Friends of Hobbs
State Park-Conservation Area

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  • 04 Mar 2019 1:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Jared Phillips, PHD, Director of Internship of International & Global Studies at the University of Arkansas, returns to Hobbs State Park to discuss another chapter of the fascinating story of the “Back to the Land Movement” in the Ozarks.  “Hipbillies” of the 1960s and 1970s had a profound influence on cities like Eureka Springs as well as northwest Arkansas in general.  According to professor Phillips, “Counterculture flourished nationwide in the 1960s and 1970s, and while the hippies of Haight–Ashbury occupied the public eye, a faction of back to the landers were quietly creating their own haven off the beaten path in the Arkansas Ozarks.  I will combine oral histories and archival resources to weave the story of the Ozarks and its population of country beatniks into the national narrative, showing how the back to the landers engaged in ‘deep revolution’ by sharing their ideas on rural development, small farm economy, and education with the locals—and how they became a fascinating part of a traditional region’s coming to terms with the modern world in the process.”

    One of the very interesting aspects of the Back to the Land Movement involved how it complicated the customary history of environmentalism in the Ozarks.  Environmentalism is the theory that environment, as opposed to heredity, has the primary influence on the development of a person or group.

    During the 1960s and 1970s, the Arkansas Ozarks found itself host to an evolving conversation on environmental stewardship as National Forest and other development interests clashed with young members of the back to the land movement (hipbillies) and local hill folk.  In part, this clash was the result of contested forestry and agriculture practices in the hills, but in reality the back to the land movement offered a uniquely American rebuke to the emerging environmentalist discourse of the day.  While agreeing that wild spaces were indeed important—after all, bioregions like the Buffalo River were (and are) central in countercultural efforts at ecological preservation—hipbillies argued that wild spaces made sense only in the context of working agricultural land.

    Join professor Phillips on a nostalgic stroll through an unforgettable and sometimes bumpy segment of our recent Ozark history.  If you were part of the Back to the Land Movement, come share some of your experiences.

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

    When:    Sunday March 10, 2019

    Time:      2:00 pm

    Cost:       Free.  The public is invited.

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

  • 25 Feb 2019 9:44 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For many people, hiking means finding a local trail on a weekend afternoon to enjoy a couple hours of fresh air and perhaps a respite from the concrete, asphalt, and work cubicle that surrounds their normal everyday life.  Others seek a more all-consuming experience: a physically and mentally demanding long-distance hike that takes them hundreds or thousands of miles through feral wilderness and demanding terrain.  If you complete a long-distance trail hike end-to-end within one calendar year, you are called a “Thru-Hiker”.

    If you’ve ever worried that you’ll run out of energy on a long hike, you’ll want to attend Jim’s upcoming program at Hobbs State Park.  He will share strategies for completing long hiking trips while remaining healthy and well fed.  Participants will see how he prepares and packs food for the long haul.  Jim will demonstrate ways to acquire dehydrated foods and customize meals that work to provide a balanced diet on the trail, whether you’re traveling ten or one-hundred miles.

    During the presentation, Warnock will share photos and stories from a variety of backpacking experiences along with tips for preparing and completing long thru-hikes in varied conditions. 

    Whether you’re a novice or veteran hiker, you’re sure to enjoy this presentation.  Children and their parents/grandparents are welcome to join Warnock and his black Lab, “Hiker-dog”, for a short walk on the Ozark Plateau Trail after the presentation.

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

    When:  Sunday March 3, 2019

    Time:  2:00 pm

    Cost:  Free.  The public is invited.

  • 11 Feb 2019 10:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Many of today’s northwest Arkansas residents never saw the White River in this area before the construction of Beaver Lake.  What was life like along the river?  What were the scenes like along the river?  How was the river used?

    Susan Young, Outreach Coordinator at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, will be at Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area Sunday February 17th to present her captivating program, “Before Beaver”.  Young will share rarely-seen images of the White River before the advent of Beaver Lake as she tells of life along the river’s banks. 

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

    When:    2:00 p.m. Sunday February 17, 2019

    Cost:       FREE:    The public is invited

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000

  • 04 Feb 2019 11:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Historians seem to choose different dates to define the Colonial period in the United States.  Arkansas historian, Morris Arnold, chooses the dates between 1686 and 1804.  It was in 1686 that Arkansas Post was settled at Lake Dumand, which at the time was part of the main channel of the Arkansas River in southeast Arkansas.   It was May 1804 when Lewis and Clark began their famous expedition through parts of the new U.S. acquisition known as the Louisiana Purchase.

    According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, “By the first decades of the 1700s, large groups of hunters trudged through the hills and deltas seeking all types of available wildlife, but were especially interested in bears.  Bear fat—more than meat or fur—was prized for its multiple uses, including fuel for oil lamps, insect repellent, and hair gel. Indeed, through much of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, bear products represented a key segment of the local economy.”

    For European man during this early time in Arkansas there were crisscrossed buffalo trails, Indian trade routes, and war paths.  Hunters made up the vast majority of those Europeans who chose to make this area their home.  They were poor!  They hunted, cured meat, and traded in tallow and bear oil.  Other than the clothes on their back and their light flintlock muskets, they had no other worldly goods.  Outsiders described them as “People of bad behavior”.   With information like this, the upcoming program at Hobbs State Park has to be good.

    Steve Dunlap, the Northwest Region Education Coordinator for the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, comes to Hobbs to present an impactful story of Colonial bear hunting in Arkansas.  Dunlap, “Tells it as it is, or was”, and that is why his programs are so memorable.  Bring your friends and neighbors for this one.

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

    When:    2:00 p.m. Sunday February 10, 2019

    Cost:       FREE:    The public is invited

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

  • 22 Jan 2019 2:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Share the wonders of nature with your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day weekend by taking an Eagle Watch Cruise on beautiful Beaver Lake and enjoying a scrumptious lunch at Ventris Trails End Resort

    Lunch features grilled bacon-wrapped chicken with mushrooms, onions and cheese, twice baked potato, seasoned green beans, French onion soup and salad with homemade bread rolls, Boston Cream Pie, tea, or coffee.  A vegetarian option is offered.  Alcoholic beverages are available at an additional charge.

    There are two Sweetheart Cruises to choose from.  One will run Saturday February 16th and the other Sunday February 17th.  Each cruise will leave Rocky Branch Marina promptly at 11:00 am and return at 2:00 pm.

    Cost: $80+ tax per couple or $40+ tax per individual:   Reservations and payment must be made in advance.   Contact Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area visitor center to reserve your spot.   (479) 789-5000. 

  • 17 Jan 2019 10:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Boy we’re lucky.  Here and there we hear about our great friend Mother Nature, but at Hobbs State Park you can actually see her.  Yes!  Every second Saturday of each month at 10:30 am, all throughout the year, she visits the Park.  Her favorite thing to do is to read nature-related stories of the forest and the animals that live there.   Those who visit her always remember an educational, memorable, and fun time.

    Mother Nature Visits and Reading Subjects for the Rest of the Year:

    (Keep this list on your refrigerator so you never miss Mother Nature.)

    February 9th The Woods in Winter – Where are the animals?

    March 9th Getting Ready for Spring – Changes in the Woods

    April 13th Dandelions – Stars in the Grass

    May 11th Around the Pond – Frogs and Toads

    June 8th Animals in The Night

    July 13th Water Dance – Water Cycle & Storm Drain Pollution

    August 10th Caterpillar to Butterfly

    September 14th Autumn in the Woods – Preparing for Winter

    October 12th:  Bats – Not Really Scary

    November 9th It’s Turkey Time

    December 14th Who Goes There?   Footprints and Animal Signs


    Story time will be followed by “hands-on” nature-craft activities.  Children of all ages are welcome, however most stories will target children 3-6 years of age.

    What:  Fun with Mother Nature

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

    When: Every second Saturday of the month at 10:30 am

  • 14 Jan 2019 10:58 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NOTE: Unfortunately, parts of this event have been cancelled due to the severe weather. Please call the park office for an update: 479-789-5000.

    It’s been raining.  It’s been cold.  We’ve been stuck in the house and we’re itching to get out.  Let’s go to Hobbs State Park for Wonders of Winter Wildlife.  Bring the whole family and have some fun.

    Birds N breakfast:  Enjoy some coffee, juice, and donuts on us.  The University of Arkansas will be catching birds, and then releasing them back into the wild.  Bring your camera for close up bird photos.

    Local wildlife rehabilitator, Lynn Sciumbato, will give her always popular “Raptor Rescue” program using live birds native to northwest Arkansas.

    Also, the Cowboy’s Catering food truck will be here to make it easy to have lunch.

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

    9:00 am – 1:30 pm        Form and Function of Bird Skulls:  Rick Jones

    9:00 am – 1:30 pm        Eagle Nest Model:  Ken Leonard

    9:00 am – 1:30 pm        Mammal Furs:  Tom and Lisa Edminston

    9:00 am – 1:30 pm        Bird Cafe’:  Cathy Patterson

    10:30 am – 11:00 am     Migration Headache:

    11:00 am – 1:00 pm       Cowboy’s Catering Food Truck: Get lunch here

    11:00 am – 12:00 pm     Raptor Rescue:  Lynn Sciumbato (Live birds)

    1:00 pm – 2:00 pm         Black Bears:  Denis Dean

    2:00 pm – 2:30 pm         Survival Games:  Jay Schneider

    2:30 pm – 3:00 pm         Survival Strategies for Winter Wildlife:  Chris


    3:00 pm – 3:45 pm          Ozark Plateau Hike with interpreter Chris Pistole  

    3:00 pm – 4:30 pm          Eagle Watch Cruise*

    What:     Wonders of Winter Wildlife

    Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy. 12 just east of the

                      Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

    *Eagle cruises require pre-registration

    Cost:  $10+ tax/adult, $5+ tax/child 6-12

    For more information and to register for the eagle watch tour, call: 479-789-5000

  • 07 Jan 2019 4:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    What is it about waterfalls?  Why do we like them?  Why do we want to go see them?  There’s more than one reason. 

    To many, the number one reason to see waterfalls is aesthetic.  Waterfalls and beauty go together.  Moving water – “poetry in motion”, but what about the settings?  Here in northwest Arkansas many of our waterfalls can be found diving off majestic limestone bluffs, thus creating another reason to visit these flowing beauties – handsome photographs.

    We may not think of it as the reason we want to visit them, but certainly subconsciously, waterfalls improve our mood, since they have a calming effect on us.  In truth, just like hiking in the woods, watching and listening to waterfalls relaxes us, and works positive wonders on our mental well-being.

    Flip Putthoff, outdoors reporter for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, knows the northwest Arkansas countryside well, and will present a program at Hobbs State Park on waterfalls in our area.  He will explain when, where, and how to go on safari to see our waterfalls.  According to Putthoff, “I will highlight some of the waterfalls that are not too difficult to reach, including some by hiking, and a couple that you can drive right up to.  There are some in Van Winkle Hollow after a big rain, one nice one near the Madison County water intake, and a neat one near Hog Scald Hollow.”

    The rainy spring is not too far away.  Learn from Flip how to find these wet weather moments of “poetry in motion”.

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

    When:  Sunday January 13, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    Cost:  Free     

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000

  • 04 Jan 2019 10:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mike Martin, an award winning nature and wildlife photographer, and a native Arkansan, will be presenting a program on Bald Eagles at the Hobbs State Park visitor center on Sunday, January 6th at 2:00 p.m.  

    Mike has been an avid nature and wildlife photographer for over 27 years.  His photos have been published by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, New York City Parks Department, the New York State Parks Department, the Florida Parks Department, and the California Parks Department.   He has also had a number of his photos published by the Cornell University Ornithology Department’s award winning website, “All About Birds”. 

    Mike has recently co-authored a book about the bald eagles of Arkansas.    In both 2013 and 2014, Mike's bald eagle photos were featured photos in an annual “Wildlife” Magazine produced by the Mississippi Wildlife Federation.   He will include many new photos that he has never before presented in his eagle programs.   Mike’s program will be followed by a question and answer session.

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

    When:  Sunday January 6, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.

    Cost:  Free – Public invited

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000

    This program is a continuation of the Friends of Hobbs monthly Speaker Series.

  • 10 Dec 2018 3:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hobbs State Park has offered eagle watch tours on Beaver Lake for nine years.  Every cruise is different.  You never know what wildlife you will see.

    According to Chris Pistole, newest Hobbs State Park interpreter, “It’s always great to be out on the water, and then to see the wildlife too adds special meaning to each cruise.  We always expect to see Bald Eagles, but don’t forget about the beautiful osprey, the always hungry great blue herons, the red tailed hawks, the ducks, the kingfishers, deer, turtles, and the list goes on.  No one will ever be disappointed on our eagle tours.”  Pistole added, “We only take 18 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.”

    Hobbs State Park Eagle Cruise Dates Still Open

    December:  10, 15, 16, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

    January:  1, 4, 5 ,6 ,7, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27

    February:  2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24

    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

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