Mount Ida, AR is located in Montgomery County, home to the Ouachita National Forest and Lake Ouachita. The town has a thriving arts community, family owned restaurants and businesses and the historic Montgomery County Courthouse.
Family owned rock shops line the highways in and around Mount Ida, but that is to be expected in a town that proclaims itself the "Quartz Crystal Capital of the World." Private quartz mines
, usually associated with rock shops, allow visitors to search for their own crystals for fees.
Though renowned for the quality and quantity of the quartz crystal deposits found in the surrounding Ouachita Mountains, Mount Ida is also celebrated because of an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities in the area.
Just a few miles west of Mount Ida, the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail or LOViT
, runs along the shores of Lake Ouachita for 47 miles. This hiking and biking trail has been named an Epic trail by the International
Mountain Bicycling Association ( IMBA). Another IMBA Epic trail is also nearby: the 39-mile Womble Trail
To the east, the 40,100-acre Lake Ouachita
offers such activities as fishing, camping, swimming, houseboating, sailing, water skiing, scuba diving, power boating, and viewing of wintering bald eagles. The lake is home to private resorts
and marinas, where visitors can find a variety of accommodations, meeting facilities and restaurants. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' recreation areas on the lake provide campgrounds, swimming beaches and boat launch ramps. Striped bass topping 50 pounds, largemouth bass, catfish, crappie and bream are among the game anglers haul from the lake. Professional fishing guides are available.
Floating and stream fishing are available near the town of Mount Ida on the upper Ouachita and Caddo rivers. Cabins are available near both streams.
The Ouachita National Forest provides numerous recreational amenities close to Mount Ida, including campgrounds, day-use parks and scenic areas such as Little Missouri Falls, hiking and backpacking trails, and many miles of backcountry roads for touring.
On Saturday nights from May-October, the community gathers on the courthouse lawn to enjoy the music from the Front Porch Stage concerts. In May, there is the annual Good Ol' Days Festival and in October the annual World Championship Quartz Crystal Dig and Quartz, Quilts and Crafts Festival. Farmers markets can also be found throughout the summer on the square. Interested in a getaway that combines culture and nature? Make sure the town of Mount Ida is on your list of Southwest Arkansas vacation destinations.