Trail Damaged By Flooding Reopens In Hobbs State Park

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BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) -- For the first time since April, the Van Winkle Trail at Hobbs State Park is open for hikers.

Flooding caused significant damage to the trail and the park was forced to close it down. The trail is not just your average trail through the woods, but it is rich in Northwest Arkansas history.

"This was by far the most significant historical site from an industrial perspective in Northwest Arkansas," park superintendent Mark Clippinger said. "This is where you came, we had a sawmill, the first steam powered sawmill was placed in this area. It was brought up all the way up the Mississippi, the Arkansas River and over the Boston Mountains here by Peter Van Winkle."

Nine inches of rain in April caused significant damage to the trial and surrounding areas. The park knew that there was no question as to whether or not they were going to repair it because the scenery isn't the only thing tourists are interested in.

"It's fun to go look at the history," hiker Gage Fisher said. "The blacksmith's shop, or there was one right behind me. It's cool to see where the house stood and all the other historical buildings had been. They aren't here now but it's cool to see where they were and how they were built."

Clippinger said now that the repairs are done, the park is looking at addition recreation facility in the park and expanding their educational opportunities.

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