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

hiking.jpg

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.