The Flint Creek Power Plant Eagle Watch Nature Trail is located near Gentry, Arkansas. According to on-site signage, the plant site contains a 500-acre cooling lake. There is a half mile trail with two pavilions and a viewing deck that are open to the public.
Visitors come to see bald eagles that winter on the lake. According to SWEPCO’s website, ‘Although wintering bald eagles are the main attraction, many of the 144 bird species identified at the site also can be seen.’ For this reason, the site has been designated as an important bird area by Audubon Arkansas.
Here is a list of birds that you might be able to see on your visit. We brought along our binoculars and cameras which turned this short hike into an adventure for our girls (ages 5 and 7). They were eager to get out and explore!
Hobbs State Park is the biggest state park in Arkansas. It is located in Rogers, Arkansas and is known for hiking, biking, and its miles of shore line along Beaver Lake. The Visitor Center is open daily from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.
The visitors center is filled with educational exhibits about animals and plants you may find in the area. The cave exhibit was my daughters’ favorite.
They also enjoyed the Kids Corner which is stacked with games and books about nature. I appreciated the clean restrooms and friendly staff who answered all of my questions about near by hiking trails.
mother nature story time
The center hosts a variety of family-friendly activities including a Mother Nature story time held each second Saturday of the month at 10:30 am. Mark your calendar: Upcoming 2019 story times include: ‘Bats – Not Really Scary’ on October 12; ‘It’s Turkey Time’ on November 9; and ‘Who Goes There? Footprints and Animal Signs’ on December 14.
Outside of the visitors center there is a small pond and a viewing deck. This is a good place to watch wildlife.
We spotted a snake from the deck. I convinced myself that it was a Western Pigmy Rattlesnake (because I’m terrified of snakes). However, it was most likely a nonvenomous water snake innocently enjoying the late summer sun.
Right outside the visitor center there are several picnic tables that rest under the shade of towering pine trees.
Ozark plateau trail
Beyond the picnic area, there is a half mile paved trail called the Ozark Plateau Trail. The trail is easy, well shaded, and includes several benches to rest on if little feet get tired.
We enjoyed seeing the variety of trees, mushrooms, and plants along the trail.
hobbs state park fall festival
Mark your calendar: Hobbs State Park is hosting a Fall Festival on October 6, 2019 from 1-4 pm. This free event is located at the Historic Van Winkle Hollow and includes activities such as blacksmith demonstrations, old-timey games, and music.
war eagle mill
After our fun morning at Hobbs State Park Visitor Center and hiking the Plateau Trail, we worked up an appetite. We stopped at the War Eagle Mill which is a short five-minute drive away.
The War Eagle Mill dates back to 1832. The mill is open daily for guests to purchase flours, mixes, jams, gifts, and other hand crafted items in their gift shop. Tours are available to learn more about the history of the active mill.
bean palace cafe
We enjoyed lunch on the 3rd floor in the Bean Palace Cafe. Lunch is served daily from 10:30 am – 4:00 pm. There is a kids menu with prices ranging from $5-$6 per meal which include a souvenir cup. We also tasted their famous beans.
We were lucky to get a table that looked out over the War Eagle Creek and the one-lane bridge that crosses over it.
Mark your calendar: The War Eagle Mill will be hosting a Fall Craft Fair next month on Thursday, October 17 through Sunday, October 20, 2019.
Since moving to Northwest Arkansas last winter, I’m eager to explore all that our area has to offer. I appreciate that Hobbs State Park offers beautiful scenery and educational experiences so close to our new home. Our time at the War Eagle Mill felt charming, authentic, and historically relevant. I’m looking forward to our next trip!
If you have suggestions for fall day trips near Northwest Arkansas, please comment below.