HOBBS STATE PARK — CON­SER­VA­TION CEN­TER EVENTS

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Sun­set Tours on Beaver Lake

Hobbs State Park and Con­ser­va­tion Area has re­leased the dates of five sun­set pon­toon boat cruises on Beaver Lake dur­ing the month of Oc­to­ber. Noth­ing could be more en­joy­able than view­ing 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. All tour de­par­tures leave from Rocky Branch Ma­rina promptly at stated times: Thurs­day, Oct. 4, 5:15 p.m.; Sun­day, Oct. 14, 5 p.m.; Thurs­day, Oct. 18, 5 p.m.; Thurs­day, Oct. 25, 4:45 p.m.; and Sun­day, Oct. 28, 4:45 p.m.

Tick­ets must be pur­chased in ad­vance. Adults are $10 plus tax and chil­dren (ages 6-12) are $5 plus tax. For more in­for­ma­tion and to make reser­va­tions, call the park at 479-789-5000.

Fall Fes­ti­val

A host of free fam­ily-ori­en­tated events will take place at Hobbs State Park — Con­ser­va­tion Area Sun­day, Oct. 7. Ac­tiv­i­ties will take place at the His­tor­i­cal Van Win­kle Hol­low and the Park’s Vis­i­tor Cen­ter.

His­toric Van Win­kle Hol­low events from 1 to 4 p.m. will in­clude: Black­smith demon­stra­tion, early food preser­va­tion, old-timey games, stone tool-mak­ing demon­stra­tion, Van Win­kle his­tor­i­cal pre­sen­ta­tion, apothe­cary shoppe, dutch oven demon­stra­tion, pearling, dows­ing demon­stra­tion, moun­tain woman, pi­o­neer home­steader, and tall-tale tell­ers.

Vis­i­tor Cen­ter demon­stra­tions from 1 to 4 p.m. will in­clude: Weavers, smock­ers, lace mak­ers, spin­ners, mu­sic, “Ta­ble Top” pro­grams, kids’ crafts and free ice cream.

A free shut­tle will be avail­able. Park at the vis­i­tor cen­ter park­ing lot on Ark. High­way 12 just east of the Ark. High­way 12/War Ea­gle Road in­ter­sec­tion. The free shut­tle will run con­tin­u­ously from 1 to 4 p.m., be­tween the vis­i­tor cen­ter and His­toric Van Win­kle Hol­low. More in­for­ma­tion is avail­able by con­tact­ing the park of­fice.

Three loon mi­gra­tion cruises

By pop­u­lar de­mand — Hobbs State Park has teamed up with the North­west Arkansas Audubon So­ci­ety to of­fer three mem­o­rable loon mi­gra­tion cruises on Beaver Lake. Each cruise will be led by guides well ex­pe­ri­enced with water­fowl mi­gra­tion.

Be­gin­ning the end of Oc­to­ber to mid-No­vem­ber, the water­fowl mi­gra­tion will be in full swing. There will be many bird species to see and iden­tify on these cruises. Be­sides com­mon loons, those par­tic­i­pat­ing could see red-throated loons, pied-billed and horned grebes and, pos­si­bly, western and eared grebes. These trips fall right in the mid­dle of water­fowl mi­gra­tion with the pos­si­bil­ity of see­ing 10 or more species of ducks, one to three gull species, and even bald ea­gles. The cruises 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 re­turns to Rocky Branch.

The three cruises will leave Rocky Branch Ma­rina at 10 a.m. each of the three days sched­uled for Satur­day, Oct. 27; Satur­day, Nov. 3; and Sun­day, Nov. 11. These are adult-only cruises with a cost of $10 plus tax per adult (13 years and up). Reser­va­tions are nec­es­sary. For more in­for­ma­tion and to make reser­va­tions, con­tact the park at 479-789-5000.

Liv­ing For­est — A non­scary, fall treat

Join Mother Na­ture as she in­tro­duces her many wood­land friends at Hobbs State Park – Con­ser­va­tion Area’s “Liv­ing For­est” from 1 to 5 p.m. Satur­day, Oct. 27, to be­gin at the Vis­i­tor Cen­ter. The cost is free and kids of all ages are in­vited to par­tic­i­pate. 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. Plus, there will be crafts and free S’mores – yum.

Lis­ten to each an­i­mal’s story, as they have a lot to tell. 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.

Mother Na­ture read­ing times

Mother Na­ture her­self has be­come a per­ma­nent fix­ture at Hobbs State Park — Con­ser­va­tion Area lobby in the vis­i­tor cen­ter. Ev­ery sec­ond Satur­day at 10:30 a.m. she vis­its the park to ex­cite the imag­i­na­tions of all the chil­dren around her. Up­com­ing Mother Na­ture vis­its and read­ing top­ics are: Oct. 13 — Spi­ders; Nov. 10 — Sto­ries the Osage Na­tion Tells; and Dec. 8 — Squir­rels: Busy All Year ‘Round. There is no cost for this ac­tiv­ity and the length is one hour. 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.

Vis­i­tor Cen­ter

The Hobbs State Park — Con­ser­va­tion Area Vis­i­tor Cen­ter con­tact phone num­ber is 479-789-5000.

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