Friends of Hobbs
State Park-Conservation Area

Hobbs News - don't miss a thing!

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  • 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:

  • 23 Jun 2016 1:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Have a passion for the outdoors? Want to help preserve and share the beauty of Hobbs State Park - Conservation Area for generations to come?  JOIN FRIENDS OF HOBBS!

    This diverse group of folks come from all walks of life:  civic leaders, environmentalists, educators, retirees, students, professionals and more. There are no specific qualifications required, just a love for the mission of Friends of Hobbs: 

    • To build broad public support for the policies, objectives and mission of the park.
    • To support education programs; and
    • To accelerate park improvements, and to enhance the quality of park programs through volunteerism and fundraising.

    Take this link to join us!  

  • 11 Mar 2015 7:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We hear them all the time, but don’t know what kind they are.  Here is your chance to learn more about our amphibian friends.

    Session #1 of this two-session classroom workshop taught by Lilia Beattie, FrogWatch Instructor and Master Naturalist, will teach you to identify all the frogs and toads in our area by their calls.  Students will follow a Power Point presentation and learn to mimic the frog calls.  Handouts with visual memory aids will be provided.  In addition, you will learn why they are important, why they are in trouble, and what can be done to help them.

    The first session is a pre-requisite for the second session.   Session #2 includes an introduction to wetlands and frog monitoring training for the FrogWatch USA™ national network administered by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.  The class will be going outside to listen for frogs!  Citizen scientists around the country listen to frogs and toads from February through August at a site of their choice and submit their findings to a national database.  What family fun!  For more about FrogWatch USA™ see

    Free Frog Listening Workshop at Hobbs State Park

    When:    Saturday, May 21, 2016 
                  Session #1    2 pm – 5 pm
                  Bring your own dinner:  5 pm – 6 pm
                  Session #2    6 pm – 9 pm

    Where:  Hobbs State Park Visitor Center located on Hwy 12 just east of the                   Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road Intersection.

    Cost:      Free

    For more information call:  479-789-5000

  • 11 Mar 2015 6:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Six times a year the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society presents a Beginning Astronomy class followed by Night Sky Viewing at Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area.  The next free public astronomy program is Saturday July 2nd.

    According to Jack McDaniel, member of the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society, “It will be a great night for viewing planets!  Through our telescopes we will see mighty Jupiter in the southwestern sky with its four largest moons; Io, Callisto, Europa, and Ganymede.  The planet and its moons resemble a bright necklace with the moons lined up in a straight line; three on one side of Jupiter, and lonely Callisto on the opposite side.  It’s an amazing sight.  Saturn will be high in the southeastern sky. We will see the planet’s truly awe inspiring rings and a few of its brightest moons.

    Just ahead of Saturn will be the red planet Mars. Saturn, Mars and the bright star Antares will form a triangle that is a treat for naked eye observation.

    There are also many deep sky objects, including the globular star cluster designated as M13 in the constellation Hercules. This ancient cluster, sometimes called The Great Cluster, is packed with several hundred thousand stars. It is located about 100 light years away from us. We will be able to see stars radiating out from the center of the cluster.”

    The program begins at 8:00 pm and includes finding your way around the night sky. Observation using binoculars, telescopes and the naked eye will begin around 9:00 p.m.

    What to Bring: 
        Flashlight (covered with a red cloth or red balloon)
        Binoculars and/or telescope (if you have)
        Folding chair – one per person
        Star chart (if you have one)

    When:   Saturday July 2, 2016
                 8:00 p.m. – Beginning astronomy class
                 9:00 p.m. – Night sky observation
                 (View the night sky through the Sugar Creek Astronomy Society’s
                 high-powered telescopes.)

    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

  • 11 Mar 2015 5:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Have you ever wanted to learn to kayak?  Here is your chance to learn from a kayak instructor for the American Canoe Association (ACA).  Participants will learn all aspects of paddling while exploring a calm area of Beaver Lake.  Recreational kayaks, paddles, and lifejackets will be provided.

    Space is limited on each workshop, and open to 16 years and older.  Bring a sack lunch, drinking water, sunscreen, and dress for the weather.

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

    When:    8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on the following dates:
                  June 29
                  July 10, 31
                  August 5, 7, 16, 31

    Cost:  $50.00 per person

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

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