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Enjoy Music and the Great Outdoors in Mountain View, Arkansas

Get a big helping of Ozark Mountain folk music with your outdoor adventure when you stay in Mountain View, Arkansas, a great central location for hiking, floating, fishing and—bonus—cavern exploring.

By Sony Hocklander

Aug 2018

A group of people play their instruments and open their mouths to sing before an audience
By Casey Cocker and Kirk Stephen Jordan, Arkansas Dept. of Parks and TourismJammin' Music Pavillion at Ozark Folk Center is a hot-spot to see some live folk music, and get a good taste for Ozark Mountain culture.

Tour the Blanchard Springs Cavern cave with its impressive formations and lighting and incredible spaces.

A paved trail leads to Blanchard Spring, this cave waterfall and rocky pool area.

The cathedral room in the caverns could hold three football fields!

Photos by Sony Hocklander

Explore

Here, trails, fishing, swimming, floating and an incredible cave are centerpiece to Mountain View’s recreation. Plan a visit to Blanchard Springs Recreation Area and Blanchard Springs Cavern 20 miles north of town (704 Blanchard Springs Road, 56 Arkansas; 870-757-2211; fs.usda.gov, recreation.gov for cave tickets, blanchardsprings.org for cave information). Tour the cave with its impressive formations and lighting and incredible spaces; the cathedral room could hold three football fields! 

Nearby, a paved trail leads to Blanchard Spring, a cave waterfall and rocky pool area. The longer Mirror Lake Trail features ruins of an old mill, a spillway waterfall and a wooded creek. The area also features longer trails, swimming areas, camping and the nearby Syllamo Mountain Bike Trails.

Dine

You won’t go hungry! Locals enjoy home cooking and plate lunches at PJ’s Rainbow Café (216 Main St., Mountain View, Arkansas; 870-269-8633). Grab a coffee or ice cream at The Music Box near Washington Street Park (125 W. Washington St., Mountain View, Arkansas).

For catfish, try JoJo’s Catfish Wharf at Jack’s Resort (212 Hayden Heights, Mountain View, Arkansas; 870-585-2211; jacksresort.com). Anglers Catfish & Steakhouse at Anglers White River Resort has an outdoor riverside deck perfect for sipping a cool drink on a warm summer evening.

Judi and John work carefully to sculpt, mold, and clean their pottery creations.

Judi Munn and John Perry work in the pottery shop in town to sculpt the perfect ceramic masterpiece.

Three individuals play outside the local music shop on their instruments

Stop by the Mountain View Music Store at the right time to see local bands practicing,

A man, Sam Hibbs, work with tools at the mill. An assortment of metal pieces and tools are organized around him.

Sam Hibbs works in the blacksmith shop in Mountain View.

Photos by Casey Cocker and Kirk Stephen Jordan

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Embrace Tradition

The “folk music capital of the world” is alive with old-timey tunes all summer and into fall. Scheduled music events abound including weekly concerts in a variety of venues around town like Jimmy Driftwood Music Barn and Folk Hall of Fame (19775 Highway 5 North, Mountain View, Arkansas; 870-269-8042). Most famous perhaps are free jam sessions that spring up around the many gazebos at Pickin’ Park located at the Courthouse Square

Immerse yourself in tradition at the 640-acre Ozark Folk Center State Park (1032 Park Ave., Mountain View, Arkansas; 870-269-3851). The park even hosts live folk music, hands-on fun for kids, a craft village and gardens. Handcrafts are sold near the square at Arkansas Craft Gallery (104 E. Main St., Mountain View, Arkansas; 870-269-4120; arkansascraftguild.org), run by the Arkansas Craft Guild.

Stay

For quaint and cozy, choose an area bed and breakfast (find a b&b at yourplaceinthemountains.com). Locations range from acreages to mountaintop settings. Several options in town put you near live music on the square, including Wildflower Bed & Breakfast on the Square (100 Washington St., Mountain View, Arkansas; 870-269-4383; thewildflowerbandb.com).

Rooms might not be swanky at  the Anglers White River Resort (419 N. Arkansas 5, Mountain View, Arkansas; 870-585-2226; anglerswhiteriver.com), but the views and access to the White River plus the friendly staff and summer vibes were just right for one Springfield group. Anglers also offers tent or RV camping and float trips.


Getting There
Mountain View, Arkansas, is about 3 hours southeast of Springfield. Take US 65 South to Arkansas 66 at Wiley’s Cove Township. Go East on Arkansas 66 into Mountain View. 

How Long to Stay
Plan a weekend at least—but there’s enough to do for a longer trip.

What to Pack
Outdoor clothes for hiking, water shoes, swimming suits, casual clothes for evening; bike or kayak optional. Don’t forget your camera!