Friends of Hobbs
State Park-Conservation Area

Hobbs News - don't miss a thing!

  • 14 Aug 2017 11:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “I’m ready.” says Mother Nature.  “September heralds the beginning of an amazing time of revolution.  I know each season well!  I celebrate the aromas of the leaves changing from green to brilliant splashes of red and yellow.  I see my migrating friends fly towards more warmth.  The days are shorter, and many of my small mammals look for places to spend the winter underground.  That’s OK.  I’ll see them again in the spring.  The Christmas fern stays green and keeps me company.” 

    “My little human friends raise my spirits when they visit me at Hobbs State Park the 2nd Saturday of every month.  I’m going to read to them September 9th at 10:30 a.m. in the Hobbs State Park visitor center.   I think it will be about autumn in the woods, and how my animal friends prepare for winter.   I think after that we will do a nature craft together.  Yes, that sounds like fun.  I love reading to everyone, but most of my stories are for those 3 – 6 years of age. “

    Meet Mother Nature in the lobby of the Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

     Cost:  Free -  Length – one hour.  

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000

    Mother Nature adds, “Let me leave a thought for my adult friends.  It’s a quote from John Muir, one of my favorite friends.”

    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”  John Muir –


  • 31 Jul 2017 3:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mike Martin, an award winning nature and wildlife photographer, and a native Arkansan, will present a free program on Beautiful Birds of Arkansas at the Hobbs State Park visitor center on Sunday, August 6th at 2:00 p.m.  

    Mike has been an avid nature and wildlife photographer for over 25 years.  His photos have been published by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, New York City Parks Department, the New York State Parks Department, the Florida Parks Department, and the California Parks Department.   He has also had a number of his photos published by the Cornell University Ornithology Department’s award winning website, “All About Birds”. 

    Mike travels the state photographing birds of every kind.  His patience and keen eye have produced some of the most breath taking images imaginable of the beautiful birds of Arkansas.   Bring a friend, enjoy a remarkable program, and visit personally with Mike Martin at Hobbs State Park.

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

    When:  Sunday August 6, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.

    Cost:  Free – Public invited

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000.  Mike’s presentation is an extension of the Friends of Hobbs Speakers Series.  


  • 24 Jul 2017 11:27 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s not every day that we observe Mother Nature because she is particular regarding when she can be seen by humans.  One of her favorite stops however, is Hobbs State Park.  Every 2nd Saturday of the month she drops in at the Park’s visitor center to tell timely stories to her little human friends.   Readings begin at 10:30 a.m.   Story time will be followed by “hands-on” nature-craft activities.  Humans of all ages are welcome, however most stories target those 3-6 years of age.

    Mother Nature’s Readings at Hobbs State Park for the Rest of 2017:  (She said that we all should put this list on our refrigerators so we don’t forget to visit her.)

    August 12: Herps at Hobbs: Snakes, Turtles & Lizards
    September 9: Autumn in the Woods: Preparing for Winter
    October 14: Bats – Not Really Scary
    November 11: Stories the Osage Nation Tells
    December 9: Squirrels – Busy All Year ‘Round

     Meet Mother Nature in the lobby of the Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

    Cost: Free     
    Length: One hour  

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000


  • 20 Jul 2017 11:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Rebekah Penny, Hobbs State Park interpreter, loves to snorkel.  She will be the instructor on the Hobbs July and August snorkeling tours on Beaver Lake.  Penny said, “Snorkeling on beaver is a great time outside, an incredible underwater learning experience, and 100% fun.  You’re going to want to be wet during the two hottest months of the year.  What better way to do that than to snorkel?”

    Please note the different days of the week for this activity.

    When:

    Tuesday July 25            1-4 pm

    Friday July 28               1-4 pm

    Friday August 4            1-4 pm

    Thursday August 10    1-4 pm

    Friday August 25          1-4 pm

    Thursday August 31     1-4 pm

    Wear appropriate clothing for swimming, including water shoes, and sunscreen.  Participants must wear a life jacket.  All participants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult, and the adult must be in the water.  Life jackets, masks, and snorkels provided.

    Where:  All participants meet at Rock Branch Marina, 8872 Rocky Branch                  Marina Road, Rogers, Arkansas 72756 (Hwy. 12 to 303 north, to                      Rocky Branch Marina Road)

    Cost:     $20 Adults (13 and up)
                    $10 Child (Up thru age 12)

    Preregistration and payment required.  To register call:  479-789-5000

  • 20 Jul 2017 9:29 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    No matter where you live in northwest Arkansas, April of this year brought more rain that we expected, needed, or wanted.  The 28-year monthly average (1990 through 2017) rainfall for Hobbs State Park was 5.42 inches.  Mother Nature decided we needed more this April, so she dumped and incredible 17.72 inches on the Park, an amount 226% more than we routinely see. 

    Of the 35 miles of trail at Hobbs State Park, many saw substantial damage.  Parts of trails were completely gone, some received severe ruts, and in other areas trees were uprooted taking parts of trails with them, causing rerouting work.  Fortunately, an army of devoted volunteers immediately addressed much of the problem, and all but the ½ mile historic Van Winkle Trail were quickly reopened to the public. 

    Imagine at Historic Van Winkle – 4-foot deep holes in the middle of the trail.  Imagine the approaches on both sides of the concrete bridge at Van Winkle - gone.  Yes, as in imagine there’s a huge gap from where you’re standing to the bridge.  Imagine the small rock “fines” that make the trail barrier-free – gone.

    The damage at Historic Van Winkle was vast, calling for weeks of heavy equipment work, plus many truckloads of fill and rock materials.  The approaches to the bridge were reestablished and reinforced.  The huge holes in the trail were filled in.  The “fines” were replaced and rolled so they stayed put.  The banks of Little Clifty Creek were raised and lined with rip rap. 

    After some $30,000.00 worth of materials and labor, the historic Van Winkle Trail reopens Wednesday July 19th.  Once again, individuals and school groups will be awed by the unique and meaningful history of Peter Van Winkle and his steam-driven saw mill, and how important he and the mill were to the growth and development of northwest Arkansas.  Rumor has it that even Peter Van Winkle himself would be proud to see what was done.


  • 17 Jul 2017 6:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    No, the solar eclipse will not be July 22nd, but that’s the first evening to mark on your calendar.  That’s the night that the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society will be at Hobbs State Park to explain the approaching solar phenomenon and how to enjoy it when it does come on August 21 of this year.  A solar eclipse in the continental U.S. is uncommon.  In fact, the last one was 38 years ago in February of 1979.

    What’s going to happen?  This year millions of people across the United States will see one of nature’s most amazing spectacles.  It is a scene of unimaginable beauty.  The Moon completely blocks the Sun, daytime becomes a deep twilight, and the Sun’s corona shimmers in the darkened sky; however, you would have to be in the right place, and that’s a line from central Idaho to central Nebraska to central Missouri to Nashville.  In Northwest Arkansas, we will experience about 92% totality, so although we will not experience the deep twilight and Sun’s corona, we will enjoy a fascinating chance to study the Sun. Dr. Katherine Auld will explain the geometry of a total eclipse, the history of eclipse science, and the opportunities for that day.  The lecture will end with an explanation of viewing the night sky and a simple night sky tour.

    Dr. Auld, president of the Sugar Creek club added, “Because the new moon will be the following night, July 22nd should be a great night for observing with telescope, binoculars or just using your unaided eyes!  We will have several telescopes set up looking at various deep sky objects.  By the nature of stellar observation, these objects will move through the evening, so viewing opportunities will be plentiful.  As always everyone is invited.  All ages are encouraged.  A basket of children’s books will be provided along with extra balloon covered flashlights for Reading Under the Stars.”

    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 July 22, 2017      
                       Eclipse lecture at 7:45 pm
                       Night sky viewing at 8:45 pm

    Cost:        FREE – Public invited       

    Great for families and scout groups!  For more information, call:  479-789-5000


  • 05 Jul 2017 10:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    How well do you know your German navy slang?   First recorded in 1940-1945, the name of the airshaft for German U-boats came from the German navy slang Schnorchel for "nose, or snout,".  Today when we go swimming and use one, we call it a snorkel.

    Snorkelling is incredibly fun, relaxing, and a wonderful way to explore the world beneath the waves.   You can just drift through the water, relax, and enjoy a previously unexplored, wet wonderland.

    Snorkelling is the practice of swimming on or through a body of water while equipped with a diving mask, a shaped tube called a snorkel, and usually fins.  Use of this equipment allows the snorkeler to observe underwater attractions for extended periods of time with relatively little effort.  The primary appeal is the opportunity to observe underwater life in a natural setting without the complicated equipment and training required for scuba diving.   Snorkelling appeals to all ages because of how little effort is involved.

    Join your Hobbs State Park interpreter guide to truly appreciate Beaver Lake as few have.  We will take a short pontoon boat ride to an unspoiled, quiet cove, searching for the hidden diversity of underwater life.

    When:
    Monday July 10            1-4 pm
    Monday July 17             1-4 pm
    Tuesday July 25            1-4 pm
    Friday July 28               1-4 pm
    Friday August 4            1-4 pm
    Thursday August 10    1-4 pm
    Friday August 25          1-4 pm
    Thursday August 31     1-4 pm

    Wear appropriate clothing for swimming, including water shoes, and sunscreen.  Participants must wear a life jacket.  All participants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult, and the adult must be in the water.  Life jackets, masks, and snorkels provided.

    Where:  All participants meet at Rock Branch Marina, 8872 Rocky Branch Marina Road, Rogers, Arkansas 72756 (Hwy. 12 to 303 north, to Rocky Branch Marina Road)

    Cost:     $20 Adults (13 and up)
                 $10 Child (Up thru age 12)

    Preregistration and payment required.  To register call:  479-789-5000



  • 05 Jul 2017 10:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Spend an evening on Beaver Lake while paddling your own kayak guided by a park interpreter.  You will learn the basics of paddling as we explore a calm area of Beaver Lake.  The best part will be the lake exquisitely illuminated by the full moon.

    Recreational kayaks, paddles and lifejackets will be provided.  Bring a bottle of water, bug spray, flashlight, and dress for the weather. 

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

    When:     July 7 at 8:30 pm

                   Aug. 7 at 8:30 pm

                   Sept. 5 at 7:30 pm

                   Oct. 5 at 7:00 pm

    Cost:       $12 Adults, $6 children (6-12)

    Registration and pre-payment required.  For more information and to register, call: 479-789-5000


  • 29 Jun 2017 12:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From its beginning, Eureka Springs, Arkansas has been more than quirky with its share of interesting people and ideas.  One of the most attention-grabbing times was during the assimilation of the “long hairs” into the Ozark folk culture and business communities.

    The legacy of the back-to-the-land movement in the Arkansas Ozarks during the 1960’s and 1970’s includes how in-migrants from urban areas learned about local Ozark flora, fauna, and folk culture.  By creating a fast link to established folklore and naturalist figures such as Vance Randolph, the “hipbillies” quickly began to assimilate into Ozark communities, (though not perfectly) and took the lead in preserving the natural beauty and folk traditions of the Ozarks.

    Jared M. Phillips, local historian, lives in Prairie Grove on a small homestead with his wife, son, and what he calls his “rowdy chickens.”  He is currently writing Hipbillies: Back to the Landers in the Arkansas Ozarks under contract with the University of Arkansas Press.  Phillips will speak at Hobbs State Park on the merits of the vast collection of Ozark culture amassed by writers like Vance Randolph, and then shift gears to explain how some of the “Hipbillies” became the bearded businessmen of Eureka Springs, carrying on Ozark folk customs.

    In the beginning, Vance Randolph was a folklorist whose studies in the traditional culture of the Ozarks brought him fame with academic and popular readers from the late 1920’s to the present.  For most of the 1940’s and 1950’s he lived in Eureka Springs, continuing to collect traditional Ozark music, dialect studies, and folk beliefs.  His litany of publications includes Journal of American Folklore, Down In the Holler: A Gallery of Ozark Folk Speech, and Pissing in the Snow, (1976) a collection of bawdy folk tales, which by far became his most popular book.

    Phillips writes of the 1960’s and 1970’ s, “Change was fast coming to the Ozark hilltops.  Beginning in the late 1960’s population boomed throughout the Arkansas uplands as thousands of in-migrants-mostly retirees and returnees, but also members of the counterculture moved into the state.  These dissimilar groups from the nation’s cities and suburbs flocked to the newly-created lakes and retirements villages, but also to small towns and rural areas, and along the way, stirred up a potent mixture of enthusiasm and consternation among local people.  At times, consternation became antagonism.  The most organized bitterness occurred in Carroll County’s Eureka Springs, giving birth to a mythology concerning hostility between native-born hill folks and back-to-the-land hippies.  Though Eureka Springs is now seen as a mecca for Ozarkian counterculture, in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the “long hairs” newly residing in and around the town agitated the town’s business leaders.  Some of the loudest protests came from John Cross, a bank owner, entrepreneur, and community elder.”  Cross even had a baseball bat in his office which he affectionately referred to as his “hippy stick.”

    There was one good reason for the native townspeople to be upset.  In 1973, only four years after “Woodstock”, back-to-the-lander Edd Jeffords had the idea to organize a music festival just north of Eureka Springs.  He called it the Ozark Mountain Folk Fair.  The venue was built to accommodate 60,000 people; however, an estimated 150,000 souls (mainly long hairs) inundated the small community of 2,000.  Banker John Cross referred to the happening as “The Marijuana Rodeo”.

    Many of the “long hairs” who previously rejected the commercial aspects of society, stayed to live in Eureka Springs.  As years passed, their attitudes changed as they absorbed Ozark culture and established trendy arts and craft shops, reaping the benefits of the tourist dollars flowing into the area.

    Anyone who remembers those times in Eureka Springs, or who is just interested in the unique history of northwest Arkansas will not want to miss Jared Philips’s upcoming program!

    When –  Sunday July 9, 2017    2:00 p.m.

    Where -  Hobbs State park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the                    Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection

    Cost – Free – The public is invited

    This program is a continuation of the Friends of Hobbs Speaker Series.


  • 26 Jun 2017 1:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We all use it every day! The waters of Beaver Lake provide you and your family with many resources – clean drinking water, power, recreational opportunities, and industries. So do your part to help show appreciation for Beaver Lake and its watershed at the Lake Appreciation Month Clean-up at Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area on Saturday, July 8.

    Hobbs State Park in cooperation with Beaver Watershed Alliance, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Beaver Water District, Keep Arkansas Beautiful, Ozarks Water Watch, Benton County Solid Waste District, Benton County Environmental Division, Benton County Cooperative Extension Service, and the Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists has joined numerous sponsors including SUP Outfitters,  Ozark Mountain Trading Company, Gearhead Outfitters, Lewis and Clark, Pack Rat Outdoor Center, Talulah’s Outfitters and Deli, Patagonia, McGuagh RV Center, and Coca-Cola, in the effort to preserve one of our most precious resources – the waters of Beaver Lake!   

    “This is a wonderful opportunity for volunteers to get out and enjoy the resource while making a positive impact on it. We invite everyone to experience the beauty of the lake while doing their part to clean up our water source! We are hopeful that the Lake Appreciation Month Clean-up raises awareness of the importance of Beaver Lake to Northwest Arkansas and its residents!”, notes Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area Interpreter Rebekah Penny.

    Volunteers are invited to help either by walking along the shoreline or by bringing their own kayaks and canoes to scout the shoreline. Individuals with non-motorized boats will be caravanning to pre-selected Park access sites for clean-up.

    All volunteers are asked to register at the Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area visitor center at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 8th to receive assignments, gloves, and trash bags.  The clean-up will last from 9 a.m. until noon, followed by a free lunch and raffle prize giveaway until 1 p.m. The Benton County Cooperative Extension Service is sponsoring special showings of the film, “All the Way to the Ocean,” during the day.

    A limited number of kayaks, and standup paddle boards will be available. Individuals who would like to utilize boats or boards should contact Becky Roark at 479-750-8007 or becky@beaverwatershedalliance.org.

    For more information: contact Rebekah Penny at 479-789-5000 or rebekah.penny@arkansas.gov.

    The Hobbs visitor center is located on highway 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection


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