Friends of Hobbs
State Park-Conservation Area

Hobbs News - don't miss a thing!

  • 09 Apr 2018 1:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hello volunteers! I am excited to be joining the Hobbs State Park family as your new Volunteer Coordinator .I look forward to getting to know and work alongside each one of you. Thank you in advance for your past and upcoming volunteer service. Your time, energy, and commitment continue to make Hobbs State Park an even greater place!

    I ask for your patience as I am learning the ropes but I am more than happy to help in anyway that I can. If I don't know the answer, I will find it! My email is and my direct number is 479-789-5009.

    Newsletters will be coming out soon! We are moving forward with Volgistics, so remember upcoming volunteer opportunities can be found on our calendar. You can log onto Volgistics here:

    Here is a little history about me:

    My husband, Bo, and I are native Arkansans and we have two children, Collin and Benjamin, ages 6 and 4. I began my career as an art educator with the Fayetteville public school district after graduating from the University of Arkansas in 2008 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art Education Pre-K – 12th grade. In addition to serving nine years as a public school educator, I have continued to support our region by working for community organizations including The Center for Art and Education in Van Buren and Lifestyles, Inc. in Fayetteville.

    As an avid trail and endurance runner, the trails of Hobbs are my home away from home. Trail running has instilled in me a respect and love for nature and its’ resources that I am eager to share with my volunteers. I am also an active member of the Rowing Club of Northwest Arkansas Board of Directors where I also spend time sculling and sweep rowing. I love to utilize my background in art through baking and my cookie art has received numerous recognitions including national and international publications. Additionally, I partnered with the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce as a contributing watercolor artist to the children’s book, Goodnight Fayetteville.

    I am excited to work in close communication and unison with you to achieve goals, build and uphold resource stewardship, and bring awareness to the diversity of life at Hobbs!

    -Amber Ebbrecht

  • 02 Apr 2018 3:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    What is a fossil?  …   simply the preserved remains of a plant or animal.  In Arkansas most of our fossils are of marine animals, which means that millions of years ago the land that is now Arkansas was once under shallow oceans.

    The next time you see one of those limestone bluffs along the streams in north Arkansas, just think that what you are really looking at is a pile of fossil fragments all cemented together.  A marine animal called a crinoid is the most common fossil found in these rocks and typically makes up 60% to 98% of our local limestone.

    The types of fossils contained in the rocks reveals clues about the age of the rock and the different environments of the past.  The fossils found in Arkansas range in age from over 500 million years ago to as recently as just 1000 years ago.  The latter have taken the name “Young Fossils”.

    A new fossil…we have a state flower, a state tree, etc., and now we have a state dinosaur.  The fossilized bones of our state dinosaur were found in Early Cretaceous Age rocks that date from approximately 146 to 100 million years ago.  The Arkansas legislature designated Arkansaurus fridayi as the official state dinosaur in 2017 thanks to efforts made by student Mason "Cypress" Oury of Fayetteville High School.

    Join John David McFarland, fossil expert, as he presents fascinating facts about fossils found in different parts of the state.  He will also bring a collection of Arkansas fossils to view.

    McFarland retired as Chief Geologist from the Arkansas Geological Survey after 30+ years of service.  During those years he published over 60 abstracts, articles, photographs, guidebooks, and reports in various venues relating to diverse aspects of the state’s geology. 

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

    When:  Sunday April 8, 2018 at 2:00 pm 

    Cost:  Free - The public/families are invited 

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

  • 26 Mar 2018 10:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Many new to northwest Arkansas may have come from states where fishing took place in lakes that were only 30 or 40 feet deep.  Adjusting to fishing in Beaver Lake where the lake depth reaches to 200 feet can be a frustrating experience.  Spring is prime fishing time at Beaver Lake and an upcoming, free program at Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area may help with the catching.

    A program for beginner anglers will teach the basics of catching bluegill, crappie, catfish and black bass at Beaver Lake during spring and early summer.  It’s designed for people who are new to fishing at Beaver Lake, those new to fishing, or people who have never fished.

    Flip Putthoff is the presenter.  He’s been fishing at Beaver Lake for 39 years, and lives on the lake.  He’s the outdoors reporter at the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.  Topics in the 45-minute program include basic tackle, characteristics of Beaver Lake, and simple techniques to catch fish.  Flip will bring examples of proven rods and tackle.  After the formal program, Putthoff will give an outdoor demonstration on the art of filleting fish.   Anyone interested in fishing is welcome. 

    Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection
    When:  Sunday April 1, 2018 at 2:00 pm
    Cost: Free

    For more information, call:  479-789-5006   This program is a continuation of the Friends of Hobbs Speaker Series.  

  • 15 Mar 2018 12:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hikers, bikers, and equestrians will be happy to know that after 8 months of being closed for major repairs, the War Eagle Loop of Hobbs State Park’s multi-use trails opens again Friday March 16th.

    April of 2017 dumped 17.72 inches of rain at Hobbs State Park.  There was trail damage for sure; however, because the rain was spread out pretty evenly throughout the month, the damage on all of the Park’s trails, even the War Eagle Loop, was quickly repaired.  Then came July of the same year, a relatively dry month.  Five inches of rain fell within 6 days at the beginning of the month, doing more actual damage to the War Eagle Loop than the spread out 17.72 inches that fell in April.  The damage to the trail’s drainage systems was extensive, and the trail had to be closed.

    Staff and many dedicated volunteers worked and worked many weeks to rehab the harm done.  Trail sections that washed out had to be rebuilt and relocated by hand.

    Why has it taken so long to get the War Eagle Loop back open?  In addition to the physical labor expended to address the trail damage, over one mile of the trail had to be relocated.  This was completed by a trail construction contractor at the cost of $25,000.00.  That money was not immediately available, and it took time for the wheels of state government to turn until some “emergency” money was in hand.

    In addition to the massive repairs to the trail, a nice improvement has been made at the trail’s War Eagle Creek overlook.  Staff and volunteers hauled in some 130 split rails and erected an eye pleasing split rail fence.  (See attached photo) 

    For more information, call:  479-789-5006

  • 13 Mar 2018 2:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    They don’t make open-in-the-tree type nests, and they don’t use platforms.  They don’t lay their eggs on rock ledges like vultures.  They’re “Cavity Nesters”.

    Rick Jones, avid birder and bluebird nest box monitor, will offer his experience and advice on the joys and responsibilities of being a successful “landlord” for the cavity-nesting birds in your neighborhood.

    As Rick puts it, “Some birds nest in tree cavities formed by decayed wood or that have been excavated by woodpeckers.  These “Cavity-Nesters” have adapted their breeding, egg brooding, and fledging schedules to take full advantage of cavity life; however, natural cavities are becoming harder to find as humans alter wooded habitats.”

    Jones will answer the questions:  What materials and nest box features will attract these birds to my property?  Where and how should the nest boxes be placed?  How can I increase the odds that multiple broods of nestlings will survive to fledge the nest?  What can be done with the boxes during the winter months?

    You need a plan.  Remember that birds, like humans, search for a nice place to raise their families.  Join Rick Jones as he explains how to make the best bird-friendly yard for cavity nesters.

    When:  Sunday March 18, 2018 at 2:00 pm

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

    Cost:  Free – The public is invited

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000

  • 13 Mar 2018 2:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As Earth revolves around the Sun, there are two moments each year when the Sun is exactly above the equator. These moments are called equinoxes.  Equinox literally means “equal night," since the length of day and night is nearly equal in all parts of the world during the equinoxes.

    The March equinox marks when the Northern Hemisphere starts to tilt toward the sun, which means longer, sunnier days.  In the Northern Hemisphere, the March equinox is called the vernal equinox, because it signals the beginning of spring.  (Vernal means fresh or new like the spring.)

    The vernal equinox is probably the most important astronomical event of the year because it not only marks the first day of spring, but it also marks the beginning of the astronomical year.  It’s interesting that you cannot observe it in the night sky because it involves the sun which floods the sky with light and makes it impossible to see what is actually happening.

    People have celebrated the vernal equinox for centuries. For ancient cultures, the vernal equinox signaled that their food supplies would soon return.  Early Egyptians even built the Great Sphinx so that it points directly toward the rising sun on the day of the vernal equinox.      

    How do people celebrate the vernal equinox or the coming of spring today?  Holi is a Hindu spring festival when for two straight days people throw colorful powders on each other until everyone looks like human tie-dyes.  In Zurich, Switzerland, the residents celebrate spring by burning a giant snowman made of cloth and stuffed with fireworks called the “Böögg”.   Maybe one of the most enjoyable ways to celebrate spring is to go south with the college kids for Spring Break.  Destination – libation – incarceration – yay spring!

    No matter how you celebrate spring, come join the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society at Hobbs State Park and learn more about the vernal equinox.

    What to Bring if you can:

    • 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)

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

    When:     March 17, 2018
                   7:00 pm lecture
                   8:00 pm night sky viewing

    Cost:       Free – Public invited       
                   Great for families and scout groups

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000

  • 13 Mar 2018 2:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hobbs State Park is all about education.  School programs, weekend public programs, special speakers, and interesting workshops.  Now comes Spring Break.  The list of 2018 Spring Break programs offered at Hobbs State Park March 17 through March 25 goes on and on.  Listed here are but a few of them:  Hikes, Flower Power, Puffballs in the Sky, Leave No Trace, Skulls, Venomous Snakes of Arkansas, Basic Camera Operation for Nature Photography, Cavity Nesters, The Lorax, Art in The Park, Tale of The Turtle, Get in Touch With The Trees, Arkansas Symbols, Bike Tour, Beneath The Surface, Earth Art, Decomposers, Toadily About Frogs, Owls, Backpacking 101, Slithering Around, and more, including a nighttime Astronomy program.

    You can be busy all day, every day of Spring Break.  You name it, and Hobbs State Park will have a program for you.

    When:    March 17th – 25th

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

    Cost:  All programs are free, and the public is invited to all of them.

    For more information, Spring Break program questions, or directions call:  479-789-5000

  • 13 Mar 2018 2:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Photographic Society of Northwest Arkansas, in conjunction with Hobbs State Park - Conservation Area, will lead a photo walk on the Sinking Stream Trail off Arkansas 12 on Saturday, March 17 at 10 a.m. This half-mile trail ventures through the forest and across the West Fork of Little Clifty Creek.  Melissa L. Jones, Vice Chairman for PSNWA, will lead the hike and offer suggestions on subjects to photograph, as well as provide some tips on how to get the best out of your nature photos - so bring your camera!  The natural-surface trail is a fairly easy hike with a couple of steep hills and lots of great scenery to photograph, as well as the possibility of budding spring flowers and buds.  Participants should meet at the trail head at the parking lot shared with the Van Winkle Trail on Arkansas 12. 

    When:    Saturday March 17th  at  10:00 am
    Where:  Historic Van Winkle Trail parking lot (Sinking Stream Trail originates from the same parking lot.)
    Cost:       Free…The public is cordially invited.

    For more information, or directions call:  479-789-5000

    To learn more about the PSNWA go to:

  • 07 Mar 2018 10:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Now here’s a unique way to celebrate St. Patrick Day.  Spend a photographic afternoon at Hobbs State Park.

    Things will start off with long-time photo journalist and wildlife photographer Mike Wintroath.  Mike has been the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission photographer for eight years, and in that time his spectacular wildlife images have filled the pages of the Arkansas Wildlife magazine, calendars, and more.  During this special event Mike will present a visual program of his wildlife work, including his underwater photography in Arkansas.  He will add stories and insights from his years as a professional photographer.

    After Mike’s presentation will be an opportunity to learn how to get the most out of your camera when you photograph Nature.  If you are just beginning to shoot photos of Nature and want some great tips, you will want to attend the lecture and photoshoot that follows Mike’s presentation.   The program is not for the professional…beginners only please.  Don’t be bashful, or self-conscience because you don’t have a 3-foot long lens on your camera.  You don’t need it.  That’s not what this program is about.  It truly is for novices, greenhorns, and rookies.

    Also note the time of year of this presentation.  We don’t have a lot of wildflowers and other plants with lush foliage to photograph in March.  Here’s the point.  No matter what time of year it is, there is ALWAYS something wonderful to photograph.  That’s what you will learn from Cleeo Wright, Nature Photographer, with the Photographic Society of Northwest Arkansas (PSNWA).

    Cleeo will present a lecture in the Hobbs State Park visitor center on Beginning Nature Photography.  Afterwards he will help all participants identify photographic “subjects” around the visitor center, and how best to photograph them with the camera that you bring.  This will be your program.  You ask the specific questions so you will get the specific knowledge that you are seeking as a Nature Photography learner.  Don’t pass up this extraordinary opportunity to learn basic Nature Photography from a professional in that field.

    Note:  Participants need to be familiar with the basic functions of their camera.  The lecture will help you understand how to utilize the functions your camera has to offer.  

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

    When:    Saturday March 17

    Time:     2:00 pm -  special photographic presentation by Arkansas Game and                Fish wildlife photographer Mike Wintroath

    Time:      4:00 pm lecture by Cleo Wright, Nature photographer from the
                   Photographic Society of Northwest Arkansas.   Outside photo shoot
                   follows the lecture.   Note:  The 4:00 pm program is for beginners

    Cost:       Free:  The public is invited.

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000   

    This program is a cooperative effort between the Photographic Society of Northwest Arkansas and Hobbs State Park.  To learn more about the PSNWA and upcoming Hobbs State Park programs, go to: and  and

  • 05 Mar 2018 11:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    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 such as baskets, clothing, and wooden implement handles.

    The Arkansas Archeological Survey has begun a multi-year research project related to this class of sites.  The first phase of this project digitized important records from early bluff shelter excavations.  Much has changed in the field of archeology since the 1920s.  Knowledge of both field methods and culture history has increased, thus the new bluff shelter studies.

    Dr. Jamie Brandon is the Research Station Archaeologist with the Arkansas Archaeological Survey responsible for the counties in Northwest Arkansas and most of the Arkansas Ozarks, some 13,000 square miles.  By virtue of his position, Dr. Brandon is also an Associate Research Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arkansas–Fayetteville.  He currently leads the multi-year research project to investigate bluff shelter sites across the Ozarks.   According to Brandon, “We are getting new information from old collections…information about plant domestication and information about technology change.   These studies also include new diggings as well in Carroll County, Arkansas.”

    Dr. Brandon’s presentation at Hobbs State Park will outline the history of archaeology in the region, examine the “bluff dweller” concept and its implications, and summarize current research on bluff shelters in Arkansas.  Don’t miss this fascinating discussion of new ways to look at old (and new) Ozark bluff research.

    When:  Saturday March 10, 2018 at 2:00 pm

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

    Cost:  Free – The public is invited

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000

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