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New trail to begin construction soon in Newaygo, Mecosta counties

The proposed new trail along the Muskegon River (MSU Extension Graphic)

BIG PRAIRIE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A new trail in West Michigan that developers believe could become a national attraction is set to break ground this year.

The Muskegon Chronicle reports that construction on Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam trail in Newaygo and Mecosta counties could begin by this summer.

From an aerial view, the 47-mile (76-kilometer) hiking and biking trail encircles a dam-formed pond that resembles the shape of a dragon. The pond is part of the Muskegon River that pooled above the dam.

The planned trail will pass through untamed terrain, campgrounds and marinas. It will also include 13 scenic overlooks and 20 footbridges.

The trail is expected to be complete in 2022, pending approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The commission regulates the trail property’s owner, Jackson-based utility Consumers Energy.

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