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In­tro to Overnight Back­pack­ing clin­ics

Hobbs State Park Con­ser­va­tion Area is ready to help the be­gin­ning back­packer get started through its “In­tro to Back­pack­ing Clin­ics.”

These hands-on, overnight trips are de­signed for peo­ple with lit­tle to no back­pack­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to try out back­pack­ing and learn some tricks to hav­ing a pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence on the trail. The clin­ics are led by a park in­ter­preter along the 8.5mile Pi­geon Roost Trail.

Par­tic­i­pants will be able to try out their own equip­ment in a safe en­vi­ron­ment with ex­pert guid­ance. Top­ics cov­ered dur­ing the clin­ics in­clude pack­ing, cook­ing, safety, leave no trace, and nav­i­ga­tion.

Those ready for a new kind of ad­ven­ture should con­tact Hobbs State Park Con­ser­va­tion Area to reg­is­ter for one of these In­tro to Back­pack­ing Clin­ics.

Back­pack­ers will need to bring their own food, wa­ter and equip­ment to camp overnight. Back­pack­ers will meet at the Pi­geon Roost Trail Head, on Arkansas High­way 12, 6/10 mile east of the Hobbs State Park vis­i­tor cen­ter.

The three clin­ics times and dates are: first clinic, 2 p.m. Satur­day, Nov. 11, to 12 p.m. Sun­day, Nov. 12; sec­ond clinic, 2 p.m. Fri­day, Nov. 24, to 12 p.m. Satur­day, Nov. 25; and third clinic, 2 p.m. Satur­day, Dec. 9, to 12 p.m. Sun­day Dec. 10.

The cost is $10 plus tax, and pre­pay­ment is re­quired. Make sure to ask for a gear list when you reg­is­ter. To reg­is­ter, call 479-7895000.

Park an­nounces its Ea­gle Watch Cruises

Hobbs State Park Con­ser­va­tion Area of­fers ea­gle watch tours on Beaver Lake from Novem­ber 2017 through Fe­bru­ary 2018. Tours will take place dur­ing these months on the fol­low­ing dates:

Nov. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 22, 24, 25, 26; Dec. 2,3,9, 10, 16, 17, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30; Jan. 1,6,7, 13**, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 27, 28; Feb.3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25.

**This spe­cial tour on “How to Pho­to­graph Ea­gles” is be­ing of­fered to adults only, who wish to know how to pho­to­graph ea­gles, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. The tour in­cludes a lec­ture by a pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher from the Pho­to­graphic So­ci­ety of North­west Arkansas

“We have al­ways been lucky see­ing ea­gles on our tours — some ma­ture, some im­ma­ture — and we al­ways see other beau­ti­ful wildlife as well,” said Rebekah Penny, park in­ter­preter. “It could be mi­grat­ing os­prey, great blue herons, king­fish­ers, deer or red-tailed hawks. No one will ever be dis­ap­pointed on our ea­gle tours. We can only take 20 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,” she added.

Tick­ets must be pur­chased in ad­vance: Adults – $10 plus tax; Chil­dren 6-12 – $5 plus tax. Tours de­part Rocky Branch Ma­rina promptly at 3 p.m. (ex­cept for the spe­cial tour on Jan. 13 which de­parts at 2 p.m.). For more in­for­ma­tion, call 479-7895000.

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