NWA outdoors: Learn about bugs, waterfalls, fungi

Hikers cross a creek. (Contributed photo by Getty Images)
Hikers cross a creek. (Contributed photo by Getty Images)

Park sets winter hours

Pea Ridge National Military Park east of Pea Ridge will begin winter hours Thursday. The visitor center will be ope 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays through March 23.

While winter hours of operation are in effect, the tour road, park trails and all other outdoor park amenities will remain open daily from 6 a.m. to sunset. Virtual tours of the park museum and battlefield are available on the park's website at https://www.nps.gov/peri/planyourvisit/online-tour.htm. For more information call (479) 451-8122.

Pea Ridge National Military Park commemorates the March 7-8, 1862 Civil War battle that helped Union forces maintain physical and political control of the state of Missouri.

Hikers trek at Hobbs

Hill 'N Dale Hiking Club will hike the 4.2-mile Wolf Den Loop and the 1.5-mile Shaddox Hollow loop trail at Hobbs State Park-Conservation area Friday. On Feb. 8, the club will hike 6 miles out and back on the new WOKA Trail from Siloam Springs to the WOKA Whitewater Park.

All are welcome on both hikes. Interested hikers should email [email protected] for more details. Club information is available at bvhikingclub.com.

All about bugs

Austin Jones with the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville will present a free program about insects from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the J.B. And Johnelle Hunt Family Ozark Highlands Nature Center in Springdale.

Find out what it means to be an arthropod, how to tell what arthropods are insects, and what insects can be properly called bugs. Take notes on collecting insects and see some displays from the University's Arthropod Museum. There might even be a live arthropod guest or two to interact with.

Talk showcases waterfalls

A free program on waterfalls falls in the Ozarks will be held at noon on Feb. 13 in the Rogers Public Library community room.

Flip Putthoff, outdoors reporter at the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, will show photos of several waterfalls in the region. Some can be seen from a car window and most others he will show are reached via a short hike. He'll offer tips on when and where to go hunting for waterfalls, helpful equipment, safety and driving directions to some of the waterfalls.

The program is part of the library's "Lunch and Learn" series held at noon the second Tuesday of each month. Patrons are welcome to bring a sack lunch. The library provides cookies and drinks.

Center seeks volunteers

Ozark Natural Science Center is recruiting volunteers and will host six volunteer orientation programs. Programs will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, 1 p.m. Saturday, 5:30 p.m. Feb. 5, 9 a.m. Feb. 17 1 p.m. Feb. 29 and 11 a.m. March 2.

Volunteer opportunities include assisting with outreach, administrative projects, trail and ground maintenance, education and more. The center is located adjacent to the Madison County Wildlife Management Area north of Huntsville. Call the center at (479) 202-8340 for details.

Fungi workshop set

A weekend workshop on the wide variety of fungi is set for Feb. 23-25 at the Ozark Natural Science Center in Madison County north of Huntsville.

Fungi expert Kerri McCabe will lead the three-day workshop that features guided hikes and education on identifying mushrooms, molds, mosses and other organisms. Costs range from $75 to $130 and includes meals and lodging or camping. Visit onsc.us for information.

Bike, hike as a team

Coler Mountain Bike Preserve in Bentonville offers outdoor team building activities designed for corporate groups and organizations. Expert-led activities include group-oriented mountain biking, hiking and outdoor workshops. Visit www.peelcompton.org/ for details or email [email protected] for information.

Corps welcomes eclipse campers

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will open campgrounds earlier than usual at Greers Ferry Lake and Clearwater Lake in southeast Missouri to accommodate visitors traveling to see the April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse.

Thirteen campgrounds at Greers Ferry will open March 15. Three campgrounds at Clearwater Lake will open April 1. The move opens 430 additional campsites to accommodate eclipse visitors.

Sites may be reserved at recreation.gov. Reservations by phone or email are not accepted.

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