Friends of Hobbs
State Park-Conservation Area

Hobbs News - don't miss a thing!

  • 26 Feb 2020 4:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    March 7, 2020 will be a day of fun-filled activities as Hobbs State Park celebrates the life and extraordinary career of Aldo Leopold with down-to-earth family activities.   Leopold is the author of A Sand County Almanac The book has had an immensely popular impact nation-wide and has been described as "a major influence on American attitudes toward our natural environment".  Leopold, considered by many, as the “Father of Wildlife Ecology”, remains undeniably relevant today, inspiring projects all over the country that connect people and land.  Activities at Hobbs State Park include:

    9:00 am - 10:30 am: Birds & Breakfast:  See live birds captured in the Park by University of Arkansas ornithologists, tagged, and then released.  Bring your camera for super close photos.  Juice, coffee, and muffins provided free by Wild Birds Unlimited, The Bluebird Shed, and 3-D Pet Products.    Come and go as you please.

    10:30 am – 2:00 pm:  Making a Nature Journal & Bluebird Tabletop Booths:   Volunteers will help you make a nature journal of your own to record personal observations of nature.  Another booth will have Eastern Bluebird nest box kits to give away until they run out.  You can also learn more about the brightly colored bluebird and get a tour of some nest boxes near the visitor center.  Come and go as you please.

    11:00 am – 11:30 am:  Black Bear Hike:  Black bears were once so plentiful in Arkansas that our state was unofficially known as “The Bear State”.  Join Park Interpreter Kiara on a short, .25-mile hike along the Ozark Plateau Trail to learn about the history, current status, and other interesting facts about this magnificent mammal.

    1:00 pm – 2:30 pm:  Shaddox Hollow Trail Hike:  Join Park Interpreter Chris on this 1.5-mile, moderately difficult loop through the hills of Shaddox Hollow.  The group will look for signs of spring as Chris shares some passages from Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac.  Meet at Shaddox Hollow Trailhead on Hwy. 303 one mile north of Hwy. 12.   Wear sturdy shoes and bring water.

    1:30 pm – 2:00 pm:  Pooch Prowl:  Bring your furry friend to the Park as we hike along the Ozark Plateau Trail.  Learn how the “Leave No Trace” principles apply to our four-legged friends while enjoying the great outdoors together.  All dogs must be on a leash.

    2:00 pm – 3:15 pm:  Screening of “Green Fire”:  Join us for this film about the conservationist and author of A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold.

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

    When: March 7, 2020, with activities:  9:00 am – 3:15 pm

    Cost: Free - The public is encouraged to come

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000   

  • 24 Feb 2020 10:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Fern is a group of plants that can be found all over the world.  Ferns are one of the oldest plants ever grown on earth.  This kind of plant inhabited earth about 200 million years before the first dinosaur ever hatched from its egg.

    Early fossil records show that giant tree ferns and cycad palms were the only plants for millions of years. The organic matter of these ferns and cycads accumulated to such a thickness that they were deposited in deep layers, and combined with the Earth’s heat, were compressed and converted to create the coal, gas and oil deposits that we use as our main sources of energy today.

    Ferns don’t flower, but have true roots, stems, and complex leaves and reproduce by spores.  There are over 10,500 species of ferns, some of which can live up to 100 years.

    Between 1974 and 2005 Dr. Klingaman worked at the University of Arkansas’s Division of Agriculture with his time divided between Extension responsibilities and teaching/research.   From 2010 through 2018 he served as operations director for the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks.

    If you want to learn about all the beautiful fern species that we have in NW Arkansas, how to recognize them when you’re out hiking, and how you might use them in your own landscaping, join Gerald Klingaman at Hobbs State Park on March 22nd.

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

    When:    Sunday March 22, 2020       2:00 pm

    Cost:       Free – The public is invited

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

  • 24 Feb 2020 10:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s a “Heads up,” “Mark your Calendar” occasion for kids.  Saturday, April 18, 2020 will be an entire day of Earth-related activities for all members of the family, but especially for the kids.  What’s your pleasure?

    • Find aquatic macro invertebrates at Van Winkle Hollow?
    • Go on a bird hike with expert Mr. Jay?
    • Learn about Ozark chinquapin trees from Mr. Al?
    • Learn about reptiles and amphibians – live critters?
    • Birds N Breakfast – See wild birds up close caught by the University of Arkansas?  Free muffins, milk, juice, and coffee for all.
    • Eat a bug challenge?
    • Recycled crafts?

    The list goes on and on all day, but the Friends of Hobbs board is bringing something very special.  Jan and George Syrigos make up the musical duo Wild Heart.  Their songs are delightful and entertaining with catchy tunes jam-packed with educational information for children!  Your budding nature buffs will love it.  Kids who like to sing and dance, and even mom and dad will have fun and find themselves singing along.

    According to the Missouri Arts Council, “Emmy® Award winning recording artists and conservationists Jan and George Syrigos capture audiences with a musical adventure exploring wildlife, habitats and natural history. ‘Ribbit and Roll’ to their original upbeat tunes energized with motion, media and the conservation message.  Combining 16 years of conservation experience and training with their Parents Choice-recommended music, Wild Heart truly brings the heart of the wild to the heart of the child!  Jan and George are deeply committed to sharing their combined passions for nature and music in creative and engaging ways, offering school programs, teacher workshops, and concerts for adults and children.  Wild Heart’s songs are strongly tied to grade level expectations.”  Mom and Dad - Don’t miss this free one!

    Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the

    Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

    When:  Saturday April 18, 2020    Earth Day activities – Wild Heart will perform from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

    Cost:  Free – Families strongly encouraged to attend.

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000

  • 10 Feb 2020 1:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Beginners to astronomy often believe that their first step should be to purchase a telescope.  This can be frustrating as they not only have to learn how to use their telescope (the finder, multiple eyepieces, and the focuser), but they also must learn the night sky.

    The night sky is full of all types of objects.  Some are large and some are small.   Some shine brightly with some faint.  Many do not require a giant telescope with high magnification to be able to see them.  They can be enjoyed with an ordinary set of binoculars.

    Join the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society at 6 pm Saturday Feb. 22nd at Hobbs State Park to find out more about viewing the night sky with binoculars.  The beginner’s class will be led by Astronomical Society president Kent Marts.  Kent will share the reasons why starting with binoculars may be right for you.  He will provide some tips and tricks to make your night sky viewing with binoculars an easy and fruitful experience.   After the lecture we will head outside for a Star Party and you’ll be able to view the night sky through binoculars yourself.

    What to bring:

    • Binoculars
    • A folding chair – one per person
    • Star chart (if you have one)
    • Flashlight (covered with a red cloth or red balloon)
    • A ball cap to use to help steady the binoculars (The trick:  Wear a baseball cap, hold your binoculars and with middle fingers grab the rim of your cap)

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

    When:  Saturday February 22, 2020; 6:00 pm lecture, followed by 7:00 pm night sky viewing

    Cost:  Free – the public is invited

    Sugar Creek Astronomical Society’s Facebook Group is

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

  • 30 Jan 2020 12:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Flip Putthoff, outdoors reporter for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, knows the northwest Arkansas countryside well and will present a program at Hobbs State Park on the waterfalls in our area.  He has tromped through the northwest Arkansas woods and fished our creeks, streams, and Beaver Lake for 40 years. 

    Flip knows where the waterfalls are and he will explain when, where, and how to go on safari to see them.  According to Putthoff, “I will highlight some of the waterfalls that are not too difficult to reach, including some by hiking, and a couple that you can drive right up to.  There are some in Van Winkle Hollow after a big rain, one nice one near the Madison County water intake, and a neat one near Hog Scald Hollow.”

    What is it about waterfalls?  Why do we like them?  Why do we want to see them?  Waterfalls and beauty go together.  Moving water is “poetry in motion.”   Here in northwest Arkansas many of our waterfalls can be found plunging off majestic limestone bluffs, thus creating another reason to visit these flowing beauties.

    We may not think of it as a reason we want to visit them but, subconsciously, waterfalls improve our mood since they have a calming effect on us.  In truth, just like hiking in the woods, watching and listening to waterfalls relaxes us and works positive wonders on our mental well-being, and all of us need some of that occasionally.

    Flip loves to talk about the waterfalls he’s found.  Bring your note pad and pencil so you can write down the directions to some of his favorite places to visit.

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

    When:    Sunday February 16, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Cost:      Free

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000

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

  • 23 Jan 2020 2:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Plant identification can be challenging, especially during the cold winter months when many species have gone dormant.  Luckily, even during this bleak time of year, plants still provide us with plenty of clues that we can use to identify what species a tree, shrub, or woody vine belongs to.  At Hobbs State Park, Eric Fuselier will teach us about these clues, and how, even during the wintertime, botany can still be a fun way to spend time outdoors.

    Eric Fuselier is an Environmental Scientist in Crafton Tull's Rogers office.  He earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental, Soil, and Water Science from the University of Arkansas, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Louisiana Tech University.   Eric has extensive knowledge of wetland science, soil science, and botany.  Eric is also serving as the vice president of the Arkansas Native Plant Society (ANPS), and as the president of ANPS’s Ozark chapter.

    Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from a professional on how and why Winter Botany can be fun and personally rewarding.

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

    When:  Sunday January 26, 2020     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.

  • 21 Jan 2020 11:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s not every day that we observe Mother Nature.  She’s careful 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.

    Upcoming Mother Nature visits:

    Feb.  8th         The Woods in Winter:  Where are the Animals?

    Mar. 14th       Getting Ready for Spring:  Changes in the Woods

    Apr. 11th          Dandelions:  Stars in the Grass

    May 9th           Around the Pond:  Frogs and Toads

    June 13th        Animals in the Night

    July 11th         Water Dance-Water Cycle & Storm Drain Pollution

    Aug. 8th          Caterpillar to Butterfly

    Sept. 12th       Autumn in the Woods:  Preparing for Winter

    Oct. 10th         Bats: Not Really Scary

    Nov. 14th        It’s Turkey Time

    Dec. 12th        Who Goes There?  Footprints and Animal Signs

    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 

  • 13 Jan 2020 1:47 PM | 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

  • 13 Jan 2020 11:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On Saturday, April 25, 2020 at 2:00 pm at the Hobbs State Park visitor center there will be an enlightening and significant program on the life of Aaron” Rock” Van Winkle.  Rock was Peter Van Winkle’s former slave who after the Civil Was as a freedman became his business partner.  There have been numerous programs given on Peter Van Winkle and his famous saw mill, but there has never been a program solely dedicated to Aaron “Rock” Van Winkle and the outstanding reputation that he achieved while working at the Van Winkle saw mill.

    We usually think of slavery in a plantation or agricultural setting, but in Van Winkle Hollow at the present-day Hobbs State Park, slavery in the 1850’s was happening in an industrial setting.  Although not unique, it was not the norm.

    Jerry Moore and Chris Huggard, instructors at Northwest Arkansas Community College, have completed extensive research on “Rock”.  They have found descendants of black Van Winkles in NW Arkansas, Nebraska, and California.  These individuals will be coming to Hobbs State Park for this distinctively special program.  Descendants of white Van Winkles will be there as well.  This will be a one-time, historic get-together that you will not want to miss.

    Jerry and Chris have submitted an article on Rock for publication in the Arkansas Historical Quarterly.  The article will appear this year.  The program on April 25, 2020 expands on the content of that article and will tell Rock’s story.

    The attachment is the only known photo of Rock (circa 1872).  He is with Van Winkle family members on the front porch of the two-story white house at 303 Arkansas Street in Rogers that was torn down in 2019.    Rock was a welcomed and beloved part of the Van Winkle family.

    Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy. 12 just east of the Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection. 
    When:  Saturday April 25, 2020 at 2:00 pm
    Cost:  Free – the public is invited

    This program is a continuation of the Hobbs State Park Speaker Series.  For more information on Hobbs programs, trails, picnicking, or meeting room rental:  Call:  479-789-5000

  • 13 Jan 2020 10:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Are you still looking for a last-minute way to score points with your sweetheart on Valentine’s Weekend?  Share the wonders of nature with your love this Valentine’s Day weekend by taking a boat cruise on beautiful Beaver Lake and enjoying a delightful lunch at Ventris Trails End Resort.  There is live entertainment too.

    Lunch features bacon-wrapped smoked chicken with sautéed mushrooms, onions and cheese, twice baked potato, seasoned green beans, French onion soup and salad with homemade bread rolls, chocolate cake, water, tea, or coffee; or a portabella sandwich…Holy Yum!

    Alcoholic beverages are available at an additional charge.

    There are two Sweetheart Cruises to choose from.  One will run Saturday February 15th and the other Sunday February 16th.  Each cruise will leave Rocky Branch Marina at 11:00 am and return at 2:00 pm.

    Cost:  $40+ tax per individual:   Reservations and payment must be made in advance.   Contact Hobbs State Park to reserve your spot.   (479) 789-5000. 

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