Arkansas largest state park in land area is Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area. Hobbs State Park is a 12,056 acre natural park in Rogers, Arkansas. Located just 34 miles down the road from Eureka Springs, it’s a short drive to the park and a great place to explore the history of the region. The park’s visitor center opened in 2009 and features exhibits, interactive kiosks, a retail store and classrooms. There are 9 Hobbs State Park trails ranging from easy to strenuous to accommodate hikers of all skill levels.
There are four trails rated easy in terms of difficulty. The first is the Historic Van Winkle Trail. The trail runs ½ mile in length and features a stream and raised garden along the way. Educational panels can be found on the trail describing the home and mill sites of the Peter Van Winkle family during and after the civil war. This historic trail can be found on the National Register of Historic Places. Next up is the Ozark Plateau Trail. Beginning at the Visitors Center and running 0.75 miles in length, this trail has 2 loops. The inner loop has a concrete surface and the outer loop consists of crushed stone. The trail is lush with trees, plants and flowers and opens up to an overlook that looks into an area with spring water where animals can be found drinking. The Shaddox Hollow Nature Trail gets its name from the Shaddox Hollow. The trail starts off rather easy and then turns steep in some areas. Though the trail is taxing at times, there are beautiful limestone bluffs to be seen along the way. The Sinking Stream trail is an easy half mile loop that goes up Little Clifty Creek, passes over three bridges and then circles back around. Plenty of trees, spring flowers and lots of wildlife can be seen in this area. Because of the natural surface, it’s an easy trail for walking.
For hikers and walkers looking for more of a challenge, there are three trails at Hobbs State Park labeled as moderate in terms of difficulty. The first of these trails is the Hidden Diversity Multi-Use Trail. Four loops make up this trail covering a total of 24 miles. Because of these four loops, visitors can choose a more moderate trail or one that has more hills to climb. The Little Clifty Creek Loop is 9 miles, War Eagle Loop is 5 miles with 1 mile of connecting loop, Bashore Ridge Loop is 3 miles and the Dutton Hollow Loop is also 3 miles. This trail is open for mountain bikers and horseback riders in addition to hikers. The Pigeon Roost Trail has 2 different loops with one of those offering designated campsites for overnight hiking. The trail is rated difficult because of its many hills to climb. There is a loop running approximately four miles that is great for day hiking. During the proper season, small game and deer hunting is available in this area. The Shaddox Hollow Nature Trail as mentioned earlier gets a strenuous rating as far as difficulty because of its uphill climb in certain areas.
After a long day spent hiking the trails, return each day to a nice, relaxing private room at Arsenic and Old Lace bed and breakfast in Eureka Springs. This B&B is ideal for weekend getaways and sets the tone for peace and quiet with its off street setting in the hills of the Ozarks. Arsenic and Old Lace offers five private suites and a complimentary breakfast served daily. Reservations can be made online or by calling 1-866-350-5454.
Photo courtesy of Doug Wertman