Friends of Hobbs
State Park-Conservation Area

Hobbs News - don't miss a thing!

  • 16 Dec 2019 11:19 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    If the onset of “cabin fever” is beginning to set in, the Wonders of Winter Wildlife at Hobbs State Park will set you free.  Bring the whole family.

    9:00 am – 10:30 am:  Birds N BreakfastFree activity:  Enjoy some coffee, juice, and donuts on us.  The University of Arkansas will be catching songbirds, and then releasing them back into the wild.  Bring your camera for close-up bird photos.

    11:00 am – Live Birds of Prey:  Free activity:  Local wildlife rehabilitator, Lynn Sciumbato, will give her always popular “Raptor Rescue” program using live birds native to northwest Arkansas.

    Noon – 4:00 pm – Hikes, indoor programs, and crafts:  Free Activities

    3:00 pm – 4:30 pm – Eagle Watch Cruise: * Eagle Watch Cruise originates from Rocky Branch Marina.

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

    When:  Saturday January 18, 2020    

    Cost:  All activities free – except Eagle Cruise

    *Eagle cruises require pre-registration

    Cost:  $10+ tax/adult, $5+ tax/child 6-12

    For more information and to register for the eagle watch tour call: 479-789-5000. 

  • 16 Dec 2019 11:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s all about the science behind the scenery in our regional forests.  As we go hiking, there are things right before our eyes that happened yesterday, or even a million years ago, that are easy to understand if we take pause to look at them. 

    As Dr. Paillet puts it in the new bookOzark Forest Forensicshe co-authored, “The book interprets our natural surroundings in a way that enhances a simple walk in the scenic deciduous woodlands of the Ozark Mountain region.  Explanations go beyond trees and their habitat to include other diverse subjects:  the leaf litter beneath a hiker’s feet, strategies used by wildflowers for pollination and seed dispersal, diseases that can ravage our forests, and forces active in the landscape that impact conservation efforts.  I’ve added simplified line drawings to demonstrate specific points of interest in a way that visually-cluttered photographs cannot do.”

    Taking a little time to look at and understand your surroundings greatly adds to the enjoyment of any hike in the woods.  Learn how to interpret those things you see and appreciate on a hike, but never much thought about before. 

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

    When: Sunday January 12, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.

    Cost:  Free – Public invited

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000.  This program is a continuation of the Friends of Hobbs monthly Speaker Series.   

  • 11 Dec 2019 3:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mike Martin, an award-winning nature and wildlife photographer, and a native Arkansan, will be presenting a program on Bald Eagles at the Hobbs State Park visitor center on Sunday, January 5th at 2:00 p.m.  

    Mike has been an avid nature and wildlife photographer for over 28 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 has co-authored a book about the bald eagles of Arkansas.  In both 2013 and 2014, Mike's bald eagle photos were featured photos in an annual “Wildlife” Magazine produced by the Mississippi Wildlife Federation.   He will include many new photos that he has never before presented in his eagle programs.   Mike’s program will be followed by a question and answer session.

    Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.
    When:  Sunday January 5, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.Cost:  Free – Public invited

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000
    This program is a continuation of the Friends of Hobbs monthly Speaker Series.  

  • 11 Dec 2019 11:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    First Day Hikes originated over 20 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation, a state park in Milton, Massachusetts.  The initiative targeted the first of January, the start of a new year, to promote both healthy lifestyles throughout the year and the year-round recreation that can be experienced locally in state parks. Through the years, other states, including Arkansas, joined this health initiative.

    Get your year off on the right foot with a hike on the trails of Hobbs State Park Conservation Area just east of Rogers.  Three different guided tours will be available on Wednesday January 1, 2020.

    Wednesday January 1, 2020       10:30 am – 11:15 am

    • Join Park Interpreter Chris on this easy .5-mile hike as we discover the secrets of winter along the Sinking Stream Trail.  Meet at the Sinking Stream Trailhead on Hwy. 12.  (Same parking lot as the Van Winkle Trail)

    Wednesday January 1, 2020       11:30 am – 12:30 am

    • Join Jim and Diane Gately for an easy .5-mile stroll through the Historic Van Winkle Hollow and learn about the Van Winkle Mill, the largest in the state of Arkansas all through the 1870s.  The area is on the National Register of Historic Places.  Meet at the Van Winkle Trailhead on Hwy 12.  This trail is barrier-free.
    Wednesday January 1, 2020           2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
    • Join Park Interpreter Chris on this 1.5-mile, moderately difficult loop through the hills of Shaddox Hollow as we see what we can discover in nature during the winter.  Meet at Shaddox Hollow Trailhead on Hwy. 303.  Wear sturdy shoes and bring water.

     For more information call 479-789-5000.


  • 25 Nov 2019 3:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    You’ve probably never thought much about it.  Where do the ducks come from that visit Arkansas?  Why do they visit us?  Why do they leave after their stay in our state?  There is someone coming to Hobbs State Park who knows these answers and wants to share those answers with everyone in your family.

    Steve Kick’s degree is in Forestry.   His love of Nature led him to become an Eagle Scout, a scout leader, and a Master Naturalist.  Top that off with 40 plus years of studying ducks, and you have a “down home”, “down to earth” program on some of Arkansas’s finest waterfowl.  It really is one of those programs you’re going to be glad you brought the entire family to hear.

    When: Sunday December 1, 2019     2:00 pm

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

    Cost: Free:  Family oriented – Public invited.


  • 14 Nov 2019 12:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Eagles begin to visit Beaver Reservoir when the lakes further north begin to freeze over.  At that time, the eagles can no longer get to their favorite meal, fish.  The weather has been cold across the U.S., and it can be expected that some 200+ bald eagles will visit Beaver.  Some have arrived already.  Scheduled dates for Hobbs State Park Eagle Cruise Tours are as follows:

    November - 16,17, 23,24,29,30,

    December - 1,7,8,14,15,21,22,23,27,28,29,30,31

    January - 1,4,5,11,12,17,18,19,20,25,26,

    February - 1,2,8,9,15,16,17,22,23,29

    There are two things eagle watchers need to remember; one, eagle watching is not a warm weather sport, and two; the nastier the weather the more likely we are to see eagles.  If it’s cold and a little rainy, that’s when eagles will sit in a tree and wait for better weather.

    Although Hobbs calls these times on the lake “Eagle Cruises”, there is other wildlife to see as well.  Great blue herons, belted kingfishers, red tailed hawks, and maybe a deer, beaver, or several species of ducks become part of the viewing agenda. 

    No matter what wildlife you see, it’s always great to be out on the water.  Hobbs State Park provides a safe three-pontoon vessel, driver, and an interpreter to answer questions and share information about our national symbol, the bald eagle.

    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.  For more information call: 479-789-5000

  • 07 Nov 2019 2:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Who knows why, but absolutely everything that gets cooked in a Dutch oven comes out a real treat!   On top of the rewards Dutch oven cooking offers your taste buds, learning the basics of food preparation with the official cooking vessel of the state of Arkansas is just plain fun.  So, if you like to eat yummy things and you like fun, well, it’s time to sign up for the Hobbs Dutch Oven Workshop.

    Join Hobbs State Park interpreters in preparing four different recipes.  Workshop fee includes instruction, lunch, and a Dutch oven cooking guidebook.

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

    When: Saturday November 16, 2019    10 am – 1 pm

    Cost: $35 – Single; $50 – Couple

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


  • 28 Oct 2019 2:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Originally scheduled for later in the day, the Photographic Society of Northwest Arkansas (PSNWA) has rescheduled their free photo walk at Hobbs State Park to 7:30 am on Saturday November 2nd.   This is to take advantage of less wind in the morning.

    The event will be hosted by two Nature photographers from the PSNWA, Cleeo Wright and Tim Johnson.

    The theme of this event is “Fall Colors”, focusing on the final changing colors of the foliage at Hobbs State Park.  Bring whatever camera gear you are comfortable with, be it a full-frame DSLR, or a smartphone.  If you are familiar with the manual settings of your camera, and like fall color/nature photography – this photo walk is for you.

    All participants will meet at the parking lot of the Historic Van Winkle and Sinking Stream Trailheads, to begin the photo walk promptly at 7:30 am.

    The photo walk will take place rain or shine.  Overcast and wet mornings create some of the best photographic Fall Color opportunities.  The trails are described as “easy” in difficulty, yet it is suggested to bring sturdy shoes suitable for hiking.  Sinking Stream Trail has one small elevation.  The Historic Van Winkle Trail is wheelchair accessible.  Each trail is 0.5 miles in length.

    Traveling east out of Rogers on Hwy. 12, about 10 miles from downtown, is a paved parking lot on your right with restrooms.  This is the site of both the Historic Van Winkle and Sinking Stream trailheads.

    If you are a seasoned photographer, or just beginning, you will not want to miss the chance to attend this lovely photo walk of Fall Color photography.

    Where:  Parking lot on Hwy. 12 at the beginning of the Historic Van Winkle and Sinking Stream Trailheads.  GPS: N36 17.810’ - W093 57.494’ (1 ½ miles west of the Hobbs State Park visitor center)

    When:  Saturday November 2, 2019 at 7:30 am

    Cost:  Free. All levels of ability welcomed.

    For more information call:  479-789-5000

    To learn more about the Photographic Society of NW Arkansas, go to the website:   http://www.psnwa.org


  • 24 Oct 2019 11:06 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s like “clockwork”.  Come the first of November, migrating bald eagles begin to visit Beaver Lake.  They are beautiful when they soar overhead, swoop down to the water to catch a fish with their talons or just sit in a leafless tree.  It’s indeed exciting to see them.  Hobbs State Park has chosen dates for November and December cruises.

    November 3,9,16,17,23,24,29,30
    December 1,7,8,14,15,21,22,23,27,28,29,30,31

    According to interpreter Steve Chyrchel, “Nature’s wonders are unpredictable.  We may see four or five eagles on a cruise or maybe just one, and on very rare occasion we may not see any.  If the weather is beautiful, the eagles are most likely looking for fish somewhere on the wing and not sitting in a tree.  There are two things eagle watchers need to remember; one, eagle watching is not a warm weather sport, and two; the nastier the weather the more likely we are to see eagles.  If it’s cold and a little rainy, that’s when eagles sit in a tree and wait for better weather.”

    Although Hobbs calls these times on the lake “Eagle Cruises”, remember that there is other wildlife to see as well.  Great blue herons, belted kingfishers, red tailed hawks, and maybe a deer, beaver, or several species of ducks become part of the viewing fun. 

    No matter what wildlife you see, it’s always great to be out on the water.  Hobbs State Park provides a safe three-pontoon vessel, driver, and an interpreter to answer questions and share information about our national symbol, the bald eagle.

    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.  For more information call: 479-789-5000

  • 21 Oct 2019 2:05 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 26th.

    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, 40- minute, 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.

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

    When: Saturday October 26, 2019 - Come any time from 1 pm – 5 pm

    Cost: Free

    For more information on Hobbs programs, trails, picnicking, or meeting room rental:   Call:  479-789-5000 


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