Friends of Hobbs
State Park-Conservation Area

Hobbs News - don't miss a thing!

  • 17 Mar 2017 1:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Pigeon Roost Trail campsites will soon require reservations and a fee.  There will be a per campsite fee of $12 a night and must be reserved at or or by calling 1-877-879-2741. Any questions please contact Hobbs State Park at 479-789-5000.

  • 17 Mar 2017 11:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Read about the accomplishments and activities of the Friends of Hobbs organization and the park as a whole in the beautiful Spring 2017 newsletter.  Enjoy!  Spring2017HobbsNL-Email.pdf

  • 11 Mar 2017 12:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thong Tree?    Marker Tree?   Trail tree?  These oddly-shaped curiosities of history past can be found all over the United States; however few people have seriously studied them.   Trail trees were made by bending young saplings, white oak where possible, and tying them down with a leather thong, or grape vine.  Eventually the tree would grow in the bent form, pointing in the direction of something important.  Many times they pointed to water sources, but other points of importance included shelter, medicinal herbs, grave sites, other encampments, etc.

    Laura Hubler of Missouri studied these peculiar-looking trees back in the 1950’s.  In 1997 Elaine Jorgen of Ellijay, Georgia wrote a short book on the subject that led many across the nation to consider this part of tribal culture that had been hidden for years.  Then in March of 2007 the Mountain Stewards from Jasper, Georgia , brought researchers from three other states to Hobbs State Park where the group began an official Indian Trail Tree Project to locate, document, and preserve “Living artifacts” that are a legacy of the Native American presence on the North American Continent.   These “Living artifacts” are normally referred to as Indian Trail Trees, but in some parts of the U.S. they are also called Marker Trees, Thong Trees, Signal Trees, Prayer Trees, Culturally Modified Trees, as well as other names.

    Since these aging testaments are living things, death must ultimately follow.  One way to preserve the legacy of these trees is to photograph them before they are no longer with us.  The Photographic Society of Northwest Arkansas has teamed up with Hobbs State Park, and has slated a unique Marker Tree Introduction/ Photo Walk. 

    Al Knox, Trail Maintenance Supervisor at Hobbs State Park, will present a synopsis of the Marker trees he has found at the Park, and Cleeo Wright, Events Coordinator for the PSNWA will discuss the different ways one might photograph these or any other trees.  Techniques might include the tree as the primary visual, the details of the tree, how the tree looks in different seasons, different perspectives utilizing foreground elements, trees under infrared wavelength, or how black and white can help isolate shapes and form.

    Following the classroom introduction, the group will drive to the sites of three trail trees for photographic sessions.  Photographers of all abilities are invited to participate.

    Recently published books on Trail Trees:

    What:    Classroom introduction and then Photo Walk of Trail Trees
    Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Highway 12 just east of         the Highway 12/War Eagle Road intersection
    When:    Saturday March 18, 2017, 2:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
    Cost:      Free   The public is invited

    This presentation is a partnership program between Hobbs State Park, and the Photographic Society of Northwest Arkansas.  To learn more about the Photographic Society of NW Arkansas, go to the web site:

    To learn more about upcoming Friends of Hobbs speakers and other park programs, go to the web site: or call:   479-789-5000

  • 06 Mar 2017 11:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Those who wish to learn the basics of fly casting will want to attend the Fly Casting 101 workshop to be held at the Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area visitor center Sunday March 19, 2017 from 12:00 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Two hours of instruction will be in the classroom, and two hours will be outside.   Participants will learn four basic casts, the six basic types of flies, (lures) how to cast and “play” the flies in the water, how to read water, how to wade, how to purchase and assemble your equipment, how to store your equipment, as well as how to tie the four basic knots used by fly fishers.  All equipment will be provided. 

    The workshop will be taught by Sallyann Brown, past recipient of the “Woman of the Year” and the “Federation of Fly Fishers Educator of the Year” awards from the Federation of Fly Fishers, Inc.

    When:  Sunday March 19, 2017
    Time:  12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.
    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.

    Minimum age is 12 yrs.  Cost:  $35 per person + tax.  Class size is limited     to 15.  Reservations and pre-payment required.  Call:  479-789-5000

  • 05 Mar 2017 2:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    After shallow oceans receded from lands that included what is now Arkansas, exposed limestone began to erode, creating unique rock formations, including the many “bluff shelters” we see all over northwest Arkansas.   One of the most interesting aspects of archeology in the Arkansas Ozarks is the many dry bluff shelters and caves that have been intermittently occupied for 10,000 years.  The dry conditions created in these caves and shelters provide a rare glimpse of the kinds of artifacts that usually rot in the wet climate of the Southeastern United States.  In addition to rare perishable artifacts, some bluff shelters contain deep stratified deposits which can help archeologists understand regional chronology.

    The Arkansas Archeological Survey has begun a new multi-year research project related to this class of sites.  The first phase of this project digitized important records from early bluff shelter excavations and created a popular-oriented web site about these unparalleled and endangered sites—entitled Bluff Shelters of the Arkansas Ozarks.  The talk at Hobbs State Park will outline the history of archeology in the region, examine the “bluff dweller” concept and its implications, and summarize current research on bluff shelters in Arkansas.   Dr. Jamie Brandon will “tag team” with Lydia Rees to present this fascinating program. 

    • Dr. Jamie Brandon is the Research Station Archeologist with the Arkansas Archeological Survey.  He has more than 25 years of experience in the field of archeology and has worked with the Survey in various capacities since 1997.  Brandon is currently leading the multi-year research project to investigate bluff shelter sites across the Ozarks.
    • Lydia Rees is a Research Assistant with the Arkansas Archeological Survey and the primary author of the new publicly-oriented website on bluff shelters of the Arkansas Ozarks.  She has been working in archeology for 14 years and was previously a Quality Control Crew Chief for Flat Earth Archeology.
    • As a special addition to the program, Jared Pebworth will bring a display of stone tools, and other objects found at northwest Arkansas bluff shelters.  Pebworth is a staff archeologist with the Arkansas Archeological Survey.  He has been with the Survey since 1991.  Pebworth is a veteran of many bluff shelter excavations including Brown Bluff, Breckenridge, Spradley Hollow, and shelters along the Hwy. 412 corridor.  He was a team member for both the three-year, NEH-funded Arkansas Rock Art project, and several other survey projects to identify bluff shelter sites in the region.

    When:  2:00 p.m. Saturday March 11, 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

    This program is part of the Friends of Hobbs Speaker Series, and is an official 2017 program for Arkansas Archaeological Month.  For more information call:  479-789-5000

  • 01 Mar 2017 12:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    HSP-CA manages over 12,000 acres of land in southeastern Benton County. As part of management activities at the site, two prescribed burns are planned for March 2, 2017.  Park neighbors near the controlled burn areas are being notified.

    The burns are being conducted by specially-trained crews skilled in fire management operations. Safety is emphasized in all phases of the fire management with local fire protection representatives being involved in the planning process.

    The burn will occur within prescribed parameters, including temperature, wind speed, and fuel moistures.

    The location of the first burn is in the Lookout area at the intersection of State Highway 12 and 127.  This burn will encompass 25 acres.  Motorists are reminded to please use caution in the area the day of the burn. 

    The second burn will be conducted along the Pigeon Roost Trail.  This burn is one acre in size.

    If you have any questions or would like additional information, contact us at 479-789-5000. 

  • 24 Feb 2017 10:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Saturday March 4th, 2017 will be a day of fun-filled family activities as Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area celebrates the life and extraordinary career of Aldo Leopold, and how he shaped conservation and the modern environmental movement.  Leopold is the author of A Sand County Almanac The book has had an immensely popular impact, and has been described as "a major influence on American attitudes toward our natural environment".  

    The day will begin with “Birds and Breakfast”, where the public observes University of Arkansas personnel capturing, and then releasing song birds.  Free juice, coffee, and donuts are available for all attendees.   Leopold remains relevant today, inspiring projects all over the country that connect people and land.  Activities will include:

    9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. – Birds and Breakfast, Live Song Bird Research Demonstrations with free donuts, coffee, and juice.

    10 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  – Dutch Oven Demonstration:  Stop by to taste some wonderful treats cooked in Arkansas’s State Cooking Vessel – a Dutch oven.   

    11 a.m. – Historic hike – Join interpreter Steve for a leisurely stroll through historic Van Winkle Hollow, an area that is on the National Register of Historic Places

    1 p.m. – Nature’s Hidden Wonders Hike:  Join Asst. Superintendent Jay Schneider on the Ozark Plateau Trail for a discovery hike.

    2 p.m. – Leave No Trace:  Join interpreter Steve and learn about the seven principles of Leave No Trace.  (Great for kids to learn how to make good decisions about the environment when hiking or camping)

    3 p.m. – Music!  Join Lake Geneva, Wisconsin singer/songwriter Tim Johnson as he sings songs based on Aldo Leopold’s book, A Sand County Almanac.

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

    When:  Saturday March 4th, 2017

    Cost:  All activities – Free.  

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000  

  • 29 Jan 2017 4:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Share the wonders of nature with your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day weekend by taking an Eagle Watch Cruise on beautiful Beaver Lake and enjoying a scrumptious lunch at Ventris Trails End Resort. 

    Lunch features superb meat lasagna, French onion soup with homemade bread rolls, salad, garlic bread, chocolate or vanilla sheet cake, tea, or coffee.  Vegetarian option is a yummy portabella mushroom.   Alcoholic beverages are available at an additional charge.

    Sweetheart Weekend trips are limited to the first 10 couples or 20 individuals.  Cruises are available Saturday and Sunday Cost: $80+ tax per couple or $40+ tax per individual:   Reservations and payment must be made in advance.   Contact Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area visitor center to reserve your spot.   (479) 789-5000.

  • 29 Jan 2017 4:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Leopold Education Project (LEP) is an interdisciplinary, critical thinking,
    conservation and environmental education curriculum based on the classic “A
    Sand County Almanac” by Aldo Leopold. LEP teaches about humanity’s ties
    to the natural environment in the effort to conserve and protect earth's natural resources. It is the educational outreach program for The Aldo Leopold Foundation.

    Please open the attached PDF to read more about the project and consider this educational opportunity.  HobbsStPk3Mar2017.pdf

  • 25 Jan 2017 5:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Winter Sky through Binoculars is the focus of the Hobbs State Park/ Sugar Creek Astronomical Society Star Party set for January 28, 2017 Using binoculars to view the night sky is the first, best step into astronomy because the sky can be enjoyed without the expense of, or an understanding of, telescopes.  The intimacy and ease of viewing the night sky with your naked eye can be maintained when using binoculars.  Because of their wide field of view, the amount of the sky that can be seen is larger than with most telescopes, making it easier to find objects.  Modern small binoculars often give as much detail as that seen by Galileo using his groundbreaking telescopes to discover the moons of Jupiter and the phases of Venus.

    According to Sugar Creek Astronomical Society’s president, Katherine Auld, “Objects we will likely view include:  Jupiter, or more specifically the Galilean moons that almost nightly change their locations in their dance around Jupiter, and the Double Cluster, which is two open clusters of stars lying at a distance of about 7,500 light years from Earth.  Other objects we will see include the moon, Pleiades (the “seven sisters”), another open cluster containing hot, blue and extremely bright stars that formed in the last 100 million years.  Perhaps the most amazing object we will view is the Andromeda Galaxy with about a trillion stars.  It makes an amazing night sky object through binoculars as it is about 8 times the apparent size of the earth’s full moon.  Several telescopes will also be set up for public use.”

    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 January 28, 2017

    • Classroom instruction – 4:30 p.m.
    • Night viewing about 5:30 p.m.

    Cost:  Free – Public invited:  Great for scout groups and families
    For more information call:  479-789-5000

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

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