Friends of Hobbs
State Park-Conservation Area

Hobbs News - don't miss a thing!

  • 16 Oct 2016 1:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    In a new partnership between Hobbs State Park and the Photographic Society of Northwest Arkansas, a Fall Photography “Photo Walk” will be led by Cleeo Wright and other members of PSNWA on Saturday, October 29th beginning at 7:00am.  The theme of this event is “Fall Colors”, focusing on 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, and begin the photo walk promptly at 7:00am, concluding as the morning light begins to shift.  The photo walk will take place rain or shine.  Believe it or not, 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 increase.  The Historic Van Winkle Trail is wheelchair accessible.  Each trail is 0.5 miles in length.

    Travelling 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 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 photo walk on 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’  (2 miles west of the Hobbs State Park visitor center)

    When:  Saturday October 29, 2015      7:00a.m.

    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:

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

  • 15 Oct 2016 2:41 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 22nd.

    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.

    Join in this fun, 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:  face painting, crafts, free S’mores – yum, and more.

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

    When:   Saturday October 22, 2016 from 3 pm – 7 pm

    Kids of all ages are invited to participate.  For more information call:  479-789-5000

  • 15 Oct 2016 1:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area offers eagle watch tours on Beaver Lake November 2016 through February 2017.  Tours will take place on:

    November:  5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 23, 25, 26, 27

    December:  3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

    January:  1, 2, 7, 8, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 28, 29

    February:  4, 5, 11, 13, 18, 19, 25, 26

    According to Rebekah Penny, park interpreter, “We have always been lucky seeing eagles on our tours; some mature, some immature, and we always see other beautiful wildlife as well.  It could be migrating osprey, great blue herons, king fishers, deer, or red-tailed hawks.  No one will ever be disappointed on our eagle tours.”  Penny added, “We can only take 20 guests at a time, so it’s important that folks call the park in a timely manner to ensure that their names get on the boarding lists.”

    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 and to make reservations, call: 479-789-5000

  • 10 Oct 2016 6:09 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.

    November 12:  “Critters that Love the Night Time”

    December 10:  “Our Critters in Winter”

    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

  • 03 Oct 2016 2:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The Ozarks Plateau of northern Arkansas contains over 3000 known caves, and for over 50 years John McFarland has been caving and photographing the beauty of many of these underground marvels.  His love of Ozark caves began when he was a kid.  His passion for them grew, eventually getting his Master of Science-Geology from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

    After graduating from college, McFarland worked for the U.S. Geological Survey in New Orleans, then later at the Arkansas Geological Survey as a staff geologist, eventually retiring as Chief Geologist of the AGS after 30 years of service.  He is a Registered Professional Geologist in Arkansas. (#10)

    McFarland’s program will present information on the geologic processes that created these caves via pictures of numerous Arkansas examples.  Illustrations of the different types of cave passages, deposits, formations, and map patterns will be displayed and discussed.  For hardened cavers and non-cavers alike, you will want to enjoy this exciting and vivid look at underground Arkansas.

    Where: Hobbs State Park visitor center on Highway 12 just east of the Hwy12/War Eagle Road intersection
    When: Sunday October 9, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.
    Cost: Free

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

  • 29 Sep 2016 2:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A host of FREE and fun family-orientated events will take place at Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area Sunday October 2, 2016.   Activities will take place at Historical Van Winkle Hollow as well as the Park’s visitor center, both located on Hwy 12 east of Rogers.  Bring the entire family to learn about how it was done in the past.

    Historic Van Winkle Hollow

    1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  

    • Blacksmith Demonstration   (You will love his beard)
    • Old Time Cider Press  (Crank your own cider)
    • Civil War Physician  (Hope you feel OK)
    • Old Timey Games   (Are you any good walking on stilts?)
    • Music   (Tap that foot)
    • Stone Tool making Demonstration  (Amazing)
    • Van Winkle Historical Presentation (Great history)
    • Mountain Woman and the Fur Trade Era  (Real deal hunting equipment)
    • Tall Tales Tellers   (Would they lie to you? – Yes)
    • Dutch oven Demonstration   (Holy yum!)
    • Trapper  (Feel the pelts)
    •  “Snake Oil” Salesman   (Don’t let him sell anything to you.)
    •  Pioneer Homesteader   (Want to make some butter?)  

    Hobbs State Park visitor center

    1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

    See demonstrations:
    • Weavers
    • Lace makers
    • Spinners
    • Music
    • Short hikes

    Free Shuttle:  Please park at the visitor center parking lot on Hwy. 12 just east of the Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection.  The free shuttle will run constantly from   1 p.m. – 4 p.m. between the visitor center and Historic Van Winkle Trail. 

    All of these family activities are FREE and the public is welcome.    For more information call:  479-789-5000

  • 29 Sep 2016 2:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     On October 8th the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society will be hosting International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN) at Hobbs State Park.   InOMN is an annual worldwide public event sponsored by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI), and the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI).    These entities encourage observation, appreciation, and understanding of our Moon and its connection to NASA planetary science and exploration.  Everyone on Earth is invited to join the celebration by attending an InOMN event — and uniting on one day each year to look at and learn about the Moon together.

    According to Katherine Auld, president of the Sugar Creek group, “We will host a public lecture by Caitlin Ahrens of the University of Arkansas on current science on the Moon at 6:30 pm in the Hobbs classroom.   This will be followed at 7:30 pm by a public star party.   We will have several telescopes on site viewing the moon.  In addition, we encourage anyone who has a telescope and would like to practice or need assistance setting it up to bring it along.  We have plenty of space and the Moon makes a wonderful viewing target for beginners.  As always we request that you use only running lights entering and leaving the parking lot respecting the viewing and night vision of those at telescopes.”

    What to Bring:  

    • Flashlight (covered with a red cloth or red balloon)
    • Binoculars and/or telescope (if you have)
    • Folding chair – one per person

    When:   Saturday October 8, 2016
                  6:30 pm   Classroom
                  7:30 p.m. Night sky observation        

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

    Cost:  FREE

    Great family fun!  Great Girl and Boy Scout experience!   For more information call:  479-789-5000

  • 16 Sep 2016 10:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    You cannot beat Mother Nature and Beaver Lake.  What a great way to spend a late afternoon with your spouse on the first Saturday of Fall.  Take a lake cruise on beautiful Beaver Lake guided by a park interpreter.  Stop off at Ventris Trails End Resort for a scrumptious dinner consisting of smothered pork chops, mashed potatoes with white gravy, green beans, dinner roll, French Onion soup, salad, tea, coffee, or lemonade.  If a vegetarian option is your preference, you get a portabella sandwich with sautéed green peppers & onions, garlic mayo and Swiss cheese.  Ventris Trails End Resort is famous for their desserts and this cruise comes with chocolate cake.    

    Hop back onto the boat to catch a beautiful sunset as we look forward to the colors and fragrances of fall.       

    When:  Friday September 23, 2016

    Time:  Leave Rocky Branch Marina promptly at 4:00 p.m.   Dinner at 5:00 p.m.

    Cruise with dinner is approximately 3 hours long.

    Cost:  $40.00/person

    Seating is limited to 20 individuals.  Registration and prepayment required.  For more information and registration call 479-789-5000

  • 13 Sep 2016 11:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Meet at the Visitor Center on Saturday, September 24th at 2:00 and learn insects for a couple of hours! 

    Insects at Hobbs State Park are easy to spot and photograph thanks to the ponds directly adjacent to the Conservation Center. Come and join us in the classroom for a discussion of insect photography, and then walk outside to test your new photographic skills.

    We are fortunate to have Austin Jones, President Entomology Assoc of Arkansas, and PSNWA member Bob Thomas giving instruction. Austin conducts insect research at Hobbs and Bob is one of the best known dragonfly photographers in the nation.

    To be successful you will need a macro lens, or a medium telephoto lens able to focus close enough to fill your viewfinder with a flower and an insect or two. If you have one, a monopod may be useful to help steady the camera and lens.

    Just for fun, you may also want to review the Arkansas Butterfly Checklist and see how many you can photograph during the event.

    PSNWA and Hobbs State Park formed a partnership in 2015 to bring photographic education to the park grounds, and "Insect Photography", is one of several events created to combine classroom education with practical, photographic experience. Read more about the partnership here.

    This event is free and open to the public; PSNWA Member and Guest Registration is available as a courtesy reminder for the event.

  • 09 Sep 2016 1:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mobile Phone Photography Techniques Using the iPhone or Android Cellphone Taught Free by Melissa Jones at Hobbs State Park

    Thanks to the prevalence of smartphones, mobile photography has exploded in the last five years. But there’s far more to mobile photography than just selfies. With cameras in cellphones continually improving, “iPhonography” has become its own art form.

    According to Melissa Jones, the leader of the Mobile Phone Photography Workshop, “This class will explore the art of smartphone photography, focusing on iPhones and Android phones such as the Samsung Galaxy series.  We will explore tips and tricks to get the best photos, and we’ll discuss some apps. to edit photos, add special effects, and post to social media.  There will be a walking tour after the seminar to put the techniques you have just acquired to practice”.

    Melissa L. Jones is a nature, landscape, and architecture photographer, as well as the technology columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.  Having spent the last several years reviewing mobile phones, as well as improving her digital photography skills, she offers a unique, double-sided perspective on digital smartphone photography.   Some of Melissa’s favorites are weather photography, (She is a certified storm spotter.) nature/landscapes, and historic iron bridges.

    Melissa graduated from the University of Arkansas and, after a brief stint in Pine Bluff and Little Rock, returned to Northwest Arkansas.  In addition to her column, she is also the Special Sections Manager at the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.  She enjoys photography during road trips and in visits to Arkansas State Parks; particularly Devil’s Den, Mount Nebo, and Hobbs State Park. 

    If you would like to perfect your mobile phone photography talents, then join Melissa Jones at Hobbs State Park for a free and unforgettable learning experience.

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

    When:  Saturday September 17th
    9 am – 11 am    Technique Discussion at the visitor center
    11 am – 1 pm     Outside Excursion/Photography

    Cost:   Free  (Sponsored by the Photographic Society of NW Arkansas)

    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:

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

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