General Information

Lake Ouachita

Montgomery County, Arkansas, formed on December 9, 1842, was named for Gen. Richard Montgomery, a hero of the American Revolution. The county was once the hunting grounds of the Caddo Indians. The county seat is Mount Ida. Landscape of the county is long, narrow ridges of folded rock, large fertile valleys, and mountains (Ouachita) covered with oak and pine timber. Montgomery County’s natural resources and its rugged beauty are its livelihood.Sixty-three percent of the county is national forest land with the federal government being a stable employer. Cattle, swine and poultry production, along with mining and tourism makes up the economy. The Ouachita Mountain range of Arkansas is one of only three known areas in the world to have enough high quality quartz crystal to warrant mining.

Each year Montgomery County has an annual Quartz Crystal Festival and Crystal Dig, and  hosts a “Good Ol’ Days” festival each May. More information about these events can be found at the Mount Ida Chamber of Commerce’s web site http://www.mtidachamber.com/.

Montgomery County also contains a magnificent lake, Lake Ouachita, Arkansas’ largest. Lake Ouachita  is popular because of its’ clear water, fishing and many other water sports.

Mount Ida is known as the  “Quartz Crystal Capital of the World ”  because of the abundance of the stone which can be purchased at roadside shops or dug for in private mines through out the county. The city of Mount Ida, the county seat of Montgomery County, is located approximately 35 miles west of Hot Springs on Highway 270 East.

Lake Ouachita Vista Trail

Lake Ouachita Vista Trail

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Lake Ouachita Vista Trail is an un-surfaced hiking and mountain biking trail winding along the southern shore of Lake Ouachita. Being developed by volunteers in cooperation with the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Forest Service, plans call for the trail to extend 35 to 40 miles along the shore, connecting private resorts and public campground before finally linking up with the Charlton Trail to the east.

Parking is provided at each trailhead.Hikers and bikers travel up, down, and along mountain slopes through a mixed hardwood and pine forest opening up at several places to breathtaking views of the lake.  Beautiful displays of wildflowers await during the spring and summer months. Eagle Vista provides a glorious opportunity to view the Bald Eagles in the winter.  Along the trail pits left by quartz and silver speculators, an old cattle dip, and the remains of a moonshiner’s still are evidence of the area’s colorful history.  Strategically placed benches allow hikers to take a break and enjoy the view.

Great Music Presented by The Frontporch Stage

Front Porch Stage

The Montgomery County Arkansas Frontporch Stage and Possums Unlimited host Saturday Acoustic Jams and Free Concerts from the first Saturday in May through the second Saturday in October. Jam sessions start around 3pm and the concerts start at 7pm. The concerts feature area and regional bands playing Bluegrass, Country, Country Rock, Gospel and occasionally Folk and Folk Rock.

These are free concerts!

Bring your family and friends, your lawn-chairs or blankets and enjoy an afternoon and evening of great music in a peaceful family friendly environment on the town square in beautiful downtown Mount Ida, Arkansas. The Backporch Snack Bar is open during the concerts for your snacking pleasure and if you’re looking for a unique gift or souvenir, stop by the Possums Unlimited table.
The Frontporch Stage and Possums Unlimited are non-profit volunteer groups. Our purpose is to serve our community through voluntary efforts and keeping our local music heritage alive.

Please visit our web site for additional information: http://www.frontporchstage.org

Activities in Montgomery County, Arkansas

What to do here in Montgomery County, so many to chose from.

Just were to start on this list of activities here in Montgomery County.

First of all there are all the activities associated with Lake Ouachita, boating, sailing, fishing, swimming, scuba diving.  The list just goes on and on.

While in the Mountain Harbor area, stop by the Mountain Harbor Riding Stable for a relaxing ride though the Ouachita Mountains.  Stop by Mountain Harbor Resort and have a wonderful meal overlooking Lake Ouachita.

Then Mountain Biking on the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail.  Great place to ride your trail bike or just hike along the new Vista Trail.  For more information on the trail’s web site: www.lakeouachitavistatrail.org.

If you like to dig Quartz Crystals or just shop for them, Mount Ida is the place for you.

For more information about the area, visit www.mtidachamber.com.

Crystal Digging in Montgomery Country, Arkansas

Crystal Mining - Wide Angle

Wide angle view of one of the active quartz crystal mines 

There are many quartz crystal mines here in Montgomery County that allow visitors to mine. Most crystal mines charge by the day or ½ day and allow you to keep everything that you find. These mines are in very rural areas and for the most part are lacking facilities.  You will need to bring something to eat and drink and be sure to dress appropriately. You may want to bring your own digging tools and something to carry your newly found crystals home in.

If you are not so adventurous, quartz crystals can be purchased from the local rock shops that line the major highways in the county. Many people believe in the healing power of the “quartz crystal rocks” and Montgomery Country is a wonderful source. Montgomery County is located West of Hot Springs on Highway 270 East. If you visit Hot Springs, be sure to detour and visit us.