Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hiking, Biking Trail Proposed Around Hardy Dam Pond

Hardy Dam Pond
Hardy Dam Pond is an impoundment of the Muskegon River, roughly between Stanton and Newaygo (Google Maps)
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based on a news article on M-Live

Hardy Dam Pond was created in 1937 when the dam was constructed on the Muskegon River to provide hydroelectric power. Typically, surrounding land was purchased to prevent other utilities from building additional dams. But in the 1960s when hydro-electric projects were brought under federal licensing rules, the area was opened to public use. This has primarily meant that boaters and anglers had access to the water. The land itself receives little use.

That is about to change. A shoreline trail for hiker and mountain bikers may be built creating a loop around the 3,900-acre lake. Most of the property is owned by Consumers Energy. The trail is the brain child of Big Prairie Township supervisor David Wright, and enthusiastic backpacker. He is working with local business interests, the Michigan State University Extension and Consumers Energy to develop the project.

Wright says the land has hills, ravines and wetland areas, and claims that it is "some of the best forest hiking to be found south of Ontario."

Backpacking would be encouraged, although overnights would need to be spent in the developed campsites. Consumers Energy does not have the resources to police backcountry camping.

Consumers Energy is forwarding the proposal to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Wright predicts that the trail can be built for less than $50,000, using volunteers to do much of the work. Local governments, businesses and foundations have expressed interest in aiding with funding. If the project is federally approved, trail construction could begin as early as summer 2010.

Hardy Dam Pond is an impoundment of the Muskegon River where it runs northeast to southwest roughly between Stanton and Newaygo.

See Newaygo State Park
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Jim said...

I think this is a horrible idea. As someone who leases private property directly adjacent to the consumers property with clear view down to the river, it would kill the privacy of me and numerous others in similar situations. That's not to say that people can't hike that property as it is, after all it is public and there just isn't a designated trail. I just forsee some privacy issues with the reality that there are some very close private property lines.

Anonymous said...

I have property adjacent the consumer property also, I pay top dollar property tax on the place because it is not my homestead. I don't want my tax dollars going towards this trail. I feel the crime rate will increase, we all know that people love to party along the river and if we are going to may it easy for them to do this, your asking for trouble presently Consumers patrols this area and has gotten a handle on the camping and parties.

Anonymous said...

I feel this trail is a waste of my tax dollars. look at the trail in White Cloud and see who much that trail is used.not many walkers or bikers. the trail will not offer the peace and tanquility that the White Cloud does. gets pretty noisey on the weekends. Consummers has done a pretty good job at keeping the campers out, campers will return to the the same ares as before. who's going to patrol this trail? my tax dollars at work again.

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