Monday, March 30, 2015

Short Trails at Hobbs State Park - Conservation Area

I am working on a Trails of Northwest Arkansas book with a focus on trails in and near the major population centers in the area. Hobbs State Park is a major recreational resource for the area and the state as a whole so it will be included. I'm still trying to figure out how to tackle the 24 mile Hidden Diversity Trail and hiking the 8.4 mile Pigeon Roost Trail will take a little planning. In the meantime, I decided to go knock out some of the shorter trails the park has to offer.

Shaddox Hollow -
This 1.5 mile trail goes through some interesting terrain and has some real elevation change. The trailhead (located off 303 near Rocky Branch) has a primitive bathroom. The most interesting features of this trail are two small caves/bluffs with springs that are around half a mile down the trail if hiking it clockwise. Blue blazes lead off down a short spur trail to the lake.

Sinking Stream -
This 0.5 mile trail shares a trailhead with the Van Winkle Trail on Hwy 12 west of the visitor center. The parking area has restrooms and a water fountain. As you may guess from the name, the trail follows a stream for most of the loop and, as a result, has just a little elevation change.

Historic Van Winkle Trail -

This trail is also about 0.5 miles in length and it pretty flat. Most of the trail is more like a well-maintained gravel road that winds through the remains of the Van Winkle home and mill site. There are lots of benches and educational signs describing the history of the site. A smaller dirt path spur heads north to the lake.

Ozark Plateau -

Located at the Visitor Center (one of the best in the state), this trail is short, paved, and I believe ADA compliant. Resembling a sidewalk, it wanders through a mixed-forest with some larger oaks and pines.

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