White Cloud, MI: The Consumers Energy Foundation awarded a grant in the amount of $200,000 to help build Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam (Dragon Trail), a 47-mile non-motorized, multi-use trail forming a loop around the Hardy Pond Reservoir.
“Consumers Energy would like to thank Newaygo County, Mecosta County and the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance for their work to build an impressive asset in our community,” said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “We are proud to have had a hand in nurturing the project from initial concept to this grand opening, including to help determine an environmentally-friendly route for the trail through our property as well as with significant funding support from the Consumers Energy Foundation. We are confident the Dragon Trail will provide a boost to the local economy, and welcome all to enjoy the trail and surrounding natural beauty along the Muskegon River, our woods and reservoirs.”
The Dragon Trail has been in the works for a decade, and after receiving final approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and support by valuable partners such as Consumers Energy Foundation, ground was broken on the trail in fall 2019. Since then, approximately six miles of the trail has been completed and opened to the public for biking and hiking.
The newly opened segments of the Dragon Tail include portions of segments four, nine, and ten, in both Mecosta and Newaygo counties. Visitors will traverse fiberglass truss bridges, boardwalk, and natural surface trail over beautiful terrain. Impressive scenic overlooks with views of Hardy Pond punctuate the trail that is open. More information about the status of open and upcoming segments can be found at thedragon.us.
“The support of partners such as the Consumers Energy Foundation is key to making the trail a reality,” said fundraiser Jodi Overman. “With an overall goal of $3.7 million, it will take commitments from corporate entities, private foundations, and passionate individual donors to get us there, and we’re grateful that Consumers Energy has been a leader with this project from the beginning.”
To learn how you can help build or maintain the Dragon, or make a gift, visit thedragon.us.