Friends of Hobbs
State Park-Conservation Area

Hobbs News - don't miss a thing!

  • 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:

  • 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 

  • 21 Oct 2019 1:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    One of the most common questions those new to Astronomy have is, “How do I decide what telescope I should buy?”  The answer is not straightforward – there are several different types of telescopes with different options and a large range of prices.  Also, there is a lot of terminology which can be intimidating. 

    Please join us on Saturday November 2nd for our next Hobbs State Park Star Party, where we will start with a short lecture on Saturn and some recent discoveries.  Then, Sugar Creek Astronomical Society members will lead an interactive session discussing different telescope types, telescope options, and will answer your questions about buying a telescope.  We will have several types of telescopes on hand so that you can get an up-close look with the lights on!

    The lecture will start at 6:00 pm, and weather permitting, we will have a Star Party afterwards, where you will be able to look through different telescopes to see fantastic Saturn for yourself!

    What to Bring if you can:

    - Binoculars and/or telescope (if you have)

    - Folding chair – one per person

    - Star chart (if you have one)

    - Blankets to keep warm!

    Where & When: 

     - Hobbs State Park Visitor Center

     - Located on Hwy. 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road


    - Saturday November 2nd   2019

    - 6:00 pm Lecture, 7:00 Star Party

    - Cost: Free

    Sugar Creek Astronomical Society’s Facebook Page is:

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

  • 09 Oct 2019 1:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    No, it doesn’t matter if you are a birder or ornithologist, new to it or an old hand.  Going for a Hobbs State Park Loon Cruise on Beaver Lake with bird experts Joe Neal and Joan Reynolds, and a seasoned captain named Bob Ross, you’re going to have fun.  Joe, Joan and the group might espy loons and other birds on the water but count on Bob Ross to imitate the cry of our feathered friends…really!

    According to Joe Neal, co-author (With Doug James) of the book, “Arkansas Birds”, “I expect there will be MANY bird species to see and identify on these cruises.  Besides Common Loons, we could also see Red-Throated Loons.  I expect we will see both Pied-Billed and Horned Grebes.  Western and Eared Grebes are also possible.  These trips fall right in the middle of waterfowl migration, and I expect we will see 10 or more species of ducks. We may see 1-3 gull species.  Bald Eagles should be visible too.  We will explore a loop that starts at Rocky Branch, goes down the lake towards Twin Cove, crosses to Lost Bridge-Glade and a little further west, then finish the loop back to Rocky Branch.”


    • Sunday, October 27th
    • Saturday, November 2nd
    • Sunday, November 10th

    Leave Rocky Branch Marina at 10:00 am - 2-hour cruise  

    Where:  Rocky Branch Marina – Hwy 303 north of Hwy. 12

    Cost: $10 + tax - adults (13 yrs. and up) These are adult-only tours.      

    Reservations are necessary.  For more information and to make reservations call:  479-789-5000

    • 09 Oct 2019 1:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

      Abby Burnett, frequent cemetery visitor, comes back to Hobbs State Park to present one of her interesting, odd, or surprising programs on cemeteries.  Be prepared to be entertained.  

      We Americans love our domesticated animals.  We pet them, scratch them, build elaborate things for them to climb on.  We build fancy houses for them.  We take them on long walks and teach them parlor tricks.  Some of us even dress them in human clothing.  There is however nothing that shows that we love our pets more than when it comes to that last dog bone in the sky, yes, cemeteries.

      Perhaps a special pet cemetery becomes the last resting place, but it is just as easy to find humans’ grave markers containing photos, statues or laser images of a beloved dog, cat or other animal, or at least epitaphs referring to them.  The reality of these instances can, to say the least, be enlightening.

      According to Burnett, “My presentation will include stories of life-sized sculptures of pets and their owners, tombstones showing circus and rodeo performers with their animals, and tell the tale of Missouri’s psychic ‘Jim the Wonder Dog.’”

      Sound like fun?  Don’t be dogmatic.  Bring your friends and neighbors to this one. 

      When:    Sunday October 20, 2019

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

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

    • 30 Sep 2019 11:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

      Spend an evening on Beaver Lake while paddling a one-man kayak guided by a park interpreter.  You will learn the basics of paddling as we explore a calm area of Beaver Lake.  Recreational kayaks, paddles and lifejackets will be provided. Bring a bottle of water, bug spray, flashlight and dress for the weather. 

      Cost: $25 Adults, $12 children (9-12).

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

      Time:  6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

      Registration and pre-payment required. Call 479-789-5000 for more information and to register.

    • 30 Sep 2019 11:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

      Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area has released the dates of six sunset pontoon boat cruises on Beaver Lake.

      Sept.                Departure Times from Rocky Branch Marina      

      Thursday Oct. 3                                       5:30 p.m.

      Thursday Oct 10                                      5:20 p.m.

      Thursday Oct. 17                                      5:10 p.m.

      Sunday Oct. 20                                         5:00 p.m.

      Thursday Oct. 24                                      5:00 p.m.

      Thursday Oct. 31                                       4:50 pm

      Nothing could be more enjoyable than a beautiful sunset out on Beaver Lake.  Many birds will be coming back to their nests this time of day.  We will look for them, and listen for their calls.  Don’t forget your cameras.

      Tickets must be purchased in advance.  Adults $10.00 + tax.   Children 6-12   $5.00 + tax.    Tours depart Rocky Branch Marina promptly at stated times.  For more information and to make reservations, call: 479-789-5000

    • 12 Sep 2019 9:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

      Some flaunt their beauty.  Some spread as wide as they are tall, giving us delightful shade in the summer.  Some are just amazing to look at.   Native to the northern hemisphere, over 600 varieties of oak trees can be found all around the globe.

      One may not guess this, but only after about 20 years do oak trees start producing acorns.  Some oaks may even take up to 50 years to produce the first lot, and then live for 200 to 1,000 years depending on the variety.  Another fun fact is that a mature oak has the capacity to absorb more than 50 gallons of water in one day.  And how about this – white oaks produce acorns every year.  Red oaks produce acorns every other year.

      Dr. Klingamon tells us, “In this talk we will explore the natural history of one of the world’s most important tree species.  Considered will be topics including the range of oaks distribution over the world, the adaptability of oaks in widely varied environments, and a look at some of the most important oaks in Arkansas.”

      Do you have questions about oaks and perhaps their diseases?  Dr. Klingamon is the expert and will address your oak inquiries.

      When:  Sunday September 22, 2019     2:00 pm                     

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

      Cost:  Free

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

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