29, 30
February: 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27
Tickets must be purchased in advance. Adults: $15.00 + tax. Children: 6-12 $7.50 + tax. Tours depart Rocky Branch Marina promptly at 3:00 p.m. To make reservations, call Hobbs State Park at: 479-789-5000.
For many years, the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society has partnered with Hobbs State Park east of Rogers, presenting informative programs in a classroom setting followed by night sky viewings. The Sugar Creek astronomers bring several high-powered telescopes to the park through which the public can view celestial wonders.
With the challenges from COVID-19, these astronomy programs had been curtailed; however, with the advent of the new Hobbs State Park Outdoor Education Pavilion, the astronomy programs at Hobbs State Park are once again in the Park’s program mix. Herein lies the “twist”. The Park’s visitor center will not be open during the astronomy programs.
The instructional portion of Sugar Creek’s presentation will be held in the covered, open-air pavilion just to the east of the visitor center. The pavilion is complete with comfortable year-round restroom facilities. This structure was a cooperative effort of Arkansas State Parks and the Friends of Hobbs, a park support group.
On September 11th, Jupiter and Saturn will be rising in the east as the first-quarter moon sinks into the west at sunset. The summer Milky Way will be well positioned high in the eastern sky, as will the Andromeda Galaxy, which should be visible to the naked eye.
What to Bring:
Recommended minimum age for this program: 8 years
Where: Hobbs State Park Outdoor Education Pavilion (Next to the Park visitor center)
When: Saturday September 11, 2021
Night sky viewing
For information, call Hobbs State Park: 479-789-5000
Sugar Creek Astronomical Society: https://www.sugarcreek.space/
The shooting range at Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area reopens at 8 a.m., on June 18, 2021. The redesigned shooting range has five shooting lanes, including one lane designed for wheelchair use, is 100 yards long, and is free for the public to use.
“Outdoor recreation is so important to Arkansans and is available in abundance at our system of Arkansas State Parks,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism. “We are very pleased to re-open the shooting range at Hobbs to those sportsmen and -women who enjoy improving their marksmanship skills.”
The park provides target holders that can be positioned at 25, 50, 75, or 100 yards. The shooting range is designed for rifles and handguns but is not designed for shotgun use.
The shooting range was closed two years ago due to safety concerns requiring an evaluation of the range design and operations that resulted in a redesign and major rehabilitation.
“We are excited to reopen the shooting range, especially knowing that it has been sorely missed by 8,000 to 10,000 annual park visitors. We appreciate the patience of our range users as we made these improvements,” Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area Superintendent Mark Clippinger said.
“There is great demand for public shooting ranges, especially near large population centers,” Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Deputy Director Chris Colclasure said. “The Hobbs range will serve a great need for the public in northwest Arkansas.”
Legacy Construction Management, Inc. of Fayetteville, Ark., was the contractor on the project. CEI Engineering Associates, Inc., of Bentonville, Ark., was the design firm. The total cost of the project was $126,555.
“These much-needed safety improvements were made possible by an Arkansas Natural and Cultural Council (ANCRC) grant,” Arkansas State Parks Director Grady Spann said. “We understand how important this shooting range is to the community and we’re glad to be reopening it.”
The shooting range is near the intersection of State Highway 12 and 303 North. The hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday and it is closed Mondays for maintenance. It is also closed for Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area permitted hunting seasons: five days in November, five days in December, and two days in January. Shooters are asked to use only paper or cardboard targets and wooden clothespins. The range is unsupervised, and shooters are asked to communicate with others to safely use the facility.
About Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area
Established in 1979, Hobbs State Park-Conservation is Hobbs is Arkansas’s largest state park, spanning a 12,054-acre tract of Ozark landscape along the southern shore of Beaver Lake. It’s an asset to the ecosystem and water with minimum human impact.
Highlights of this day-use park include a diverse, 54-mile trail system with hiking, ADA, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails, and 11 primitive campsites, six of which are accessible by mountain biking, the first in Northwest Arkansas. It’s the only state park in Arkansas to allow regulated hunting. The visitor center includes exhibits about the park’s natural resources, limestone landscape, and history. Interpretive programs and workshops are offered throughout the year. The park also has a shooting range that is open to the public free of charge.
About Arkansas State Parks
Arkansas State Parks is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism. Arkansas state parks and museums cover 54,400 acres of forest, wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation facilities, and unique historic and cultural resources. The system includes 1,100 buildings (including 183 historic structures), six National Historic Landmarks, a National Natural Landmark, 16 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, and War Memorial Stadium.
The state parks have 1,800 campsites, 1,050 picnic sites, 208 cabins, five lodges, and 415 miles of trails. Eight million visitors annually come from all regions of the country. Park staffs provide over 42,000 education programs, activities, and special events to more than 700,000 participants each year.
Established in 1923, Arkansas State Parks preserve special places for future generations, provide quality recreation and education opportunities, enhance the state’s economy through tourism, and provide leadership in resource conservation. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and visit ArkansasStateParks.com and ArkansasStateParks.com/media to learn more about everything we have to offer.
January 1st, 2nd, & 3rd, 2021
First Day Hikes & Drop-in Booth
(10:00-4:00 each day):
Start the New Year off right! Plan on doing a self-guided First Day Hike anytime between dawn and dusk on the “First Weekend”, January 1st – 3rd. Before heading out you’re welcome to stop by our drop-in booth on the front porch of the Visitor Center anytime from 10 am–4 pm for suggestions on trails to hike to suit your needs. We have 52 miles of trail to choose from! Create a new tradition!
Other things to do at this outdoor station while maintaining social distance:
Keep track of the miles you hiked and afterwards, go to:
www.ArkansasStateParks.com/FirstDayHikes to log your First Day Hikes in an Arkansas State Park during the “First Weekend” and everyone in your group will receive a free sticker!
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the higher numbers of infection that are taking place across the state, the Visitor Information Center will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays until further notice. ALL Arkansas State Park visitor centers, museums, and some other facilities will now be open just 5 days a week. In addition, park restaurants and two marinas at Arkansas State Parks will see a reduction of operating hours to efficiently manage available resources.
For the full story, here is the link to the Arkansas State Park press release:
Meet Sarah and Paul Heer, video bloggers. They recently visited Hobbs to do one of the many blogs that they have put together on various Arkansas State Parks under the banner of "Arkie Travels". Their goal is to video blog all 52 of Arkansas’s state parks this year!
Check out all of their blogs at: https://www.facebook.com/watch/ArkieTravels/
Hobbs SP-CA has received the green light to create a volunteer team to do a collection of native plant seeds on Hobbs through Project Wingspan. Park Interpreter Chris Pistole will be the team leader. We are looking for volunteers to join in this exciting conservation program which will help us increase the quantity, quality, and connectivity of wildlife habitat through the collection and distribution of native wildflower seeds.
See our Home page for more information.
Check out this fun new Blueberry's Clubhouse video from Arkansas State Parks featuring Hobb's own Kiara Bjornstad and Chris Pistole. Take the link for a cute and informative kid's video on how to "take a hike!"
Looking for something fun to do with your kids? Something to add some value to your next hike? Download and print a copy of the Hobbs Scavenger Hunt, or pick one up at the Visitor Center!
All around us are many “hidden wonders”—small animals, plants, and fungi—that may not be as engaging as deer or turkeys, but are just as important to the ecosystem. By carefully looking for the items below as you explore the park, you can discover these hidden wonders and learn how they help this ecosystem. If you look under a rock or log remember that it could be an animal’s home, so please move items very gently, then leave them as you found them when you’re done exploring. Remember to take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time, and leave only your footprints behind! By practicing these Leave No Trace principles, you’re helping us protect this wonderful park!
The Scavenger Hunt PDF can be found HERE on the Arkansas State Parks website!
Today we planted 2 Ozark Chinquapin saplings and over 40 germinated seeds at Hobbs! These are very special saplings and seeds as come from trees that are the most resistant to the chestnut blight that nearly wiped this important Ozark forest species out. This is a different species from the Chinquapin Oak, which is not affected by the chestnut blight. These saplings and seeds are the best hope for the future of this tree at Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area and throughout Arkansas. If they survive and eventually produce blight resistant seeds, they will be distributed to other State Parks and other places where the Ozark Chinquapin was once found in hopes of re-establishing them. Pictured is volunteer Al Knox (formerly in charge of trail maintenance at Hobbs and Ozark Chinquapin enthusiast), and Volunteer Coordinator Carla Berg. For more info on the Ozark Chinquapin, visit the web site of the Ozark Chinquapin Foundation.
CHRIS PISTOLEPark Interpreter
Copyright 2019 - Friends of Hobbs State Park - Conservation Area is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Send mail to: PO Box 802, Rogers, Arkansas 72757-0802
Located at: 20201 East Hwy 12 - Rogers, Arkansas 72756