Friends of Hobbs
State Park-Conservation Area

Hobbs News - don't miss a thing!

  • 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:  www.psnwa.org


  • 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
                   only.

    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: https://www.psnwa.org/ws/ and http://www.friendsofhobbs.com/  and  www.ArkansasStateParks.com/hobbsstateparkconservationarea


  • 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


  • 22 Feb 2018 2:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    March 3rd, 2018 will be a day of fun filled family activities as Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area and the Friends of Hobbs celebrate the life and extraordinary career of Aldo Leopold, and how he shaped conservation and the modern environmental movement.  Leopold is the author of “Sand County Almanac”, the book has had immense popular impact, and has been described as "a major influence on American attitudes toward our natural environment".  

    The day will begin with “Birds N 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:

    Activity Schedule:

    9:00 am – 10:30 am   Birds and Breakfast

    10:00 am - Spur Trail hike

    11:00 am – Prescribed Burn Demo (Picnic Area)

    1:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Table Top Exhibits

    1:00 pm – Nature Journaling

    2:30 pm – Post-Burn Hike on Ozark Plateau Trail

    3:30 pm – “Green Fire” movie showing (Life of Aldo Leopold)

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

    When:  Saturday March 3, 2018

    Cost:  All activities free

    For more information, call:  479-789-5006


  • 22 Feb 2018 2:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    EVENT CANCELLED!   Due to weather and the safety of our feathered friends, we unfortunately have to cancel Birds N Breakfast Saturday February 24, 2018.  Note that we still have two Birds N Breakfasts scheduled from 9:00 am until 10:30 am on March 3rd and April 14th.


  • 16 Feb 2018 11:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Once again our feathered friends will be at center stage at Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area during our third annual program series: Birds N Breakfast.  Come enjoy a cup of coffee or juice and have a muffin with the birds. Have you ever seen all the feathers of a goldfinch, chickadee, or other songbird up close?  Well, this is your chance.   Don’t forget your camera. 

    Special thanks to our sponsors, Wild Birds Unlimited, 3-D Pet Products and The Bluebird Shed!

    From 9:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. the Wildlife Society of the University of Arkansas will be catching song birds, handling them so the public can really see them, and then releasing them back into the wild.  Learn about how this type of research has taught us many things we now know about birds.

    Where:  Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area Visitor Center
                 (Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection)

    2018 Dates:  February 24, March 3 and April 14 

    Time:    9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

    Cost:      Breakfast and activities FREE - Registration not required…a great family activity.

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000


  • 12 Feb 2018 10:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mother Nature apparently “got up on the wrong side of her bed” and sprinkled ice on many of our NW Arkansas roads.  Sweetheart cruises on February 10th and 11th had to be cancelled, but have been rescheduled for the following weekend.  As a result of the dinner cruise cancellations, many spots have opened up, giving others an opportunity to get in on the fun.

    Do something unique with your loved one.  Share the wonders of nature on beautiful Beaver Lake looking for bald eagles plus enjoy a scrumptious and a musically fun lunch at Ventris Trails End Resort

    Lunch features bacon wrapped pork loin with mushrooms, onions, and cheese, twice baked potato, seasoned green beans, French onion soup and salad with homemade bread rolls, chocolate sheet cake, tea, or coffee.  Vegetarian option is a yummy portabella mushroom sandwich.   Alcoholic beverages are available at an additional charge.

    You have two Sweetheart Cruises to choose from.  One will run Saturday February 17th and the other Sunday February 18th.  Each cruise will leave Rocky Branch Marina promptly at 11:00 am and return at 2:00 pm.

    Cost: $40 per person:   Reservations and prepayment necessary.   Contact Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area to reserve your spot.                       

    Call (479) 789-5000. 


  • 12 Feb 2018 10:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Moonshine got its name from the alcohol being moved by moonlight to decrease the chances of being detected, but there was a distinction.  Moonshine, according to Ozark folklore, was made at night; white lightning was made in the day; and white mule was the stuff that was made so far back in the hills it took a mule to haul it out.

    Making whisky in the Ozarks was a craft, just like making candles, soap, or musical instruments.  Almost everyone did it.  Bill Holman’s dad was a local law enforcement officer during prohibition.  Holman said, “Moonshine was so popular in the Ozarks, that at one point a local man offered $10 to anyone to pick a house between Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and Gateway, Arkansas where it wasn't for sale. “     No takers.

    A number of years ago a former Benton County Sherriff, and one-time moonshiner, told a Hobbs Park interpreter, "At one time there were so many moonshiners in Benton County that you had to wear a name tag to tell each other apart." 

    It was a risky business, but with great rewards.  Corn was worth more by the gallon than by the bushel, and the feds were tough in the Ozarks.  According to Ozarks Watch, “In the 40 years that followed Prohibition, 6,000 stills were seized by federal agents in Arkansas and Missouri.”

    Susan Young, outreach coordinator at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale, (and wonderful story teller) will present Stills in the Hills: A History of Moonshining in the Ozarks at Hobbs State Park.  Young will speak about the history, the craft of making moonshine, and share stories from some oral history interviews she did in Madison County with folks who shared their memories of moonshine and moonshiners.  Don’t miss her revealing and fun program.

    Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection
    When:     February 18, 2018    2:00 pm
    Cost:        Free – Public invited      
    For more information, call:  479-789-5000


  • 12 Feb 2018 10:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Entomology is the study of insects and related organisms.  According to the current president of the organization, Hillary Fischer, “We as a society were founded in 1991 for the purpose of getting everyone in Arkansas together to share our research.  If you are interested in becoming a member of the AES and want to participate in our meeting at Hobbs State Park, please contact me at:  hillfisch@gmail.com.”

    If you just want to bring the kids to have some free fun with insects, leave the afternoon of February 17 open.   The afternoon portion of the AES gathering boasts an “Open House” where there will be booths set up to learn about insects.  There will be a live bug zoo, and collection boxes.  There will also be microscopes with things to look at and people there to talk about them.  In addition, there will be crafts for the kids and other activities.

    What kid doesn’t like insects?  What parent doesn’t like free kid activities?  It’s a kid, insect, parent match made in heaven.  Don’t miss it!

    Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection
    When:  February 17, 2018 - Open House 1 pm – 3 pm
    Cost:        Free – Public invited      

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000


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