Established in the 1870s, the town of Mountain View, AR is famous for the preservation of folkways and traditional music. It was natural for the Arkansas Folk Festival to be founded here in the early 1960s, and the Ozark Folk Center State Park followed in 1973.
Music plays a vital part of the aura of the area as, historically, Saturday nights would find locals at a "pickin'" in a neighbor's house or yard. The custom continues today and once the weather gets warm, musicians join locals and play music late into the night hours outside around the town square. The season is from mid-April through late November. Music is not only vital, it is the soul of the town. There is a determination to keep the tradition alive through programs such as the Music Roots Program, where via the local school system, area musicians teach young people to play the old tunes on traditional string instruments.
Part of the mission of the Ozark Folk Center is to preserve this music as well. In addition to music, Mountain View, Arkansas is home to music stores, antique shops, and places to refuel such as at Tommy's Famous Pizza, Kin Folks Bar-B-Q, and JoJo's Catfish. The state's largest craft cooperative, the Arkansas Craft Guild, is also headquartered in the historic downtown area and has a gallery there. Visitors to Mountain View, Arkansas can also take in a bit of the flavor and culture of the area at the Ozark Folk Center State Park, which preserves Ozark heritage in music, crafts, and herbs, and presents it as living history. The town, located deep in the Ozarks is surrounded by mountains and rivers, offering outdoor activities that include caving at Blanchard Springs Caverns and fly fishing on the White River.
The 50-mile Syllamo Mountain Bike Trail is also nearby. The trail is designated by the International Mountain Biking Association as an "Epic Ride," a status only 37 trails across the nation currently hold. Outside Magazine recently listed the trail as one of the Top 20 Outdoor Destinations. Expect a two-hour drive from Little Rock. Take I-40 W until exit 125, when you hit US 65 North. After about 40 miles, veer right onto AR-9. Follow AR-9 for 35 miles, until you hit Mountain View.