‘Dragon Trail’ To Lead Hikers Around The Hardy Dam Pond
Construction is expected to get underway this summer for a new 47-mile West Michigan hiking trail.
Called the 'Dragon Trail' for the shape of the pond, the 47 mile trail will be a hiking and biking trail that will open sometime in 2022. It will encircle the pond using the Hardy Dam as a starting and end point.
According to the Muskegon Chronicle, the trail will feature 13 scenic overlooks and 22 footbridges.
The long time popular fishing and hunting area currently has a section of the North Country Trail skirt the Muskegon River just south of the Croton Dam. No word as to whether the two trails will connect.
“There are other trails that are this long, but very few are circular, fewer go around a body of water and none of them that we could find go around a body of water that’s undeveloped,” Ryan Coffey Hoag, land use educator with Michigan State University Extension in Newaygo County told the Chronicle.
The MSU Extension web site called it 'a unique adventure sports destination':
It promotes west Michigan’s triple bottom line: financial, social and environmental performance measures. While "pond" often conjures up images of small, quiet, idyllic blue patches of water, Hardy Pond boasts over 50 miles of shoreline and over 4,000 acres of fresh water. The Hardy Pond enjoys a long history as a premier recreational destination for tourists and residents alike.
Now fully five years in planning, the Dragon trail will span over 47 miles along the banks of the Hardy Pond upon the majestic Muskegon River as it winds through Mecosta and Newaygo counties, crossing the massive Hardy Dam, the third largest earthen dam in the world. This project is strategically located within 45 minutes of Grand Rapids, 3 hours from Detroit and 3.5 hours driving time from downtown Chicago.