Friends of Hobbs
State Park-Conservation Area

Hobbs News - don't miss a thing!

  • 04 May 2017 12:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Most of us forgot or never knew how Mother’s Day began.  Ann Jarvis was a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War.  When her mother died, she began to publicly campaign for a national day to honor “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.”  After years of effort, in 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation creating Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.

    Today on this special day we lavish our mothers and wives with flowers and candy.  Why not toss a lunch cruise on Beaver Lake into the mix?  Hobbs State Park offers such a tasty cruise.  Lunch will be at Ventris Trails End Resort, and features: Salad, Parmesan Chicken, Ranch Potatoes, Green Beans, Sheet Cake, Tea & Coffee.   The vegetarian option is a portabella sandwich.  (Alcoholic beverages are available at an additional charge.) 

    When:  Sunday May 14,  from 11 am – 2 pm

    Where:  Leave from Rocky Branch Marina

    Cost:  $40/person

    Space for the Mother’s Day lunch cruise is limited.  Reservations and payment must be made in advance.  For more information and to make reservations, call: 479-789-5000

  • 03 May 2017 3:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Wildflowers, pretty dots across our landscape, provide a natural color palette for the Northwest Arkansas region.  Do you love looking at flowers in their natural environment and yearn to learn more about them?  Would you like to attend a free wildflower photo walk and get tips on taking great photos of these graceful lovelies?  Hobbs State Park and the Photographic Society of Northwest Arkansas (PSNWA) have teamed up to offer helpful information and instruction that is free to the public.

    Please join us at the Hobbs State Park visitor’s center to hear Hobbs interpreter Chelsea Porter talk about the timing of wildflower blooms and wildflower identification.  She loves anything outdoors; hiking, camping, biking, climbing, fishing, and hunting.  Needless to say, she never met a wildflower she didn’t love.

    Esteemed photographer, Jeremy TenHake with the PSNWA, has a keen sense of observation, and will share basic photography tips on taking beautiful wildflower pictures.  Stay for a walking tour of the area around the Park’s visitor center to enjoy taking photos of native wildflowers.                                                     

    When:     May 13, 2017, 4:00 – 6:30 p.m. or best light
    Where:   Hobbs State Park visitor center: located on Hwy 12 just east of the                   Hwy 12/war Eagle Road intersection
    Cost:      Free and open to the public – Bring your camera.

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000

    To learn more about the Photographic Society of NW Arkansas, go to the web site:

  • 25 Apr 2017 11:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Day camps held all over northwest Arkansas offer a variety of outdoor escapes and unique learning opportunities for our youth.  For many years Hobbs State Park has been a leader in offering enlightening and educational Day Camps.  This June, Hobbs is going one step further in offering something special.  The Park is partnering with the Photographic Society of Northwest Arkansas to offer our first Summer Youth Photography Camp.

    The Camp will consist of morning sessions over a three-day period.   The sessions will include lectures, hands-on techniques, and outdoor photography walks.   Class Instruction will be given by Bob Coleman, Master Photographer.

    Equipment required:  Compact point-and-shoot camera, memory card, photo journal book; Optional equipment: DSLR camera and case, camera manual, laptop with picture editing program

    2017 Hobbs State Park 3-Day Photography Camp dates:
    June 27th – 29th            For ages 14-17                9 a.m.  – Noon

    Cost:  $100.00 per child for all three days. 

    Pre-registration and pre-payment required.   If you are a PSNWA member, register at the PSNWA web site.                                      

    If not a PSNWA member, call Hobbs State Park at   479-789-5000 to register.  Note that space is limited for this event. 

    For more information contact Bob Coleman, or Cynthia Cooper,

  • 20 Apr 2017 12:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Summer Day Camps at Hobbs State Park bring the outdoor experience up close and personal.  When kids take a break from TV, cell phones, and the Internet, they rediscover their creative powers and engage the real world.

    Hobbs Day Camps are a perfect solution to “nature deficit disorder”.

    What’s included?  Hiking, games, live animals, nature-related programs, crafts, snacks, stream studies, a T-shirt, and more.  Hobbs State Park Day Camps run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for each of 3 days.

    The July 12 – 14   Hobbs Day Camp for ages 9 – 12 year-olds still has openings.  Call today to register.

    Cost:  $50.00/child + tax for all three days.  Preregistration and pre-payment required.  Call 479-789-5000 for more information and to register.  

  • 10 Apr 2017 12:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Earth Day is an annual event where family-centered activities are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection.  It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.

    Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area celebrates Earth Day on Saturday April 15th throughout the Park.

    7:30 am      Trail Run (4-7 miles)        Piney Trail Head
    Join Assistant Superintendent Jay Schneider on a guided trail run.  Whether you’re an experienced trail runner, or just getting started, this is a great opportunity to get out, be active, and meet some other runners. 

    8-10 am              Bird Hike       Van Winkle Trail Head
    Rick Jones is your leader on this one.  He has been a birder for over 60 years and loves to share his passion.  Take a walk through Van Winkle Hollow while the day is young and the birds are active.  Binoculars and field guides will be available, so don’t let that stop you from coming out! 

    9 am             Guided Bike Ride    Townsend Ridge Trail Head
    Don’t ride solo!  Grab your buddies and catch an OORC Group Ride lead by Brannan Pack.  This is open for beginners and intermediate riders, with leaders for the fast and slower paced.  This is a great time, place, and group to learn or enhance your fundamental skills.

    9:30 am        Wildflower Hike                Sinking Stream Trail Head
    Join Park interpreter Rebekah while you look for early spring wildflowers.  Don’t forget your cameras.

    10 am     Planting with Ark. Master Naturalists    Visitor Center
    Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists are taking point on our Spring planting.  Come out and get your hands dirty with us as we give back to Mother Nature.  Bring gloves and weather appropriate clothing

    10 am – 1 pm       The Amazeum Visits Hobbs        Visitor Center
    That’s right!  The Amazeum is coming out to Hobbs.  Pody Gay and a crew from the Amazeum will be at the Hobbs visitor center with an activity designed to help you build and design.  Challenge your inner engineer. 

    10 am        Leave No Trace and Your Dog      Picnic Area/Visitor Center
    Many of us have heard of Leave No Trace, but what about for our furry companions?  Interpreter Chelsea will discuss how we can incorporate these skills and practices when bringing along our favorite four-legged friends on the trail. 

    10 am – 4 pm                Scavenger Hunt            Visitor Center  
    This is a self-guided activity designed to get you and your family exploring outside.  Stop in to the visitor center for a copy of the checklist, see what else we have going on, and then get outside!  

    10 am – 2 pm              Pretty Birds                  Visitor Center
    Join Phyllis Kane as she talks about some of the beautiful birds of northwest Arkansas. 

    11 am       Wildflower Hike         Sinking Stream Trail Head
    Join Master Naturalist Nancy Cunningham on a hike to explore the beauty that visits us every Spring. 

    1 pm        Leave No Trace and Your Dog        Picnic Area/Visitor Center
    Many of us have heard of Leave No Trace, but what about for our furry companions?  Interpreter Chelsea will discuss how we can incorporate these skills and practices when bringing along our favorite four-legged friends on the trail. 

    1 pm    Guided Hike/Glade Explained   Shaddox Hollow Trail Head
    Join new Volunteer Coordinator, Lauren Hildreth, as she explains the significance of a large glade restoration on Hobbs while hiking Shaddox Hollow Trail.

    2 pm – 4 pm                Recycled Crafts                   Visitor Center
    Join interpreter Rebekah to learn what it takes to recycle paper.

    All Hobbs Earth Day activities are Free.  For more information, questions, or directions call:  479-789-5000

    To learn more about upcoming Friends of Hobbs speakers and other park programs, go to:  and

  • 06 Apr 2017 12:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Many of our grandparents and parents used wild plants for food and medicine.  We all know about sassafras tea and the glorious taste of wild blackberries, but we have perhaps forgotten how extensively wild plants can be used as food sources.  In the early 1970's, information on native wild foods and medicinal uses of wild plants became very popular.  The well-known naturalist, Euell Gibbons, told us, “My love affair with nature is so deep that I am not satisfied with being a mere onlooker, or nature tourist.  I crave a more real and meaningful relationship.  The spicy teas and tasty delicacies I prepare from wild ingredients are the bread and wine in which I have communion and fellowship with nature, and with the Author of that nature.”

    Dr. Walkingstick, who will conduct the Wild Edibles Workshop at Hobbs State Park, has worked for the University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture, Co-operative Extension Service as an Associate Professor of Extension Forestry since 1996.  Tamara serves on several boards including the Arkansas American Indian Center, Arkansas Women In Agriculture, the National Network of Forest Practitioners and is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

    Walkingstick noted, “In this comprehensive 4-hour workshop, you will not only learn to identify some edible species of Arkansas native and non-native vegetation, you will also have the opportunity to sample tasty dishes including acorn scones. The presentation covers concepts of conservation, history, culture, and plant identification.  30 pages of wild edible recipes are included as well.”

    When:  Sunday May 7, 2016

    Time:  10 am to 2 pm

    Where: The workshop will be held at the Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road             intersection.

    Cost:  $15 per person + tax.  Class size is limited to 25.  Check or cash accepted on day of workshop:   Participants must pre-register.   For more information and to register, call:  479-789-5000

    To learn more about upcoming Friends of Hobbs speakers and other park programs, go to:  and

  • 31 Mar 2017 10:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “A day on the river is mighty fine, but two days, three days, maybe more is so divine”, says Flip Putthoff, Outdoor Reporter for the NW Ark. Democrat-Gazette.  Putthoff lives on Beaver Lake in the Rocky Branch area, and has been floating and fishing the streams of the Ozarks for more than 40 years. 

    The tradition of river floating and gravel bar camping runs deep in the Ozarks, and is the topic of Flip’s program at the Hobbs State Park Visitor Center.  He has taken countless overnight floats and trips on Ozark rivers that have lasted a week or more.  As flip puts it, “Our rivers are spectacular in beauty and are right here in our own back yard.  Gravel bars along our streams are a paradise for camping, offering solitude, peace, and the satisfying sound of flowing water to lull you to sleep.”

    Putthoff will share his list of the best rivers for floating on an overnight trip, or adventures lasting a week or more.  Find out what gear to take on a multi-day float, how to keep it dry, and what is the best times of year to go.  He will offer tips on finding wood, making a campfire, camp cooking tips, where to pitch the tent on a gravel bar, and how to get a good night’s sleep.  You do not want to miss this comprehensive program on overnight fishing on Ozark streams.

    When:  2:00 p.m. Sunday April 9, 2017

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

    Cost:  Free – The public is invited - For more information, call:  479-789-5000  

    This program is a continuation of the Friends of Hobbs monthly Speaker Series.   To learn more about upcoming Friends of Hobbs speakers and other park programs, go to:  and

  • 25 Mar 2017 1:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mother Nature herself has become a frequent visitor to Hobbs State Park –Conservation Area.  She visits the park every second Saturday of the month and reads nature stories to her little followers.  Readings begin at 10:30 a.m.

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

    April 8, 2017 – Dandelions – Stars in the Grass

    May 13, 2017 – Around the Pond

    June 10, 2017 – Caterpillar to Butterfly

    July 8, 2017 – Water Dance

    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, one hour events. 

    For more information call:  479-789-5000

  • 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

  • 23 Mar 2017 1:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mercury will be at its greatest eastern elongation on April 1st this year.  In astronomy, a planet's elongation is the angle between the planet and the Sun as seen from the Earth.  When an inner planet is at its largest angle away from the Sun it is in a prime viewing condition.  Greatest eastern elongation is the phrase to describe when a planet is in this prime viewing condition just after sunset.  

    According to the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society president, Katherine Auld, “Our evening at Hobbs State Park will begin with a short lecture explaining more about the greatest elongation for both the inner and outer planets.  Following will be a short explanation of viewing the night sky.  We will then proceed outside to view Mercury and some deep sky objects.  We will also have a basket of books for young people to participate in Reading Under the Stars.”

    What to Bring: 

    • Flashlight (covered with a red cloth or red balloon)
    • Binoculars
    • 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 April 1, 2017

    • Classroom instruction – 6:45 p.m.
    • Night viewing about 7:45 p.m.

    Cost:  Free – Public is invited:  Great for scout groups and families

     For more information call:  479-789-5000

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