Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the trail named Michigan's Dragon at Hardy Dam?

The name was selected in 2015, when it was noted that the shape of the Hardy Pond Reservoir closely resembles that of a Chinese Dragon.

Where will Dragon users park their vehicles?

Trailheads are at our public parks as shown on the map. Vehicle passes may be required for motor vehicle entry; each park system has its own passes and fee structures.

October through April, trail users should park at Hardy Marina or Big Bend Park to access segments 8 - 11 because of seasonal park closures. For access to segments 4 and 2, park at usual locations.

Locations: 

Hardy Dam County Marina, 6619 E. 36th St., White Cloud, MI 49349

Big Bend Township Park, 2000 S. Beech Ave., White Cloud, MI 49349

Brower Park, 23056 Polk Rd., Stanwood, MI 49346

Newaygo State Park, 2793 S. Beech Ave., Newaygo, MI 49337

How is Michigan's Dragon at Hardy Dam being funded?

Both Newaygo and Mecosta counties contributed seed money to fund development of the Dragon. Several grants have also been received to assist in development and construction. The bulk of construction funding will come from grants, private, corporate, and foundation giving. Ongoing maintenance of the trail will be funded from a variety of sources including special event fees, donations, and the Counties' Parks Departments' budgets.

Can motorized vehicles or horses use this trail as well?

No. The Dragon is a non-motorized trail designed to optimize the performance for mountain bikers, hikers, and runners. The trail will be a maximum of 48" wide and the main tread where most riding and hiking activity occurs will be 18" to 24" wide. Entrance limiters such as bollards and boulders will be used to reduce interactions between users and prevent unauthorized motor vehicle users. Equestrian use is also prohibited.

How will the Dragon interact with campgrounds around the pond?

The Dragon route is planned around the perimeter and entrances to parks, or, with previous permission, the trail may pass through the parks' roads where trail users can reserve a campsite or use the park and restroom facilities. If you choose to enter a park in a motor vehicle, you will be required to obtain a vehicle pass, depending on which park system you are visiting.

Where will Dragon visitors camp overnight?

Dragon visitors who desire to camp will need to make reservations at one of the current campgrounds around the trail. Dispersed camping along the trail is not permitted.

What fees will Dragon users have to pay?

There is no fee to use the trail. The only fee you may pay is if you choose to park a vehicle at a park that charges for Motor Vehicle Permit fees. If you walk or bike to the trail there is no charge to use it. There is no single Dragon vehicle pass, each park system around the pond has its own passes and fees so it is up to the trail user where they want to park.

How will the Dragon be patrolled, kept clean, and managed to keep people off private land?

WMMBA Trail Adopters will conduct inspections of the trail. The WMMBA provides a page where all trail users can post conditions and any issues that need urgent attention on the trail. The trail coordinator and adopters then take corrective actions.

The Dragon falls under the jurisdiction of the Newaygo and Mecosta County Park Ordinances, whose provisions are enforceable by the corresponding Sheriff's Department. Please contact the County Park Departments first if you are having any issues on the trail.

Experience has shown that generally, bikers and hikers are not litterers. In fact, they are most often thoughtful stewards of the land and trail resources. They clean up, rather than leave behind, and operate on the pack-it-in/pack-it-out philosophy.

How will hunting access on Consumers Energy property be affected with the development of the Dragon?

Consumers Energy property near Hardy Pond is open to the public for hunting, and it will continue to be available for hunting. Hunters are required to follow federal, state, and county regulations and utilize safe hunting practices. Trail users are advised to be aware of their surroundings, especially during peak hunting season.

Will there be events on the Trail?

Yes, after construction is completed. Currently while the trail is under construction, we are not allowing events to be hosted. In the future we will post information on the website on how to apply to host an event on Michigan's Dragon at Hardy Dam.