New website to serve as information hub for highly anticipated premier tourist attraction
White Cloud, MI- The newly launched Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam (Dragon Trail) website located at www.thedragon.us details trail openings and construction progress on the 47-mile natural surface hiking and mountain biking trail in Mecosta and Newaygo counties. The website is the go-to resource for updated information on the Dragon Trail, including the comprehensive trail plan, sustainability measures, trail features, and opportunities to support the trail through financial gifts and volunteering. Fundraising opportunities will be shared on the website in the future to raise the final $2.6 million of the $3.7 million campaign.
A handful of segments of the trail will soon be open to West Michigan residents and tourists for hiking and mountain biking. There will be a total of 11 segments, with more construction occurring yet this year and more in seasons to come
. “The Dragon is unlike any other recreational trail in the Midwest. The website gives our community the tools to not only enjoy the trail, but also discover how they can be part of making the Dragon a prime tourist destination,” said Nick Smith, Parks and Recreation Director of the County of Newaygo.
Featuring 23 bridges, 13 scenic overlooks, and surrounding 4,000 acres of water, the Dragon Trail is anticipated to draw more than 100,000 annual visitors and generate $4.15 million in annual economic activity with at least 70 new jobs, according to a Michigan State University Center for Economic Analysis study.
The final trail system will be jointly managed by the Newaygo and Mecosta County Park Commissions. The West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance signed a volunteer maintenance agreement with the Park Commissions to assist with routine maintenance of the trail system.
“The Dragon will be a world-class trail and a significant asset to the mountain biking community,” said Martin Hall of the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance. “Since 2019,
volunteers have given over 1100 hours to help build the trail, and we’re not done yet.”
To learn how you can help build or maintain the Dragon, or make a gift, visit www.thedragon.us.