State Parks Are Open: Visitors Confused

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There are 52 state parks in Arkansas that aren't affected by the government shutdown. However, Hobbs State Park staff in Benton County are getting numerous calls from people who think its closed.

"We've got a great response: we are only closed two days the whole year," said Park Interpreter Steve Chyrchel. "We're closed Thanksgiving and Christmas."

Chyrchel said during Friday's astronomy class they would have an average of 50 participants. However, only three showed up. He said the federal shutdown is hurting its program attendance.

"That can't be affecting only us, it has to affecting other entities that are open and folks think they are closed," Chyrchel said.

State parks are open because those parks don't get money from the federal government.

"We get funding from the legislature, some funding from the 1/8 cent tax and real estate transfer tax as well," Chyrchel said.

Outside the visitor's center, hikers enjoy 35 miles of trails.

"We've watched the media enough to know that the lakes and the Beaver Lake area is closed right now," said Craig Hahn, who lives in Springdale. "We knew it was a state park so we knew it wouldn't be affected."

Hahn and Tami Brandt hike at Hobbs State Park almost every weekend. They said they admire its natural beauty even with the first fall season drop in temperature.

"I think it's the trees and the sounds and just the peacefulness of everything," Brandt said.

Hahn said, "We almost enjoy coming out more when the weather is kind of gloomy like this. It's just fewer people out here."

Hobbs State Park will have its Fall Festival Sunday (Oct. 5) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Activities will take place at Historical Van Winkle Hollow as well as the park’s visitor center, both located on Hwy 12 east of Rogers.


Historic Van Winkle Hollow 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

  • Blacksmith demonstration
  • Civil War physician
  • Old timey games
  • Music
  •  Flint knapper
  •  Van Winkle historical presentation
  •  Working portable saw mill
  • Tall Tales Tellers
  • Dutch oven demonstration
  • Trapper


Hobbs State Park visitor center 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

  • Weavers
  • Lace makers
  • Spinners
  • Music
  • Kid crafts – take home
  • Short hikes

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