Welcome to Hobbs State Park!
Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area is located along the southern shore of Beaver Lake, just outside ofRogers in Northwest Arkansas.
Arkansas' largest state park spans 12,000 acres and offers visitors 52 miles of trail for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding, including the states first Monument Trails.
In 1851, Peter Van Winkle moved to eastern Benton County from Fayetteville where he established thefirst steam-powered sawmill in northwest Arkansas. This mill and the Van Winkle home were burned to the ground during the Civil War, but Peter rebuilt their home in Van Winkle Hollow in 1871. The mill was also instrumental in the reconstruction of northwest Arkansas following the Civil War. Many of the victorian homes and even the lumber in “Old Main” at the University of Arkansas came from this mill. During his lifetime, Peter assembled and owned about 17,000 acres in the Northwest Arkansas region including over 10,000 acres now occupied by the Hobbs State Park - Conservation Area
Roscoe C. Hobbs began his career in the railroad business around 1908 running 61 miles from Siloam Springs to Rogers. Recognizing the need for lumber to provide railroad ties, Hobbs, together with four partners, formed Ozark Land and Lumber Company and acquired 12,500 acres of the former Van Winkle timber land and the lumber mill in 1912.
Hobbs was a conservationist and, in 1962, he donated 320 acres of the land to the state which became Withrow Springs State Park. Upon his death in 1965, Hobbs' land was willed to his heirs with the stipulation that if they decided to sell it, the state of Arkansas must have first priority to purchase it. In 1977, the land was first offered to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and then to the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, but neither had the necessary funds to purchase the land.
Governor David Pryor stepped in and decided that the land should be obtained and protected. In order to buy it, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, The Nature Conservancy, and 22 Northwest Arkansas banks combined efforts to make an offer...In 1979, the sale became officialwith a final pricetag of just over $3 million dollars.
Because of this joint effort, the park is owned by Arkansas State Parks, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
The park offers guests 5 primitive campsites, but you have to hike in over 4 miles on the Pigeon Roost trail to get to them. At each site, you’ll find a gravel pad for a tent, a fire pit, and a place to hang a lantern. Hobbs is the only state park to allow hunting and also has the only shooting range in an Arkansas state park, but it's currently closed for renovation.
The state-of-the-art Visitor's Center covers over 17,000 square feet featuring interactive exhibits detailing the history and ecology of the Ozarks, classroom space and a park gift shop. They've also recently built an education pavilion for interpretive programs and workshops.
Now, let's talk about trails!
With over 52 miles of trails there's a lot to choose from no matter what your ability level is!!
From the paved ADA accessible Ozark Plateau Trail to the 23 mile Hidden Diversity Multi-use Trail, there's something for everyone at Hobbs.
If you're looking for a hike, there are many options to choose from...
The Ozark Plateau trail next to the Visitor's center
The 1.5 mile Shaddox Hollow Trail The half mile Sinking Stream Trail
or one of our favorites, the half mile Historic Van Winkle Trail which is wheelchair accessible and takes you through a tunnel and around interpretive panels detailing the history of the Van Winkle mill site and home.
If you're wanting something a little harder, check out the 8.4 mile Pigeon Roost Trail or one of the four 3 to 9 mile loops on the Hidden Diversity Multi-use Trail. The Diversity Trail is a shared use trail, so it's also open to trail running, horseback riding and mountain biking and follows along the ridge tops and rims.
Last, but certainly not least are the Monument Trails. These world-class mountain biking trails were developed with a grant from the Walton Family Foundation and were professionally crafted by some of the world’s best trail builders. Hobbs was the first, but you can now also find Monument trails at Mount Nebo, Pinnacle and soon at Devil's Den making Arkansas a destination for mountain biking.
Pick up a map at the Visitor's Center to learn more about the 4.2 mile Wolf Den and 7.8 mile Karst loops along with all the other trails that flow through the hills and hollows of Hobbs State Park.
While you're in the area, make sure you stop by War Eagle Cavern and War Eagle Mill to experience more of the history and beauty of the Ozarks. The Mill was established in 1832 and makes for a picturesque place to stop for a snack or shop for Arkansas made gifts.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this look into Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area and we encourage you to get out and experience The Natural State! For more information on the park, visit ArkansasStateParks.com
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