The Historic Van Winkle Trail at Hobbs State Park and Conservation Area in Rogers, Arkansas offers a historic, barrier free trail for all to explore. Parking is located off Highway 12. Safe passage to the trail and historical site is via a paved walkway and tunnel. The trail is a ½ mile loop. The Historic Van Winkle Trail is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The trailhead is adjacent to the paved parking area. It can be accessed by stairs or from a paved ramp directly from the parking lot. Follow the paved trail through the tunnel and under the road. As you descend down the hill; the trail’s surface changes to packed earth. Along the trail are many informative kiosks that explain about the different areas of the trail. The first stop is what was originally thought to be slave quarters, but now they think the structure was a dog-trot home belonging to free individuals. A dog-trot home has two separate buildings joined by a breezeway. There is usually a front and back covered porch area as well. All that is left of this structure is the foundation.
From the dog-trot house foundation you will double back to the trail and stay to the left. As you travel the level path, the site of the Van Winkle home, the garden and the blacksmith shop will be marked. Read the signage to learn about the garden area and home.
As you continue along the trail, the mill area comes into view. Very little of the structures are intact, it is mostly foundations. The kiosks are extremely helpful in helping to visualize what the area looked like when Peter Van Winkle and his family lived here.
After the mill area, the trail loops back and you head out the way you came in. The creek is always running. In the fall and winter, Little Clifty Creek is higher than at other times of the year.
The Historic Van Winkle Trail is handicap accessible. It is mostly level and wheelchairs can maneuver easily along the trail. The trail is wide enough for a wheelchair and a companion animal to easily travel side-by-side. Pets and companion animals are allowed on the trail.
Benches are commonplace along the trail. This makes it easy for individuals with limited mobility to enjoy the trail and rest and key point before continuing. A handicap picnic table and accessible restrooms are located in the parking area.
While visiting Hobbs State Park and Conservation Area be sure to stop in at the Visitor’s Center. There is a lot to do and see in the building. The park staff is available to answer questions and offer trail advice. Guided tours of the trail can be arranged for groups by contacting Steve Chyrchel at 479-789-5006.
Other Articles You May Enjoy:
Historic Van Winkle Trail Slide Show
Sinking Stream Trail Slide Show
Shaddox Trail at Hobbs State Park and Conservation Area, Arkansas